If you’re thinking of voting for John McCain…
I know that people sometimes—often, even—behave in ways that conflict with their own self-interest. We’ve all had tragically misguided haircuts. Many of us have a history of pursuing romantic relationships that are, essentially, toxic. And women, blacks, Latinos, gays, and working-class people of all colors and creeds occasionally vote for a political party that, by all reasonably discernible measures, hates them. I know this. Nevertheless, I still can’t believe that there are Hillary Clinton supporters who seriously plan to vote for John McCain in November.
I understand that, as an acknowledged Barack Obama fan, it’s easy for me to say that, had things gone the other way, I would be supporting Clinton right now. But I’m someone who still has bitter memories of the 2000 election—not just the vote-counting debacles and the Supreme Court decision, but also the Nader voters who argued that there was no real difference between George W. Bush and Al Gore. I was not entirely pleased—and occasionally somewhat disgusted—by Clinton’s performance during the primary season, but I still can’t imagine that, right now, I’d be suggesting that McCain is in any way preferable to Clinton.
I know that McCain is a hero in the classic, undiluted sense of the word. I know that he served his country in an unpopular war, and I know that he maintained his integrity when many of his fellows did not. I am aware of his courage and his sacrifice. I am also aware of his reputation as a maverick, a man of principle unafraid to challenge the Republican party, and I would, at this time, like to publicly thank my yellow-dog Democrat husband for not declaring, “I divorce you! I divorce you! I divorce you!” when I made numerous, woefully under-informed comments expressing, more or less, the opinion that McCain might not be so bad.
John McCain really is that bad, and, if you don’t believe me, please allow me to suggest further reading.
A recent item in The New York Observer suggests that, since becoming the presumptive Republican nominee, McCain has moderated his views—and his Senate votes—to appeal to the conservative establishment, while a longer article from The New York Review of Books suggests that McCain’s renegade persona was always more marketing myth than reality. The NYRB piece mentions an episode in which McCain publicly called his wife—the woman whose fortune made his political career possible, by the way—a cunt, which offers some insight into both McCain’s temper and his attitudes towards women. For more on the former—and, given the content of question 7, the latter—try taking the New Yorker’s “Senator Hothead” quiz (I scored 10 out of 15). And, for a poignant look at what it’s like to be friends with a Democrat threatening to vote for McCain, check out my clever and handsome friend Scott Shrake’s recent contribution to the Huffington Post.
Short Short Story: “She Is Not Going to Call Him”
Her phone is on the table. It does not appear that she tossed it there, unthinkingly, when she got home from work. The phone is not in the company of her keys, say, or a pile of unopened mail. The table is generally uncluttered, holding nothing more than the aforementioned phone, a bottle of wine, a single glass, and her left hand, which rests a few inches from the phone.
Certain people might draw certain conclusions from this scene. They might, for instance, infer that she is going to call him.
She is not going to call him.
Thus begins the short short story I entered in the latest contest at thenovelette.com. You may continue reading here. If you like it—and I certainly hope that you do—please be so kind as to rate my entry. If you think my story is crap, please feel free to save yourself the trouble of voting.
Wish You Were Here