John McCain Wants Us to Forget the Present:
Whenever the Rude Pundit returns to Red State America on one of his sojourns home, he sometimes likes to participate in a little fun he calls "Memoryfucking." Here's how it works: you know all those people you thought about fucking in high school? We're not just talking about the stereotypical prom kings and queens, but also the hot, smart chick that was a study buddy or the ripped athlete that didn't give a shit about any hierarchies. Hell, pretty much we're talking anyone who made your genitals get all a-quiver. Chances are at ten or more years down the road, they've been through some shitty stuff in their lives, had their hearts broken a couple of times, had kids, lost jobs, garroted and buried hobos, the things that make up the real lives of real people, just like you and everyone you know. We're all grown-ups here, right? (And if you're not, pay attention: shit will happen to you.)
So the Rude Pundit'll call up someone that was a friend, chatty classmate, or neighbor, and...well, let's specify: call her "Susan" (and she could be "Martika" or "Johnny" or lots of other names). The Rude Pundit gives Susan a ring. Says he's in town, they haven't been in touch in a number of years, it'd be nice to catch up. And, truly, the Rude Pundit is interested in knowing about Susan's life. He is interested in the contours and shifts of lives, the things that build up on the teenage foundations of our selves. So the Rude Pundit gets together with Susan and, since most people like to talk about themselves more than they like to hear about others, Susan is glad to speak about all the things that have caused her straight path to CEO ascendancy to make sharp turns, her divorce, her son (at home with her mom right now), it's all so very ordinary that there's a kind of delicate poetry to it.
Inevitably, the talk turns to the past, to the remember whens and whos and "did we really take that purple pill" and "hope the trig teacher didn't mind the herpes" and "yes, that experiment did go horribly awry, you can still hear it howl in the bayou," you know, all the usual shit that lives in the ramshackle houses on Memory Lane. If done right, this is a kind of mutual seduction, a way of saying, "You know, we should have fucked back in high school." Which is fine until one of us says out loud, "You know, we should have fucked back in high school." It's a lie, of course, based on the haze of the past. But, still, we go to a motel and, in the best case, we fuck the night away, part with no promises, just a conclusion to the memory. A punctuation mark on a lie.
But sometimes, some repressed feeling surfaces and we start to talk about possible futures. Ahh, Christ, the worse lie is to think that maybe, just maybe, now we can make a go of it. You can't make up for the past. If all you have is lies, well, then it's time to say good-bye.
At end of the long campaign, all John McCain has as a closing argument is memoryfucking. You remember how he was a prisoner of war? Such a tough guy. You remember that John McCain from 2000? Yeah, he was such a maverick, wasn't he? No, really, he's the same guy. Except he never really was. Oh, sure, maybe a little more so than now. But now's what we've got. And the John McCain of now is a power mad little worm of a man, who cozied up to a popular president and then held on for dear life when that popularity nose-dived. Who turned into a worse version of everything that he once claimed he despised. That's why the rats are abandoning his ship.
The closing argument against John McCain is that the past is done. It's time to walk away from it, stop believing in memories, and see what happens when you head to the future.