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Once Upon a Time in America

Anyone interested in light-hearted, fanciful reading, need look no farther than the ‘John McCain for President’ website. There the reader will find a curious mix of fantasy, unintended humor and the fruits of a mind-boggling imagination. Let us take a look at a few of the gems offered by Mr. McCain.

Under the curious heading, ‘Human Dignity and the Sanctity of Life,’ there are several sub-headings, too numerous to study here. But one of them is titled ‘Protecting Marriage.’ Mr. McCain, we are told “… believes the institution of marriage is a union between one man and one woman.” And Mr. McCain’s beliefs, apparently, are too be forced down the throats of all and sundry. The senator is, of course, an expert on marriage between one man and one woman. A full month elapsed between the dissolution of his marriage to the injured and partially crippled Carol and his wedding to the beautiful, young Cindy. So he can boast that both his marriages were between one man (used twice) and one woman (two different ones, of course). Prince Charming and his two Cinderellas! Although the second one apparently has the means to purchase more castles than Mr. McCain can count.

This particular section closes with these words: Mr. McCain “…is a beloved husband and father.” Beloved, perhaps; loyal, well, we won’t bother to ask Carol.

One of the major concerns facing U.S. citizens is health care; 47,000,000 Americans are without it. Let’s compare that to Canada. The number of Canadian citizens without health care: 0.

But Mr. McCain recognizes this severe problem. One solution he proposes is as follows: “While still having the option of employer-based coverage, every family will receive a direct refundable tax credit – effectively cash – of $2,500 for individuals and $5,000 for families to offset the cost of insurance. Families will be able to choose the insurance provider that suits them best and the money would be sent directly to the insurance provider.”

One hastens to remind Mr. McCain that he is running for president in 2008, not 1958. Employer-based coverage is seldom comprehensive, if offered at all. So ‘every family’ does not have the option of ‘employer-based coverage.’

But his largess extends to these unfortunate families. He will grant them a tax credit of $5,000.00.

A family of this writer’s acquaintance recently told him that, since both the husband and wife are self-employed, and therefore do not have that elusive option of ‘employer-based coverage,’ they are paying $1,500.00 a month for basic coverage for themselves and their teenage son. Now, if one were to take that sum, and multiple it by twelve, they would see a total of $18,000.00. So after the generous sum that Mr. McCain will distribute, they will only owe a mere $13,000.00 out of pocket. Ah yes! Senator McCain is certainly in touch with the American public! They say the sky is falling due to their inability to afford health care, and Mr. McCain will hold it up with magic feather!

Let us move now to what the website calls the ‘Second Amendment.’ “John McCain opposes restrictions on so-called ‘assault rifles’ and voted consistently against such bans.” Now, this must be seen as completely reasonable; something like building a house of sticks. Most states have a restriction on the number of deer, for example, that hunters may shoot. However, at any time that restriction may be lifted, and the dedicated hunter, with his assault rifles, will be able to take down the entire herd before the terrified deer are able to flee. Mr. McCain feels for those hunters.

And what would happen, one might ask, if the entire Chinese army suddenly descended on the poor, unsuspecting United States of America? The largest army in the world, the nation with the world’s most dangerous nuclear stockpile, the most technologically advanced military machine on the planet would be helpless. Yet the average homeowner, armed with the assault rifles Mr. McCain wants to allow them to have, will prove victorious!

“Most recently he opposed an amendment to extend a ban on 19 specific firearms.” To the uninitiated, the fact that there are even 19 types of firearms is a mystery; one wonders how they differ from each other, but that does not matter. In a nation where over 30,000 people a year die from gun violence, it is vital that more guns flood the streets, so that people can protect themselves from gun crime.

“He voted against an amendment that would have banned many of the most commonly used hunting cartridges on the spurious grounds that they were “armor-piercing.” Well, now that deer, moose and elk have taken to wearing bullet-proof vests, these armor-piercing bullets are more important than ever before.

“…he cosponsored legislation to lift a ban on the law abiding citizens of the District of Columbia from exercising their Constitutional right to bear arms.” Despite the fact that even the police in Washington, D.C. supported the ban, Mr. McCain, safely ensconced in any of his seven houses, decided to lift the ban. Maybe he believes that all citizens have Secret Service protection, so why ban any guns when there is always a convenient young man willing to throw himself in the path of any bullets headed your way?

“John McCain has opposed ‘waiting periods’ for law abiding citizen’s purchase of firearms.” Now one might wonder how a gun dealer knows if his/her customer is law-abiding, if some kind of background check is not performed. Mr. McCain supports such checks, but “…believes that such checks must be conducted quickly to ensure that unnecessary delays do not effectively block transactions.” Heaven forbid! If someone wants a gun now, for goodness sake, sell it to him! Effectively blocking such a transaction may impact the entire U.S. economy.

Mr. McCain has other rabbits to pull out of his hat to solve the U.S.’s problems. “Cut the Corporate Tax Rate From 35 To 25 Percent” proclaims one heading. In smaller type, we see that he will keep the top tax rate for small businesses at 35%. So major corporations will only pay 25%, while ‘mom and pop’ down the block will pay 35%. Well, one might want to know, just how much do mom and pop contribute to the presidential campaigns of wealthy Republicans. Unless they can fork over an awful lot more than they do at present, they can pay the higher tax rate.

One might think that Mr. McCain’s entertaining website bears a striking resemblance to that other well-known fairy tale, the Emperor’s New Clothes. However, in that story, all the emperor’s loyal subjects pretended to see his fine new clothing when, in fact, he was naked. Mr. McCain has no such following; yes, there are a few who marvel at his wonderful wardrobe, but many others only see that there is really nothing there.

It is unlikely, but not impossible, that Mr. McCain will be able to delude sufficient numbers of U.S. voters to be elected president. It is also far from impossible that he will lose the election and be appointed president. In any case, despite his happy face superficiality, and his dismal view of the future of the U.S., a McCain presidency cannot and will not have a happy ending.

ROBERT FANTINA is author of ‘Desertion and the American Soldier: 1776–2006.

 

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Robert Fantina’s latest book is Empire, Racism and Genocide: a History of US Foreign Policy (Red Pill Press).

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