Wednesday, August 27, 2008

McCain: a liberal conservative

A local conservative described John McCain this way tonight, saying that this was why most conservatives hated McCain: he was a liberal conservative. In other words, he was too dang liberal. I laughed myself silly. John "Bush Lite" McCain has long since ceased being "conservative" but he was never a liberal, least of all now.

An oxymoron, indeed. Of course, most conservatives are not, these days, at least in this country. They're either neocons (as in, the "new con game") or rightwingnuts (missing any bolts to hold them down to earth). McCain panders to the both of them, thereby, apparently, pissing off both segments. And he's certainly raised the ire of Democrats who were pleased with his "maverick" qualities so long ago.

I was playing cribbage with Kate, but was sitting too close to the rather loud and exuberant political discussion at the right wing of the bar, and just couldn't keep my mouth shut on the more egregious statements (Kate's valiant efforts to distract me ["Shut yer piehole and play!"] notwithstanding). But mostly I managed to keep out of it. Not very well, but I did.

Anyhoo, now I'm home and for some reason I keep thinking of the seven deadly sins. These are, for those of you not familiar with the Church's views on the world, lust, gluttony, greed, sloth, wrath, envy, and pride. Of these, the ones that pop into my head with relation to tonight's political discussion and cribbage game are:
• gluttony: the overindulgence and overconsumption of anything to the point of waste.
• greed or avarice: a sin of excess; disloyalty, deliberate betrayal, or treason (especially for personal gain, for example through bribery); hoarding, theft and robbery; simony.
• wrath: inordinate and uncontrolled feelings of hatred and anger; vehement denial of the truth, both to others and in the form of self-denial, impatience with the procedure of law, and the desire to seek revenge outside of the workings of the justice system (murder, assault, and in extreme cases, genocide).
• envy: sorrow for another's good.
• pride: the original and most serious of the seven deadly sins: love of self perverted to hatred and contempt for one's neighbor; a desire to be more important or attractive than others.
I wonder how my neighbor and I can be so far apart on political issues. It seems to me crystal clear that the Republican favorite (indeed, the Republican party) has degenerated into representing the worst and most sinful and most fearful of the United States and its character; I fail completely to see how good people can fall for their lies, or think that continuing so many of the failed policies of the past three Republican administrations can do anything but fail us and the country, again, thoroughly. Yet, people keep voting for them. Stevens won the primary again. Many of my local conservative neighbors voted for Bush. Twice.

And they seem to be amazed that I can vote for "wackos" like Nader, or a Democrat (any Democrat).

There's this tremendous, vast, uncrossable chasm between us, and not only can I barely see my neighbors on the other side, I can barely hear them—and they me. We can't seem to communicate. We can wave, and shout, but there's no real discussion, or understanding. I just don't get it. Neither do they. And this just doesn't seem right.

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