McCain May Be Old, but He’s Still a Threat

McCain May Be Old, but He’s Still a Threat

McCain May Be Old, but He’s Still a Threat

Facebook
Twitter
Email
Flipboard
Pocket

Liberal smarties and sophisticates are having fun mocking John McCain , but assuming he gets the nomination, he will a formidable candidate. He may look like a grumpy old man — specifically, as my friend Kathleen Geier joked, the grumpy old man who yells at kids to get off his lawn — or the nutty old uncle who rags on everyone at Thanksgiving before passing out in front of the football game. But that’s another way of saying McCain is a familiar, indeed family, character. It does not require an imaginative stretch to get John McCain. How many voters know someone like Barack Obama?

McCain is white, male, patriarchal, a war hero with decades in the Senate. So what if he’s old? In politics old can be good ( for men), especially to the older voters — older white voters — who dominate the polls. Besides, McCain’s not so old that he couldn’t get himself a much younger trophy wife, and even if Cindy McCain looks brittle and unhappy and like she hasn’t eaten in a decade, she is always there by his side, a visual reminder of his manly prowess. McCain is brash and sly and seemingly unguarded, unlike the famously self-protective Hillary Clinton, and he loves to schmooze with reporters, who adore him and like most of the rest of America, refuse to see how conservative he is. It’s like they’re saying, Oh go on, Uncle John! you’re just saying you love Sam Alito to get me riled up!

Obama v. McCain could be change/youth/black/exciting/internationalist against experience/maturity/white/steady/superpatriot. Put that way, it could come down to how many white male Democrats, who might vote for Hillary, won’t vote for a black man, let alone one whose middle name is Hussein. They won’t care about McCain’s favors for business –too complicated, and anyway everyone does it — and they certainly won’t care if he had an affair with lovely lobbyist Vicki Iseman, as the New York Times sorta-kinda suggested. They might like him even better for that.

We’ve been patting ourselves on the back a lot for having a black and a woman vying for top spot on the ticket of one of the two major parties. November will tell us whether or not we have really come all that far.

Thank you for reading The Nation!

We hope you enjoyed the story you just read. It takes a dedicated team to publish timely, deeply researched pieces like this one. For over 150 years, The Nation has stood for truth, justice, and democracy. Today, in a time of media austerity, articles like the one you just read are vital ways to speak truth to power and cover issues that are often overlooked by the mainstream media.

This month, we are calling on those who value us to support our Spring Fundraising Campaign and make the work we do possible. The Nation is not beholden to advertisers or corporate owners—we answer only to you, our readers.

Can you help us reach our $20,000 goal this month? Donate today to ensure we can continue to publish journalism on the most important issues of the day, from climate change and abortion access to the Supreme Court and the peace movement. The Nation can help you make sense of this moment, and much more.

Thank you for being a supporter of independent journalism.

Ad Policy
x