quinta-feira, 2 de outubro de 2008

The real McCain?

The authorship of this letter is in dispute, so I've removed that part, but its contents still ring true - I'm leaving it on this blog so you can decide for yourself (no one questions McCain's foul joke about Chelsea Clinton's parentage)


It was just before John McCain's last run at the presidential
nomination in 2000 that my husband and I vacationed in Turtle Island
in Fiji with John McCain, Cindy, and their children, including Bridget
(their adopted Bangladeshi child).

It was not our intention, but it was our misfortune to be in close
quarters with John McCain for almost a week, since Turtle Island has a
small number of bungalows and their focus on communal meals force all
vacationers who are there at the same time to get to know each other

He arrived at our first group meal and started reading quotes from a
pile of William Faulkner books with a forest of Post-Its sticking out
of them. As an English Literature major myself, my first thought was
'if he likes this so much, why hasn't he memorized any of this yet?' I
soon realized that McCain actually thought we had come on vacation to
be a volunteer audience for his 'readings' which then became a regular
part of each meal. Out of politeness, none of the vacationers
initially protested at this intrusion into their blissful holiday, but
people's buttons definitely got pushed as the readings continued day
after day.

Unfortunately this was not his only contribution to our mealtime
entertainment. He waxed on during one meal about how Indo-Chine women
had the best figures and that our American corn-fed women just
couldn't meet up to this standard. He also made it a point that all of
us should stop Cindy from having dessert as her weight was too high
and made a few comments to Amy, the 25 year old wife of the
honeymooning couple from Nebraska that she should eat less as she
needed to lose weight.

McCain's appreciation of the beauty of Asian women was so great that
David the American economist had to move his Thai wife to the other
side of the table from McCain as McCain kept aggressively flirting
with and touching her. Needless to say I was irritated at his large ego and his rude
behavior towards his wife and other women, but decided he must have
some redeeming qualities as he had adopted a handicapped child from

I asked him about this one day, and his response was
shocking: 'Oh, that was Cindy's idea - I didn't have anything to do
with it. She just went and adopted this thing without even asking me.
You can't imagine how people stare when I wheel this ugly, black thing
around in a shopping cart in Arizona. No, it wasn't my idea at all.'

I actively avoided McCain after that, but unfortunately one day he
engaged me in a political discussion which soon got us on the topic of
the active US bombing of Iraq at that time. I was shocked when he
said, 'If I was in charge, I would nuke Iraq to teach them a lesson'.
Given McCain's personal experience with the horrors of war, I had
expected a more balanced point of view. I commented on the tragic
consequences of the nuclear attacks on Japan during WWII -- but no, he
was not to be dissuaded. He went on to say that if it was up to him he
would have dropped many more nuclear bombs on Japan. I rapidly
extricated myself from this conversation as I could tell that his
experience being tortured as a POW didn't seem to have mellowed out
his perspective, but rather had made him more aggressive and vengeful
towards the world.

My final encounter with McCain was on the morning that he was
leaving Turtle Island. Amy and I were happily eating pancakes when
McCain arrived and told Amy that she shouldn't be having pancakes
because she needed to lose weight. Amy burst into tears at this
abusive comment. I felt fiercely protective of Amy and immediately
turned to McCain and told him to leave her alone. He became very angry
and abusive towards me, and said, 'Don't you know who I am.' I looked
him in the face and said, 'Yes, you are the biggest asshole I have
ever met' and headed back to my cabin. I am happy to say that later
that day when I arrived at lunch I was given a standing ovation by all
the guests for having stood up to McCain's bullying.

Although I have shared my McCain story informally with friends, this
is the first time I am making this public. I almost did so in 2000,
when McCain first announced his bid for the Republican nomination, but
it soon became apparent that George Bush was the shoo-in candidate and
so I did not act then. However, now that there is a very real
possibility that McCain could be elected as our next president, I feel
it is my duty as an American citizen to share this story. I can't
imagine a more scary outcome for America than that this abusive,
aggressive man should lead our nation. I have observed him in intimate
surroundings as he really is, not how the media portrays him to be. If
his attitudes toward women and his treatment of his own family are
even a small indicator of his real personality, then I shudder to
think what will happen to America were he to be elected as our

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