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the spitting vessel - A Masterful Maltreatment by McCain

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  • Ankhesen Auset
    http://spittingvessel.blogspot.com/ Saturday, November 1, 2008 A Masterful Maltreatment by McCain NOTE: This was received via e-mail today. It is a first
    Message 1 of 1 , Nov 1, 2008

      Saturday, November 1, 2008

      A Masterful Maltreatment by McCain

      NOTE: This was received via e-mail today. It is a first person encounter with John McCain by Mary Kay Gamel, a literature and classics professor at UCSC. She is asking people to disseminate this letter to shed light on the character and attitudes of candidate John McCain.

      My Holiday with John McCain

      It was just before John McCain's last run at the presidential nomination in 2000 that my husband and I vacationed in Turtle Island, in Fiji, with John McCain, Cindy and their children, including Bridget (their adopted Bangladeshi child).

      It was not our intention, but our misfortune to be in close quarters with John McCain for almost a week, since Turtle island has a small number of bungalows and their focus on communal meals force all vacationers who are there at the same time to get to know each other intimately.

      He arrived at our first group meal and started reading quotes from a pile of William Faulkner books with a forest of Post-Its sticking out of them. As an English Literature major myself my first thought was "If he likes this so much, why hasn't he memorized any of these yet"?

      I soon realized that McCain actually thought we had come on vacation to be a volunteer audience for his "readings" which became a regular part of each meal. Out of politeness, none of the vacationers initially protested at this intrusion into their blissful holiday, but peoples buttons definitely got pushed as the readings continued day after day.

      Unfortunately, this was not his only contribution to our mealtime entertainment. He waxed on during one meal about how Indo-China women had the best figures and that our American corn-fed women just couldn't meet up to this standard. He also made it a point that all of us should stop Cindy from having dessert as her weight was too high, and made a few comments to Amy, the 25 year old wife of the honeymooning couple from Nebraska that she should eat less as she needed to lose weight.

      McCain's appreciation of the beauty of Asian women was so great that David, the American economist, had to move his Thai wife to the other side of the table from McCain, as McCain kept aggressively flirting with her and touching her. Needless to say I was irritated at his large ego and rude behavior towards his wife and other women, but decided he must have redeeming qualities as he had adopted a handicapped child from Bangladesh. I asked him about this one day and his response was shocking. "Oh that was Cindy's idea - I didn't have anything to do with it. She just went and adopted this thing without even asking me. You can't imagine how people stare when I wheel this ugly black thing around in a shopping cart in Arizona. No it wasn't my idea at all".

      I actively avoided McCain after that, but unfortunately one day, he engaged me in a political discussion which soon got us on the topic of the active US bombing of Iraq at that time. I was shocked when he said, "If I was in charge, I would nuke Iraq to teach them a lesson". Given McCain's personal experience with the horrors of war, I expected a more balanced point of view. I commented on the tragic consequences of the nuclear attacks on Japan during World War ll - but no, he was not to be dissuaded. He went on to say that if it were up to him, he would have dropped many more nuclear bombs on Japan. I rapidly extricated myself from this conversation as I could tell that his experience being tortured as a POW didn't seem to have mellowed out his perspective, but rather had made him more aggressive and vengeful towards the world.

      My final encounter with McCain was on the morning he was leaving Turtle island. Amy and I were happily eating pancakes when McCain arrived and told Amy she shouldn't be having pancakes because she needed to lose weight. Amy burst into tears at this abusive comment. I felt fiercely protective of Amy and immediately turned to McCain and told him to leave her alone. He bacame very angry and abusive towards me, and said, "Don't you know who I am"? I looked him in the face and said, "Yes, you are the biggest asshole I have ever met", and headed back to my cabin. I am happy to say that later that day when I arrived at lunch, I was given a standing ovation by all the guests for having stood up to McCain's bullying.

      Although I have shared my McCain story informally with friends, this is the first time I am making this public. I almost did so in 2000, when McCain first announced his bid for the Republican nomination, but it soon became apparent that George Bush was the shoo-in candidate and so I didn't act then. However, now that there is a very real possibility that McCain could be elected as our next president, I feel that it is my duty as an American citizen to share this story.

      I can't imagine a more scary outcome for America than that this abusive, aggressive man should lead our nation. I have observed him in intimate surroundings as he really is, not how the media portrays him to be. If his attitude toward women and his treatment of his own family are even a small indicator of his real personality, then I shudder to think what will happen to America were he to be elected as our President.

      Mary-Kay Gamel
      Professor of Classics, Comparative Literature and Theater Arts
      Cowell College, University of California, Santa Cruz
      Santa Cruz California 95064
      831-459-2381 (office); 831-429-8803 (home)
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