For those of you who watched Friday night's debate between McCain & Obama, you'll know there was an exchange over which candidate's position had more authority because of the bracelet he wore than the other. Background from Jake Tapper on the bracelet issue here. My take is that McCain used an appeal to my emotions to score a point against his opponent, Barack Obama. It's a well known, effective, but unfair debating tactic. An appeal to emotion can be used to justify almost anything, after all, and they keep people from getting to the truth, from arriving at objective decisions. If Obama had come out against these kinds of unfair emotional attacks, or flat out got angry and said he wouldn't take advantage of someone's personal tragedy to guilt people into supporting his political agenda, I'd have more respect for him.
But he didn't, and I don't.
What he did is respond in kind to McCain's gut punch with this sort of a fey, pathetic, open fisted slap that fell flat because he didn't actually believe the lie he was telling; if you're going to make an unfair appeal to my emotions, you had better know the name of the soldier whose memory you are manipulationg and his story, and be able to speak of that story with authenticity. What it boils down to is this: My views on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are different from those of my Mother or Father. Casey Sheehan's views on the war in Iraq -- having re-enlisted before volunteering to go on the mission he was killed on -- were demonstrably different from his mother Cindy's. And for all I know, the views of Matt Stanley and Ryan David Jopek were different from those of their Mothers, too. Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Marines aren't victims. They aren't kids. And they don't need their parents to speak for them. So please, if you're a politician, argue your position based on its merits. And if you choose to wear a bracelet, do it as a private thing in honor of a fellow American's service and sacrifice. And then leave it at that. Don't reduce it to another piece of cheap jewelry.
-- Uber Pig, Out