The Vice of Selflessness

I have no brief for John McCain. My praise to criticism ratio is probably similar to MSNBC’s – around 1 to 1000. I expounded on McCain’s “selflessness” here in 2006. You may find it of interest after reading the following.

John McCain’s regard for his selfless image is his biggest single problem. It has damaged his campaign and distorted his responses to crises during that campaign. This narcissism, however, is of an entirely different order than Barack Obama’s. I hope any undecided voter reading this may be persuaded that the difference is consequential.

McCain does not suffer from Obama’s all-consuming narcissism – where the Presidency is simply a prop on the stage of Obama’s ego. No, McCain is obviously humbled by the prospect of being President. He respects the office in ways Obama can’t imagine: John McCain would never have presumed to design his own Presidential Seal or have faux-Greek styrofoam columns built for a convention acceptance speech. John McCain would never have delivered a speech in Berlin criticizing his own country, claiming to be a “citizen of the world,” in a calculated move to bask in the reflected glory of John Kennedy and Ronald Reagan, especially not as a barely one-term Senator who had spent most of that term campaigning for President. John McCain would never say of securing the Presidential nomination, “This was the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal.”

Obama did say that. The evidence is overwhelming that he actually believes it. What is the Presidency in comparison?

Still, McCain does sometimes seems confused about core principles when he encounters a novel question: What he displays instead is situational moral outrage. Fortunately, he has been in so many situations we know what to expect. So, if “situational moral outrage” seems a scary characteristic for a Commander in Chief; remember, you KNOW infinitely more about McCain in this regard than you do about Obama (aside from Biden’s guarantee of an International crisis).

You should only be frightened of McCain as CinC if you think we should have abandoned Iraq on Obama’s timetable: In which case you haven’t read this far. McCain is highly trustworthy as CinC, both because he is not naive about evil and because he has been intimately acquainted with the inside of War. Maybe that’s redundant. Nevertheless, this is the area where Obama has clearly demonstrated the principles of a water-moccasin.

It is not personal glory with which John McCain is obsessed. His hubris is of a less malign sort. He is possessed of an internally defined moral certitude that can divert him from considering principle when the certitude is challenged. This is probably what makes you fear voting for McCain. It does me. I’ve simply recognized that Obama is far, far more to be feared.

The good news is that McCain has been around so long we’ve been exposed to 99.9% of the major mistakes of principle he will make – and he’s demonstrated moral certitude that many of Obama’s worst promises ARE mistakes. Insofar as we well know McCain, we can trust him to screw up in predictable ways.

Bottom line – Obama is far the more dangerous narcissist. He is a megalomaniac with insufficient respect for the office he seeks. He does have a better grip on his principles, perhaps, but since they derive from people like Saul Alinsky, I am afraid of what an Obama Presidency means for my grandson.

Updated & bumped 3-Nov 7:25 Reagan/Kennedy line added

2 thoughts on “The Vice of Selflessness”

  1. Truth. And this is probably as fair a review of their differences.Megalomaniac and Narcissistic. Both Obama traits. With a filibuster proof majority, expect he will take it to mean the country wants his “fundamental change,” which involves wholesale confiscation of the fruits of our labor, and a completely different way to use it.My fear is people are so enthralled with the uniqueness of this time in history, that they will throw away common sense. Enough so, that along side the rampant fraud and recruitment of people to vote who know NOTHING of how our government works, we face dire times indeed.