Ah yes. It was only a matter of time, wasn’t it, before McCain rolled out the esteemed and intellectually challenged Arnold Schwarzenegger to make up his Rapturous Unholy Trinity? With talk of war heroes and backlashes, he wowed his audience and looked… well… suitably Arnie-ish.
I have no idea how Mr Schwarzenegger’s rhetoric and hyperbole sounds to your average American voter, but I would seriously hope that they find it as unimpressive and hollow as I.
A couple of points that got me shaking my head and sighing:
- Apparently, Mr Obama — with the money he used for television ads — could have bailed out the banks and paid off everyone’s mortgages. This was hyperbole, wasn’t it? He wasn’t really being serious, right? You see, from this side of the pond it’s difficult to be completely certain — but I’m going to assume that he was speaking literally, even though I realise he probably wasn’t, because I can Obama’s campaign budget was estimated at the beginning of October as being somewhere in the region of $450 million. This was money raised for campaign purposes. The money allocated to television ads would have been a percentage of this. I don’t know the actual figures and it’s irrelevant, anyway. The point is, this money was never intended to be used as an economic crutch — or anything else other than campaign funds. It is preposterous to even suggest (with or without hyperbole) that it could have been used in any other way. Yes, it is rather excessive but, on an interesting side note, back in 2006 Arnold Schwarzenegger’s personal wealth was said to be around the $800 million mark. Hey, Arnie, why don’t you bail out the banks? Jerk.
- John McCain was a prisoner of war. D’you know something, I have a deep-seated suspicion of war heroes who use their past exploits in this way. My great-grandfather (who died when I was about eight or nine) fought in the trenches in France during the First World War, and no one in our family knew anything of what he went through during that time — other than the fact that it was so distressing that he chose not to talk about it. Now this isn’t to say, of course, that everyone who talks about what they went through during battle is somehow embroidering the facts. People quite often need to talk, to share, to help others — from friends to historians — understand the reality of the situations in which they found themselves. But to use those memories, the dead colleagues and friends, the suffering… to use them on the campaign trail, to allow fellow campaigners to refer to them, that I’m afraid strikes me as cynical and inherently suspicious. There were many heroes during the Vietnam War, some in the Armed Forces, and some on the steps of the Kent State University. If Mr McCain is a real hero, it may well have served him better to not have used it for possible political gain.
There’s a definite superficiality to McCain’s campaign that seems to be predominating. Whilst I’m no political commentator — and certainly not the obsessive campaign-watcher that some are — it does strike me that this is the fundamental difference between McCain and Obama. Granted, the latter is far from perfect (anyone who chooses to be a politician is by definition imperfect in my book!) but he at least seems to have something like substance.
I may be wrong — but when I hear Schwarzenegger referring to Obama’s “scrawny little arms”, I tend to feel that I’m not.
Hey, Arnie! Another suggestion for you: why don’t you go and beef up your scrawny little brain?
I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again: