I won’t bother to state the obvious: that the film that preceded McCain’s speech had productions values so low it made home-movies on You Tube look good. That the incessant use of ancient-looking black and white photos (photos!) didn’t help make John McCain seem any younger. (Not that I think he’s old. 72 is the new 42. Which makes me, at 43, exactly 12 years old.) I won’t mention that the hokey writing of said video was, at times, laughable (“John’s life was spared…perhaps because he had more to do.” Are they kidding?) Or that the incredibly bad stock photos of people of color was obvious – as if they couldn’t get actual Black people to pose for them, so they just bought…whatever.
No, I’m not going to talk about any of that. Because the truth is, aside from the fact that I disagree with just about every single solitary thing McCain stands for, I kinda think he’s a good guy. I truly believe that John McCain does put country first. That he fully believes that all of his ideas will help this country be a better place. He’s wrong, and it would be (will be?) terrifying to have him as President, but he’s well-meaning, at least. I don’t want to insult him. So he’s a lousy orator. For him, last night was positively rousing.
What he said didn’t surprise me. How he said it didn’t surprise me. It was the crowd that surprised me. Disgusted me, really.
What’s with all the chanting? ‘USA USA USA!” There’s something creepy, xenophobic, and mob mentality about it that terrifies me. The democrats did a lot of repetitious call and response. The kind that builds to a crescendo and then ends. The Republicans were in a nationalistic frenzy. I could almost spell the tar and feel the feathers. This wasn’t a group of delegates. This was an angry mob.
Who are these people? People who wear “Drill More!” t-shirts? Who look about as much like a melting pot as I look like a super-model? Who think that a woman who attacks grass-roots activists and community organizers as useless and irrelevant is fit to be the vice president? Who say that they want smaller government — until it comes to that government telling you what to do with your body, in your bedroom, or with your personal religious beliefs? I don’t know who they are.
And not to be superficial or anything, but I couldn’t stop thinking that none of the people on the Rebublican Convention floor even looked like anyone I’ve ever known. They were so coiffed, so lip glossed, so overtly blond and blue eyed. I’ve never seen so many strings of pearls in my life. It was a %&*) time warp.
Am I just so left-coast, left-wing, big-city that I don’t know what’s really out there? Is this America? Has patriotism become confused with nationalism? I thought I was depressed when Bush won. I thought I’d had it when he won again. But this time. If we lose — if the mob mentality wins –dip me in tar, roll me in feathers, and don’t take me out of the feather suit until it’s all over.