I’m beginning to think that Young Fundamentalists everywhere ought to be unanimously rising to our feet in support of Senator John McCain. He is, after all, cut out of the same piece of cloth as most of us…Don't let the necktie and hair style fool you folks....John McCain might just be a Young Fundamentalist! Consider the following key principles about McCain:
Associations. McCain isn’t afraid to associate with people whom those in his particular circles have long shunned. I offer as proof the McCain-Kennedy bill and the McCain-Feingold act. Or how about his association with other "RINO's" (Republican In Name Only) in his infamous "Gang of Twelve"? I mean, there is some discussion brewing that he has considered placing Joe (or is it Joseph?) Lieberman on his ticket as a running mate in November!
Criticisms. McCain is quick to criticize those in his circles, but not so quick to criticize the other side. He has often displayed how quickly he will criticize those who would criticize his more liberal counterparts even if the criticism is justified. What more proof do we need to offer than his recent criticism of the North Carolina GOP? How about last January when he jumped all over Vice-President Dick Cheney for his "terrible mishandling" if the war? Or his statement that Donald "Rumsfeld will go down in history, along with McNamara, as one of the worst secretaries of defense in history"? McCain almost seems eager to defend Obama (having done so on several fronts including Obama's associations and friendship with Jeremiah Wright) yet quickly jumps to conclusions about his own party, often assuming the worst.
Heritage. McCain claims to be cut out of the same mold as a bunch of history’s great “dead guys”. You know, the guys that both sides like to claim as their own….
Personality. McCain is considered a “maverick”. This is a moniker he proudly displays as a badge of honor. With no regard as to the reasons behind some the stances of the party with which he is currently affiliated, McCain is quick to point out all the flaws and foibles from an “insiders” perspective.
The more I observe McCain, the more I’m reminded of myself, I guess. Quick to criticize the group I’m affiliated with, even though I don’t intend to end my affiliation anytime soon; quick to defend and even endorse those who have never been, nor ever will be part of my group because they take the "more practical stances" on some “hot-button” issues; quick to claim my affiliation with a whole bunch of dead guys from my particular “group” while careful not to align myself too closely with a lot of the live ones; proud to wear the badge of an intellectual, practical, relevant, compassionate proponent of truth while careful to let people know that I’m somewhat of a “maverick”…a “non-conformist” when it comes to matters that I deem as “non-essential”.
When I see this behavior displayed in politics, it makes me a little sick. As I watch McCain I begin thinking, “why don’t you just call yourself an ‘independent’ rather than a ‘republican’”? The man’s quickness to jump on his own while giving a free pass to those who are his enemies on the political front (even though they might share some common views) is a tad revolting. Yet every day, I see this same behavior in myself.
Watching politics the last several weeks has been a tad entertaining, but it has also caused me to reevaluate some things spiritually. Asking questions, calling for change, and criticizing some of the lunacy that exists within Fundamentalism are all good things. However, one has to be careful. There is a tendency towards arrogance, bitterness, and a critical spirit that can ultimately put more of a bite to your criticism than you ever set aside to have. McCain has made a career out of doing this sort of thing, and now the criticism and finger-pointing at his own come so naturally that it’s almost comical. So many YF’s seem to be headed towards the same fate, I think. I'm afraid that many of us have become something akin to "Fundamentalist In Name Only".