Friday, September 19, 2008

mccain psychoanalysis

What's the deal with McCain? Why does he sometimes seem like he has independence, only to end up agreeing with the powers-that-be? That independence is quite convincing. It seemed once, to me and to a lot of other people, to be convincing. Russ Feingold believes it. John Kerry believed it.

Man, I'm totally unqualified to do this, but it hit me today like a ton of bricks.

McCain was a rule-breaker at the Naval Academy. He got in trouble - he didn't get good grades. He didn't particularly respect rules or regulations. Once he was a pilot, he broke rules and lost planes. He was rebellious.

What happens to a person like that when they are captured and subjected to torture for five years?

It seems to me he would have been rebellious with his captors. He wouldn't have respected their authority. And he would have been tortured, over and over and over. They would have tried to break him. For five years.

What does this do to a man? How does it change his relationship to authority figures? Is he, as a result of this experience, conditioned to immediately cease his rebellious behavior when an authority figure walks into the room? Is he naturally rebellious and deeply traumautized by the results of his rebellion as a prisoner of war?

I mean, why, why did he abandon his contrary stance to the Bush Administration just as Bush's popularity began to tumble? It could be a calculated political move to try to win a primary, but it still doesn't seem to make sense to me. The way I see it, McCain won the primary by taking the moderate vote while the conservative vote was split between several flawed candidates. His primary victory alarmed conservatives. They still believed he was moderate, and he had to pick a conservative VP to mollify them.

McCain's behavior, to me, is bizarre. And yet, there is a certain logic to it considering his personality and his life experience.


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