Sunday, March 08, 2009
Is John McCain the 50 Cent of Politics?(Vibe Throwback)
Every four years I feel as if I'm trapped in an urban version of the movie "Groundhog Day", finding myself regurgitating the same desperate pleas to friends and loved ones about not voting for a third party candidate. Admittedly, their counter-arguments are always more persuasive than my "You're throwing your fucking vote away!" histrionics. I mean, how are you supposed to argue against claims of a broken two-party system, Democrats who routinely cave in to even the slightest hint of opposition, and my personal favorite, thumbing their collective noses at election day pragmatism and not settling for the "lesser of two evils". Just like Bill Murray in the aforementioned "Groundhog Day", who slowly slipped into madness after waking up to the same song every morning, and having the same inane conversations with people on the street - for the last 8 years my argument in favor of a "lesser of two evils" approach has remained virtually identical. Basically equating voters to a prison inmate who have the options of either rooming with someone who may possibly drive them nutty from their incessant chatter, or another prisoner whose main hobby is aggressively engaging in rather intimate "Top Bunk" style romances. Not exactly the most eloquent way of stating a case, but that was my stock argument every time I endorsed electing a politician who would be less of a douchebag, historically. That's until 50 Cent came along that is.
Its true. When 50 Cent dropped "Get Rich or Die Trying" I found his his rhyme delivery to be a monosyllabic snore fest, his lyrical first person accounts of the emotional rough terrain surrounding the drug trade were both hamfistedly clumsy and unimaginative - and since only supreme lyricism can make a Hip Hop snob like myself excuse gratuitous murders on wax(see Kool G Rap), the Queens rapper was off to a rather bad start with this particular chubby wordsmith. But, in the same way the catholic Church's silence during the slave trade was equivalent to consent, I kept my criticism of 50 to myself - only because he and I shared a core belief that the much greater evil had to be wiped off of the musical landscape. Jah Rule. But like the time I got the chance to date a local porn actress and suddenly realized that my germaphobia wouldn't allow me get within a few feet of her without wearing riot gear and doctors gloves, the old saying "Be careful what you wish for" seems to rear its ugly head in this case as well. As we all know by now, the "lesser evil" turned out to be just as bad as the guy he replaced. "Second Verse, same as the first" like a motherfucker.
50 Cent came to mind this week as I talked to a group of disaffected Hillary supporters who claimed that they were voting for McCain come November. After the extremely friendly group did all they could to convince me that their vote wasn't a product of racism but of Obama's inexperience - an argument that I still find a bit suspect - their main talking point was that McCain would at least be better than Bush.(..a bar set lower than midget limbo contests mind you.) There it was, my "lesser of two evils" argument coming home to roost. My own anecdotal comparison of John McCain and 50 Cent aside, there is another striking similarity between the two men that is just downright uncanny.
At the height of 50's career, whenever I would antagonize some of his misguided fans by sarcastically questioning his street credibility, more times than not I'd find myself on the business end of an extremely strong rebuke. With that person usually arguing their case like a seasoned trial lawyer, their main argument being that 50 Cent survived multiple gun shot wounds, smirking as if they had just nailed the landing on a Perry Mason style closing argument. No matter how many times I'd question that brand of logic, the intelligence insulting suggestion that failed murder attempts that leave holes in your respective ass somehow makes a persons street credibility beyond reproach, always puzzled me whenever one of his supporters would act as if going after his main narrative was off the table.
In terms of John McCain, everyone respects his fine service to this country, and if most people are honest with themselves for even a moment they will readily admit that if faced with the same hardships that McCain faced in that POW camp - they'd spend half of their time soiling themselves, and the other half offering their captors a complimentary reach around in hopes of preferential treatment. John McCain is a bona fide war hero. That being said, I reject the media's misguided narrative that Obama cedes all ground to McCain on everything Foreign Policy solely based on the fact that the Arizona Senator spent time at the Hanoi Hilton. Even attempting to respectfully question whether or not being a prisoner of war qualifies you to be president is often met with fierce resistance, with the offended party acting as if you had just wiped your ass with the American flag in front of them. My question is, because John McCain constantly cites his service in Vietnam when on the campaign trail(..don't buy into the media's notion that he's resistant to do so, that's horseshit) - why can't we have a both respectful and substantive debate on how that does or does not relate to being a commander in chief. I'm not in any way talking about denigrating the man's service or his time as a P.O.W, I'm not even talking about citing irrefutable facts like him graduating 884 out of 889 in the Naval Academy, the fact that he crashed 5 different planes as a pilot, was known to disobey orders, and owes his military advancement largely to family connections(His father and grandfather were both admirals in the Navy) I'm just suggesting that we challenge the silly notion that John McCain's foreign policy cred is beyond reproach because of his time in captivity - its almost like someone making the "Wait a minute, his mother was white!" argument whenever some bumbling pundit discussed Obama's one time perceived problem with white voters during the Democratic Primaries. That simply doesn't work.
See, if Wesley Clark had simply said that John McCain is the 50 Cent of politics he wouldn't be taking so much shit from our incompetent, hyperventilating press - who seems to be coddling McCain ever so gently, like a wounded baby bird that some good Samaritan decided to take care of before it could fly on its own again. Jesus Christ, the media can obsess over flag pins, whether or not Obama is a fucking Muslim, his ties to a man that did something bad when Obama was 8 years old, they can even take racism off the table even though Stevie Wonder could see its prevalence in West Virginia - but somehow questioning how John McCain's service relates to being a Commander in Chief is an abomination against god? But all this has given me a great idea though. The next time Stephen King comes to my hometown for a book signing I'm going to heckle the shit out of him, call him a hack, talk about his mother, you name it. The way I figure it, antagonizing a world famous writer into administering me one hell of a public asswhipping would forever make my writing abilities beyond reproach. People couldn't call me a "hack" without being mercilessly shouted down, on top of everyone in earshot looking physically repulsed by their misguided opinion. "Go HumanityCritic, its your Birthday!" Okay, maybe not.