John McCain: Country First, People Last, War Forever

As Far Right as He Can Take It

John McCain believes, not without foundation, that the U.S. is a right of center country, but his desperation shows that he is obviously not counting on that as a permanent fact, nor does he explain just how far right he thinks he can push national politics. It must be extremely far right for even some Republicans to begin to defect, notably Colin Powell and Scott McClellan, among several other well known conservative figures.

It’s clear that McCain, who has never stopped fighting the Cold War, whose head is still stuck in bombing runs on Vietnamese cities and the humiliation of captivity, has a deep desire to move the U.S. into far right fascism, specifically war corporatism.

War Corporatism

McCain has spoken very plainly in the presidential debates: a freeze on all social spending (so Sarah Palin, calling for more spending on children with special needs, can basically tell her Trig to get stuffed, unless she thinks there will be a special exemption on new spending, for her family alone), plus no limit on national security and defense spending. How this escaped widespread opprobrium in the U.S. mainstream media provides another piece of the “puzzle,” along with the mass propagation of irrationality through churches, a very poor educational system, and a popular culture that stupefies and infantilizes its consumers. McCain has provided the ingredients for his own definition as a war corporatist: more money for war, and nothing else.

Turkeys Voting for an Early Christmas

“Country first” and “patriotism” do not mean loving one’s fellow Americans, for all of the perverse distortions of Christ that propagate Christianity from plush mega churches. Any hint of “spreading the wealth around” to help fellow Americans is wrongly labeled “socialist” and that is presumably a bad thing, when capitalism has shown itself to be a failed ideology even according to its most notable past proponents.

To attract the votes of some members of the working class, McCain uses classic capitalist and fascist mystification techniques — he resorts to culture and barely veiled appeals to race: the Other, That One, is a terrorist, anti-American, liar and thief who like other Black criminals seeks to sneak into the homes of Good Americans in the middle of the night and steal their property.

McCain uses these techniques so as to blind his working class supporters to their own best interests — the very people who would benefit from “spreading the wealth around,” especially in a situation of increasingly deep economic crisis that will visit great pain and suffering on them, are precisely the ones who rage uncontrollably against any notion of wealth redistribution (see here and here). In other words, “wealth redistribution” is read as Blacks stealing from Whites, just as Ayers is equated to Atta, and Obama assimilated to Osama — it is a constant trope of equivalence and translation.

You’re On Your Own

So as unemployment increases and poverty spreads, McCain promises no new social spending, and no redistribution of wealth. Yet somehow he plans for more war spending which can only come from foreign borrowing (assuming there any foreign lenders left with any confidence in U.S. economic prospects). So what the poor can do is to enlist and fight for McCain and his corporate friends — and with eight houses, 13 cars, and an endless supply of cash, McCain doesn’t have to worry, he got more than his fair share already. You’re on your own, suckers. Go die for your land, and who cares how long troops have to be stationed abroad, no matter what the cost, 50 years, 100 years … just bomb bomb bomb Iran. This man is not “insane”: this is just what fascism actually looks like. And patriotism is revealed as love of country, but where country is an ideological abstraction devoid of human beings, or even basic humanity.

Wealth Redistribution ≠ Socialism

Socialism 101 ought to be offered as part of the standard American curriculum, so that the inexcusable stupidity in American mainstream political discourse can at least stop equating social spending with socialism. The U.S. already has limited forms of “wealth redistribution” in the forms of unemployment assistance, food stamps, etc. If it were the hallmark of socialism, then the U.S. is already socialist, and the charge to be made against Barack Obama is that he is nothing new, and that McCain is no different as he supports nationalizing parts of U.S. banks (their losses, specifically).

The fact remains that wealth redistribution is a defining feature of capitalism, and it is the redistribution of wealth from workers to capitalists. This goes beyond long established corporate welfare — tax holidays, tax cuts, and subsidies to corporations. It has to do with the fact that wealth does not create jobs, rather jobs create wealth for a few. Jobs are what you give those who are denied independent access to resources, so they become dependent on earning a wage. Jobs are what you “give” to citizens who have been denied their birthright as citizens: a share of ownership of a land that should belong to all. Jobs involve people going to work for you, and earning only a fraction of the revenue that they create. Capitalists don’t just get wealthy because they are geniuses, or because they have plans, or take risks — capitalists rely in the first instance on having cheap workers, people who can be paid the least amount possible and yet encouraged to spend the maximum possible.

Socialism goes much further than simple welfarism, and involves a change of ownership in the economy. Obama has proposed nothing of the sort, and it is not the only instance of where Obama’s promised change falls far short.

Dumbing Down: Hating Your Compatriots

That it has to come down to a Colin Powell asking what is the problem if Obama were a Muslim is a sad reflection on the Obama campaign. In the current political discourse, being Arab and/or Muslim in the U.S. has been virtually criminalized. The Obama campaign lets charge after charge go unanswered, such as:

  • what is the problem with being an Arab?
  • what counts as terrorism — when between Ayers and McCain only one of them has ever killed innocent civilians, and it’s not Ayers
  • what if Obama were best of friends with Ayers, do the demonizers actually know of the great campaigns for civil rights, social justice, peace, and education that Ayers has fought for?
  • why does “Joe the Plumber” count as “more American” than Bill Ayers or Jeremiah Wright?
  • why is redistributing some of the wealth to the poor a bad thing? Would a nation of beggars and looters be preferable?

Taxes are also criminalized, or, the bizarre proposition surfaces that once people pay taxes the tax earnings should not be redistributed … when taxes are precisely wealth redistribution.

The ignorance and prejudice that are fostered are astounding, and should count as criminal psychological abuse. One of the great failures of the Obama campaign is that it has not sought to truly educate voters, to combat bigotry and prejudice. More often than not, the Obama campaign automatically resorted to repudiation: yes, Wright is wrong; Ayers is not a friend; I am a Christian and always have been; we don’t want socialism. In the process, the Obama campaign vindicates the McCain message, and underscores their common agreement as to what constitutes the “right values,” what is good and bad, what is desirable and what is repulsive. If McCain is essentially right on so many fronts, which is what the Obama campaign implies by not countering bigotry with education, then why would “four more years of Bush” be such a bad thing? Exactly how was Bush a “failure” then?

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8 Responses to “John McCain: Country First, People Last, War Forever”

  1. October 28, 2008 at 1:50 am

    Great site!! I’m glad I found it.

    Reading your post is similar to one I did recently titled: Country First REALLY Means “SCARE Country” First

    The title of your post “John McCain: Country First, People Last, War Forever”…brings up the question of “who’s” COUNTRY first? The RNC, it appears, is certainly not putting our country first…and never it’s citizens.

    Kindest Regards,


  2. October 28, 2008 at 2:01 am

    Thanks very much Michelle, it’s a pleasure to have you visit and comment. Also, feel free to post a link to your own post, I would love to read it.

    Many thanks again.

  3. 3 John McShame
    October 28, 2008 at 2:17 am

    Another of Obama’s mistakes is to tell people that McCain offers four more years of Bush. All of the signs point to McCain being far worse, an extreme version of Bush, with some really ludicrous ideas and a support base of hate-filled extremists.

  4. October 28, 2008 at 2:19 am

    the link you’re looking for is here:


    I think it’s a very good post, and I liked yours too.

  5. October 28, 2008 at 2:25 am

    Thanks for the link, I now realize that I had been to redroom.com before, and it usually has some very good articles, including Michelle’s.

  6. 6 Hopeful for the Hopeless
    October 28, 2008 at 2:37 am

    this is a refreshing change from the Fox “news” propaganda blitz and all of the ignorant right wing fanatic bloggers we have here in America. They’re a real tribute to the rampant stupidity that prevails here, they listen to garbage, read trash, and spout shit.

  7. 7 Lunatic Wingnuts
    October 28, 2008 at 2:48 am

    McCain is a proven liar: his own goddam tax rebate for health care would give tax revenues even to those who dont earn enough to pay taxes. So that isnt redistributive socialism? The guy is a freak, and I have to pity the dumbass mutants that cheer him on and bellow “Obama is a socialist”. Pathetic.

  8. October 28, 2008 at 3:00 am

    1d4Watchman & Radicall,

    Thank you for your kind comments. Yes, I write on redroom…but also on wordpress.

    As far as RedRoom, I never know who’s reading it. I only have access to stats, and the only way I know who’s reading my writing is if they leave a comment after a blog post or short story. I’m grateful to you, Radicall, for posting my RedRoom link…this let’s me know that you’ve been one of the readers :) :)

    Kindest Regards,


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