Friday, August 27, 2004

Letter to Senator McCain

I've really been stewing about the "Swift Boat" ads the last few days, but what has disturbed me most about this has been Senator McCain's failure to walk the walk after talking the talk. Have I been completely wrong that John McCain is the last honest man in Washington? So I wrote him a letter this morning, which I have mailed:
Senator John McCain
241 Russell Senate Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20510

Dear Senator McCain:

I have the utmost respect for you and your service to the country. Your work in attempting to reform the campaign system has been an honorable endeavor, and I think often that you might be the last truly honest person serving in Washington.

It is for this reason that I am writing to you to ask you to rescind your endorsement of President Bush for re-election and cease campaigning on his behalf.

With a wink, he is clearly allowing surrogates to do the kind of vile smear work on Senator Kerry that he allowed to happen in 2000 against you. You have spoken out against this, and repeatedly asked the President to repudiate this specifically and directly, which the President has not done. He has evaded the issue on nuances and fancy footwork in an attempt to have it both ways – to try to distance himself from the tarbrush but benefit from the mud.

The only way in which this kind of behavior can be stopped is to punish it. If you object to the behavior but continue to give the President the benefit of your significantly better name, like a child who is told “NO” repeatedly but who is not constrained from bad behavior, he and others of his ilk will continue to engage in a politics of lies that is beneath this great Republic.

I am so concerned that your own legacy and reputation will be permanently besmirched by failure to call the President to the carpet on this issue. I would be delighted if you were to run again for the Presidency, as I believe your presence in the debate would raise the dignity of the office back to where it belongs. But I am on the verge of becoming disillusioned about what your stands for clean campaigning really mean if, when push comes to shove, you stick with your guy no matter how dirty he plays.

My wife, myself, and several members of my family serve in Federal Service, for the Department of Defense and in Homeland Security. It hurts me grievously to think that the national discussion about who should be our commander in chief, regardless of which candidate one supports, should be dragged down to the level of simple, outright, brazen lying, and the one man who appeared to be able to rise above the mud – you, Senator McCain – cannot, for whatever reason, take a stand against it.

Please, I implore you, make the stand for what’s right, and withdraw your support for the President to make him understand that “No” means “No”.


Matt Wall

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