The popular phrase used to describe John McCain's presidential aspirations has been the "Straight Talk Express".Â According to the popular myth, John McCain "tells it like it is" and lets you know exactly where he stands.Â Those that have bought into this myth have flocked to John McCain as someone they can trust.Â Others have been scared onto his campaign, accepting him as by far the lesser of two evils.
And while it is true that John McCain is nearly always reliable in telling people where he stands, even when he is blatantly wrong, the fact is that he often fails to "tell is like it is." Also, like Barack Obama who eagerly throws anyone and everyone under his own bus when they dare to speak about the ultimate goals and ideas of an Obama presidency, the track behind the Straight Talk Express is littered with the bodies of those that have "told it like it is" and defied John McCain's image as the one true straight talker.
John McCain is not merely content to toss those who stray from his set of talking points off the back of the train either.Â Oh no.Â He makes sure to toss them off the front and run over them good and hard with the entire train.Â The problem for McCain is that every time he takes to this tactic, the bodies being run over throw the Straight Talk Express off the tracks and derail his presidential aspirations.Â Then those that have begrudgingly hopped on board the train start to get off and wander away, wondering why on earth they are supporting him beyond any other reason than the fact that he is not nearly as far left as Barack Obama.
The latest example of this phenomenon came this week when his newest victim was tossed from the engine compartment.Â Former Texas Senator Phil Gramm, who is the national cochairman of McCain's campaign, was speaking about how many people in America are in a self-inflicted and pretend state of suffering.Â I have talked about this before in past columns; how we are often battered over the head with talk about America's economy is terrible when it is not, that it is in a recession despite repeated growth and increased leisure spending at places like Disney World, and that we are all just one paycheck away from soup lines despite a mere five percent unemployment rate.
Mr. Gramm went out on the stump for his man in the race and against all this mindless rhetoric told it like it was.Â He said that people were suffering from a "mental recession" and that you hear "constant whining" about it.Â Well, that caused McCain to spring into action!Â Mr. "Straight Talk" himself was quick to denounce the comments saying, ""The person here in Michigan who just lost their job isn't suffering from a mental recession." And, "The person unable to get affordable health care isn't whining."Â Then finally, "Phil Gramm does not speak for me. I speak for me."
Fair enough on the last statement.Â But the rest of this response is absolute idiocy.Â So now because you, in particular, cannot find a job the country must be in a recession?Â Horse hockey!
There is a popular saying is goes a "recession" is when your neighbor is out of work but a "depression" is when you are out of work.Â The point of that saying is to point out how insane and illogical people can be when it comes to evaluating the overall economy based on their own situation or the situation of a few people they know.Â In reality neither are indicators of either, but John McCain is buying into it hook, line and sinker.
As for his healthcare comment, with all the plans out there for healthcare coverage you have to really be in dire straights to not afford at least some sort of health insurance.Â Ok, maybe you cannot afford that nice $500 a month plan that covers every boo boo and sniffle under the sun, but considering that we already have a potpourri of socialist programs to cover the poor in this country and many private plans start for as little at $70 or less per month or less, then yes, if you cannot afford that amount, then you are lazy and probably a whiner sitting around complaining about why you cannot afford it too.
Sorry, but that is "straight talk" you will not hear from John McCain apparently.Â Go pick up a second job to make ends meet for crying out loud and stop complaining about how you are not happy and spend some time an effort pursing happiness like you are guaranteed to be able to do here in America.
John McCain is obviously too scared to actually stick to the concept of telling us like it is; too scared to alienate potential voters who are just unwilling to believe the truth.Â That is the only conclusion I can come to when I hear him talking like this.
The facts are the facts.Â There is no recession and yes, I am sad to say, Americans do "whine" far too much.Â All you have to do is look at all the special interest groups hovering around politicians complaining about this or that and pleading for special favoritism from the hands of government to overcome some hardship that has befallen those they represent.Â If that is not enough evidence for you, listen to your typical liberal voter hovering around Barack Obama's feet moaning and complaining about everything under the sun and about how everything is so unfair.
When Americans do not get exactly what they want, many of them do indeed whine about how things are unfair and start demanding other people pay for what they want.Â See the latest debate on universal health insurance for a glaring example of this.
Instead of standing up and giving us "straight talk", McCain has done nothing but pander.Â Meanwhile, Barack Obama took these comments, ran with them and mocked them before a live studio audience gathered for him.Â They laughed as he discussed these comments and showed exactly how far from reality the typical Obama supporter really is and once again showing just how easily they believe talking points about doom and gloom and how America really does stink.
But unwittingly they are proving Mr. Graham correct by whining about being called whiners and then going on and whining about everything that is wrong.Â In fact, Obama's entire campaign has been nothing but one big whine fest about how bad, evil and unfair America is to people too stupid, ignorant or unwilling to take responsibility for their own lives.Â These are the people that complain they cannot get the job they want because the picked a career that was either too competitive or where no jobs exist.Â These are the people that whine that America cannot defeat terrorism.Â They are the poor souls that complain the "rich" are not paying their "fair share" and giving them "free" health insurance.Â Oh, they are also the same ones complaining that they do not have enough vacation days and that they are not making enough money at their job and demanding government do something to help.Â They are the hordes of people that complain they are not where they want to be but cannot be bothered to work harder to better their own situation.
And while all this is happening, John McCain and his crew are standing around along side of the Straight Talk Express which is now stranded somewhere far away from the station.Â They are all standing around scratching their heads wondering why they have not arrived at their destination and for some reason cannot figure out why the train has come off the tracks yet again.Â Had they stopped pondering why they were off the tracks they might even have noticed as some of his reluctant supporters had packed their bags and taken this moment to disembark.
Copyright ©2008 J.J. Jackson