Last night John McCain claimed his place as the Republican Party’s nominee for President. His acceptance speech contained the bones of what will become his platform. There was plenty of McCain’s vaunted “straight talk” in the address. However, it is unwise to take any politician’s words at face value. As yet another public service, The Hangover reveals the subtext buried in the language.
McCain: “Presidential candidates are judged on their records, their character and the whole of their life experiences.”
Translation: I am a veteran, a POW. I’ve given a lot to my country. Remember that. But please forget my involvement with the Keating Five, where I peddled influence up to my ears. Oh, and this current flap with Vicki Iseman, it’s nothing. And although I speak out against corporate lobbyists, it’s okay that I allow them to work on and for my campaign. No future conflicts of interest could possibly come from that. Honest. Cross my heart.
McCain: “Our campaign must be, and will be more than another tired debate of false promises, empty sound-bites, or useless arguments from the past that address not a single American’s concerns for their family’s security.”
Translation: Obama is a wimp. All talk, no action. I may be seventy-two but I could take him in a bar fight. Clinton? Don’t make me laugh. She’s riding her husband’s coattails for all they’re worth.
McCain: “It is of little use to Americans for their candidates to avoid the many complex challenges of these struggles by re-litigating decisions of the past. I will defend the decision to destroy Saddam Hussein’s regime as I criticized the failed tactics that were employed for too long to establish the conditions that will allow us to leave that country with our country’s interests secure and our honor intact.”
Translation: I’m a little confused myself. I guess it’s okay to re-litigate by talking about the war now that the surge I supported is working (just don’t ask me to define “working”). But if anyone else wants to talk about how and why we got in the war, no, I don’t think that’s a good idea. At least I think that’s what I think.
McCain: “The next President must lead an effort to restructure our military, our intelligence, our diplomacy and all relevant branches of government to combat Islamic extremism, encourage the vast majority of moderates to win the battle for the soul of Islam, and meet the many other rising challenges in this changing world.”
Translation: First, I’m going to have your tax dollars sent directly to the Pentagon. Second, now that we’re getting good at determining how other people should govern themselves, why not dictate their religions? Yeah, that’ll work.
McCain: “We will campaign in favor of seizing the opportunities presented by the growth of free markets throughout the world, helping displaced workers acquire new and lasting employment and educating our children to prepare them for the new economic realities by giving parents choices about their children’s education they do not have now.”
Translation: Corporate profits will stay high as we ship our manufacturing jobs overseas where workers can be paid $10 a week instead of $10 an hour. We will build more and more fast food restaurants here each year, providing jobs for those formerly employed in factories. Education will reflect the global economy. We will train our children to make Mexican food for Taco Bell, Italian food for The Olive Garden, and Canadian cooking for Bugaboo Creek. Training courses for McDonald’s, Burger King, and Wendy’s will, of course, remain highly competitive.
McCain: “I will leave it to my opponent to claim that they can keep companies and jobs from going overseas by making it harder for them to do business here at home. We will campaign to strengthen job growth in America by helping businesses become more competitive with lower taxes and less regulation.”
Translation: It’s just too complicated to give tax breaks to companies who keep jobs in America and tax those corporations who export them. And we’ve seen how effective deregulation can be. Remember the S and L successes from the Reagan years? Enron? The current mortgage boom? What? I got that backwards. Shit. Strike those last remarks, please.
McCain: “I will leave it to my opponent to propose returning to the failed, big government mandates of the sixties and seventies to address problems such as the lack of health care insurance for some Americans. I will campaign to make health care more accessible to more Americans with reforms that will bring down costs in the health care industry down without ruining the quality of the world’s best medical care.”
Translation: No one is going to get anything done with health care. That lobby funnels too much money into Washington, so I can just say this now and then forget about it. And there’s no way I can ruin France’s health care system, which is actually rated the best by the World Health Organization.
McCain: “And I will campaign to reduce our dangerous dependence on foreign oil with an energy policy that encourages American industry and technology to make our country safer, cleaner and more prosperous by leading the world in the use, development and discovery of alternative sources of energy.”
Translation: I will campaign to reduce our dangerous dependence on foreign oil. It’s a great way to stick it to Bush and his cronies for their cheap shots that scuttled my 2000 presidential bid. Screw those oil guys.