Monday, April 14, 2008

Elitist John McCain

On a radio talk show this morning I overheard remarks that Hillary, Obama, and McCain are all members of the “elite.” Hillary, undergrad at Wellesley, then Yale Law School – yep, she qualifies as an elite. Obama, prep school at prestigious Punahou School in Hawaii, graduate of Columbia University and Harvard Law – no question, an elite. John McCain, Episcopal High School, Naval Academy, and over five years of postgraduate training at the prestigious Hanoi Hilton Academy – you can’t get more elite than that.

The talk show presenters never mentioned the part about the Hanoi Hilton, and apparently considered John McCain’s time at the Naval Academy the same as being at Harvard or Yale.

I’m not a military academy graduate, so my knowledge of the Naval Academy is limited. I was commissioned after three months of Air Force Officers Training School, so I could be considered a “Ninety-day Wonder” (although with six years enlisted service before commissioning, I wasn’t exactly “Lt. Fuzz”). But my limited knowledge of Harvard, Yale, and the Naval Academy leads me to believe that Hillary and Obama are elites in a way different from John McCain.

Among many differentiating items, there’s the matter of volunteering to fly in combat, being shot down over Hanoi on his 23rd mission, breaking two legs and one arm, having a shoulder crushed with a rifle butt and being bayoneted, being left to die with no medical care, surviving to spend two years in solitary confinement, and finally being released after over five years of confinement.

I’m sure Hillary will remember something similar happened to her, and Obama will feel that the Hanoi Hilton experience was like an exceptionally long summer camp, but I don’t think that John McCain deserves being place in the elite and privileged class of Hillary and Obama.

I have to laugh when Hillary says Obama is out of touch with the common man. She’s right, of course, but she’s even further out of touch.

John McCain has been, and remains, in touch with a man who is not one of the pampered elite, but is never common, the American military man. In that proud company, he was required to endure far more than most of the rest of us veterans.

He may be living the good life now, but he hasn’t forgotten.

Apparently at least two radio talk show hosts have, and I wonder how they continue to be employed while displaying such ignorance. I guess they say what their employer and audience want to hear, the truth be damned.

I feel pity for them and their audience.

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