Sunday, September 23, 2018

John McCain


Senator John McCain is dead. The outpouring of warm sentiments for this man coming from across the political spectrum has been of the gushing variety – at least in terms of the very narrow band of political thought represented by electoral politics in the US and some other countries. The focus is on his years of captivity in Vietnam, his support for campaign finance reform, his many visits to US troops overseas, and the very occasional moments where he disagreed in a serious way with his party's leadership, which, in his own mind at least, earned him his beloved title of “maverick.”

Far less attention is paid to the fact that prior to his years of captivity, he had been dropping bombs on innocent civilians from tens of thousands of feet in the air. Before he became an advocate for campaign finance reform he was caught up in a corruption scandal that would at the very least have ruined the careers of less well-connected politicians. When he visited US troops overseas, the reason they were there in the first place, killing people and being killed themselves, was because of Senator McCain's enthusiastic support for every US imperialist venture that was launched by a US president – of either party. So as a war-monger he was very bipartisan, as is most of the Congress throughout the vast majority of US history, very much including recent history.

The idea that this man should be celebrated for his refusal to join the rest of his party in completely killing off the Affordable Care Act only makes sense in some kind of Disnified version of reality. Because the widespread poverty and lack of affordable healthcare that still defines much of the United States in 2018 is a very direct consequence of the economic policies and military spending that John McCain voted for unwaveringly, which have brought out country to the teetering edge it's on today.

I have written a musical appreciation of the Senator which I'll share with you now.

Ballad of John McCain
John McCain, John McCain
Your grandfather was an admiral
And your father was one too
When you turned 17 
You knew what to do
You signed up for the Navy 
So you could make it rain
Kill innocent civilians 
Dropping bombs from planes 
John McCain, John McCain, John McCain

John McCain, John McCain
On your military service 
You then made a run
You got into the Congress 
In 1981
In the halls of the Senate 
You had only just arrived
When you were caught up in corruption 
One of the Keating 5
What should have been a loss 
You turned into a gain
Not quite sure how you did it 
The innocence you feigned 
John McCain, John McCain, John McCain

John McCain, John McCain
You were the hero in the Senate 
Who had survived the war
The one who would explain to them 
What we were fighting for
For each act of aggression 
You would cheer along
You'd go visit the troops 
And sing your military songs
You'd thank them for their service 
And then you'd watch them die
As they fought for corporations 
Launching missiles from the sky
To the streets below 
Which would be covered with the stains
The blood of the innocent 
Running down the drains 
John McCain, John McCain, John McCain

John McCain, John McCain
You voted for austerity 
And every free trade deal
You never met an oil well 
You didn't think that you should steal
About the poverty around you 
You never did a thing
Except more military spending 
And less of everything
That matters to the people 
Who want a peaceful place to be
Without some war-crazed Senator 
Calling them his enemy
You called yourself a maverick 
Whatever the heck that meant
You had lofty aspirations 
To be the US president
Now your dead, it's over 
Your terroristic reign
The liberals, they loved you 
I loved the cancer in your brain 
John McCain, John McCain, John McCain

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