Since I picked on Guilliani, Palin, and Obama, it is only fitting that I take a close look at John McCain’s remarks when accepting the nomination for president at the Republican National Convention. The speech can be read here and McCain’s introduction video can be found here. Here are some comments which I found to be of note:
- From the intro video: “When the North Vietnamese realized who his father was, they offered John early release as a PR ploy. He said no. He’d honor first in, first out like everyone else. And so, he chose to spend four more years in hell.” (I can only think of the Apostles’ Creed (Book of Common Prayer), though the association is not automatic)
- From the intro video: “What a life. What a faith. What a family. What good fortune that America will chose this leader at precisely this time. The stars are aligned, change will come.”
- “Finally, a word to Senator Obama and his supporters. We’ll go at it over the next two months. That’s the nature of these contests, and there are big differences between us. But you have my respect and admiration. Despite our differences, much more unites us than divides us. We are fellow Americans, an association that means more to me than any other. We’re dedicated to the proposition that all people are created equal and endowed by our Creator with inalienable rights. No country ever had a greater cause than that. And I wouldn’t be an American worthy of the name if I didn’t honor Senator Obama and his supporters for their achievement. ” (Constitutional language, yet you have to wonder what association people in our country have with the word “Creator” in this statement)
- “You know, I’ve been called a maverick; someone who marches to the beat of his own drum. Sometimes it’s meant as a compliment and sometimes it’s not. What it really means is I understand who I work for. I don’t work for a party. I don’t work for a special interest. I don’t work for myself. I work for you.” (How readily do the American people believe statements like these?)
- “I don’t mind a good fight. For reasons known only to God, I’ve had quite a few tough ones in my life. But I learned an important lesson along the way. In the end, it matters less that you can fight. What you fight for is the real test.” (Providence and human suffering being overtly mentioned in an acceptance speech? Hum.)
- “I fight for Jake and Toni Wimmer of Franklin County, Pennsylvania…” (I only quote this because John McCain named real people (McCain cites two other families), Obama did not. He referred to “a man” and “a woman,” but left out specifics. I wonder if this was an intentional countermeasure. When I listened to Obama’s speech I wondered why he didn’t name the names of actual people, grounding his examples in real life narrative.)
- “We’re all God’s children and we’re all Americans.”
- “We believe in a strong defense, work, faith, service, a culture of life, personal responsibility, the rule of law, and judges who dispense justice impartially and don’t legislate from the bench. We believe in the values of families, neighborhoods and communities.” (In the words of Alasdair MacIntyre, “Whose Justice? Which Rationality?”)
- “I know how the world works. I know the good and the evil in it.”
- “I hate war. It is terrible beyond imagination. ”
- “I’m running for President to keep the country I love safe, and prevent other families from risking their loved ones in war as my family has. I will draw on all my experience with the world and its leaders, and all the tools at our disposal – diplomatic, economic, military and the power of our ideals – to build the foundations for a stable and enduring peace.”
- “I’ve been an imperfect servant of my country for many years. But I have been her servant first, last and always. And I’ve never lived a day, in good times or bad, that I didn’t thank God for the privilege.” (Sin, servitude, gratitude.)
- “I’m not running for president because I think I’m blessed with such personal greatness that history has anointed me to save our country in its hour of need. My country saved me. My country saved me, and I cannot forget it. And I will fight for her for as long as I draw breath, so help me God.” (In many ways, this should be the most debated theological statement uttered by McCain in this speech. He doesn’t believe history has anointed him, but according to his introduction video the “stars are aligned”?)
- “If you find faults with our country, make it a better one. If you’re disappointed with the mistakes of government, join its ranks and work to correct them. Enlist in our Armed Forces. Become a teacher. Enter the ministry. Run for public office. Feed a hungry child. Teach an illiterate adult to read. Comfort the afflicted. Defend the rights of the oppressed. Our country will be the better, and you will be the happier. Because nothing brings greater happiness in life than to serve a cause greater than yourself.“
- “I’m going to fight for my cause every day as your President. I’m going to fight to make sure every American has every reason to thank God, as I thank Him: that I’m an American, a proud citizen of the greatest country on earth, and with hard work, strong faith and a little courage, great things are always within our reach. Fight with me. Fight with me.”
- “Stand up, stand up, stand up and fight. Nothing is inevitable here. We’re Americans, and we never give up. We never quit. We never hide from history. We make history.” (Is history ours to make, or God’s to give, and only ours to receive?)
I considered listing McCain’s campaign promises, but if you’re familiar with the traditional Republican platform this simply is not necessary. Lower taxes. Better wages for teachers and better schools. Strong national defense. Smaller government. Traditional values. ”A culture of life.” Lower taxes. Appointment of judges who interpret the law, not legislate from the bench. Full development of all types of energy resources including drilling, wind, nuclear, natural gas, and otherwise. Economic security, job training for those needing new employment, and keeping jobs from going overseas.
Did I miss anything?
By the way, Jon Stewart has done an excellent piece pairing McCain’s promises with speeches given by George W. Bush.
And Now for Something Totally Random
I’m working on piece discussing a portion of Norman Maclean’s A River Runs Through It in light of the ministry of Jesus. I’ll post to the blog in the next couple of days.