By Matt Welch
John McCain is among the so much popular, sympathetic, and overexposed figures in American politics, but his concrete governing philosophy and real song list were left apparently unexamined, ordinarily due to the monstrous distractions in his reputable biography, but additionally due to his inventive technique of conversing with no end in sight to every and each access-craving media one that occurs by means of. The extra he has spouted, the fewer reporters have troubled attempting to see throughout the fog.
McCain provides the balloting public what it wishes yet cannot locate -- a flesh-and-bones political portrait of a guy onto whom everyone is perpetually projecting their very own ideological fantasies. it's a mental key for interpreting his allegedly ‘maverick' activities, and the 1st lifelike evaluation of what a John McCain presidency could seem like. McCain will speedy lay out in overlapping aspect the foundation explanation for the senator's worldview: his own transformation from underachieving punk to conflict hawk uber-patriot, within which he used the "higher energy" of yankee nationalism to save lots of his existence and soul.
As McCain wrenches himself inside-out in pursuit of the prize that eluded him in 2000, McCain will glance in the back of the struggle hero, in the back of the maverick reformer. Journalist and pundit Matt Welch brings to this undertaking an investigative eye and a coolly analytical mind-set to supply Republicans, Democrats and Independents an image of the fellow in complete ahead of they input the vote casting sales space in 2008.
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Additional resources for McCain: The Myth of a Maverick
Slew sounds like basically the best grandpa ever, minus the early death. “In today’s slang, he lived large,” McCain wrote in Faith of My Fathers. ” He was a wiry, hooknosed runt with a booming voice, scrappy energy, and natural ease with enlisted men (his underlings called him “Popeye the Sailor Man”). ”12 When advised once about a new treatment for his presumably persistent ulcers, legend has it that Slew yelled, “Not one dime of my money for doctors. , navigating the minefield of Beltway politics to effect lasting change on how the Navy is organized.
But even more important to me was my hope that by doing so I would provoke the right sort of enemy. I wanted to be a good man, of course, and fight in a good cause. But what was the point of being good if it didn’t gain the attention of the bad? ” Here we see the contemporary purposes for McCain’s ongoing discussion of his fictional boyhood heroes. There are essentially three possible morals, all of them overlapping, to any serious McCain story, whether fiction or nonfiction: (1) that the rugged individualist on his own is no match for life’s hardest challenges; (2) that enlisting in a cause greater than yourself (preferably that of American exceptionalism) elevates your life without submerging your individualism; and (3) that the excesses of selfishness are forgivable—even desirable—when channeled in the service of that greater cause.
Any reader born around 1936, the first year of the Spanish Civil War, has gone through more political promises made and broken than he or she can remember,” Reynolds wrote in the Virginia Quarterly Review in 2000. ” McCain, who was born in 1936 and experienced that disillusionment firsthand, is nonetheless much more interested in lauding the sacrifices of soldiers than ripping the mask off deceitful government planners. It’s the literary interpretation of a loyal grunt, not a skeptical decision-maker.