Monday, October 27, 2008

How Many Times Should McCain be Allowed to Mention he was a POW?

Because I'm a big nerd and a political enthusiast, I've been having a grand time watching events unfold as we head towards the Presidential election on November 4th. I've watched all the debates and The German and I even played the game where we counted how many times each candidate used one of their signature phrases or terms. We counted how many times Barack Obama and Joe Biden said the name "George Bush" and we counted how many times John McCain and Sarah Palin used the "maverick" label. It's become a popular game and some folks even use it as a fun way to get pleasantly toasted but I certainly would never dream of doing such a thing. ;)

Let's face it. Both candidates have a few buzz words that they have been attempting to drill into the minds of voters and it's starting to become a bit of overkill. I want to rip my hair out every time I hear the word "change" used by any of these four candidates. Enough already! I get the point and I'm pretty sure everyone else does, too. I realize that the English language is not very old but it has been around long enough for there to be several different words they could be using just to liven up their vocabulary a bit. Meh, maybe I'm being too picky. After all, I often repeat myself, after all. At least I know I'm not the only one who is tired of hearing certain stuff being repeated by both candidates while they are on the campaign trail.

Some people have complained about how McCain is constantly bringing up the fact that he spent time as a POW (prisoner of war). To be honest, I put that in a different category from the other frequently used terms that I'd like to see eliminated from the vocabulary of both candidates. Yeah, I know McCain talks about being a POW in almost every rally where he's a speaker. Still, I feel like this is one area where the fellow deserves to be cut a bit of slack.

In a way, I feel like I may be able to relate to why McCain does this. It reminds me of how I'm always talking about my cancer experiences. Sometimes you can go through something so horrible that you NEVER stop wanting/needing to talk about it. I know that folks are probably tired of hearing about my broken ribs and cracked sternum et cetera, but those experiences are so woven into who I am that I can't really talk about who I am without telling you about what I've been through. So, you know, I'm a bit sympathetic when it comes to this.

I'm sure that McCain is aware of the fact that his supporters like hearing about his time in the service. Sometimes I suspect that many of these folks are trying to live vicariously through listening to the harsh details of McCain's time as a POW, but that's a whole other subject, I guess. I'm also fairly confident that his campaign managers are happy about the way his war stories pump up the crowds and helps to rally his base. However, I just don't think that fully explains why he keeps talking about it.

By now, he has to know that many people think he's using it gratuitously. Yet, he continues. I honestly don't think he can stop himself and I'm not so sure that he deserves criticism for that reason. There are plenty of other things that you can criticize, so I sort of feel like it would be okay for folks to just leave this one alone.