Lee  Culpepper

In the rare case of McCain’s hero image lasting longer than four hours, readers should seek immediate medical attention.

From McCain’s lackluster record at the Naval Academy to his self-important tenure as a United States Senator, John McCain has an eerie history of enlarging himself. Unfortunately, leadership is not about the size of one’s election. It’s about character, competence, and respect.

Like any poster child for the Democrats, former POW John McCain possesses the victim status necessary to insulate himself from factually transmitted criticisms – at least while he’s serving liberal purposes. However, most men are judged on how they conduct themselves throughout their entire lives, not on five ill-fated years in their pasts.

None of us know for sure what McCain experienced during his time as a POW. All we know is that he survived and came home while many other POWs did not. What was it about McCain that was different? Was it family heritage or was it his proclivity for compromising to get what he wants?

At the Academy, McCain rebelled and barely graduated. In The Nightingale’s Song (authored by fellow Naval Academy graduate Roger Timberg) McCain proves to be more of a playboy than a midshipman. Disobedience, demerits, and distraction mark McCain’s Academy days. Today, McCain continues to demonstrate that he lacks the self-discipline, tact, and integrity on which the Academy prides itself. The Academy’s honor code states clearly, “[Midshipmen] tell the truth and ensure that the full truth is known.”

Just this week, McCain demonstrated the value he places on honor. He intentionally misrepresented Governor Romney’s position on the war. But such behavior is consistent with McCain’s conduct throughout his life. However, it contrasts sharply with the heroic portrayal of McCain’s time as a POW. How did a man with McCain’s inferior track record suddenly become a super-human leader of fellow POWs?

In fact, an article by investigative journalist Greg Szymanski depicts John McCain as no friend to POW families. While the article clearly has a Ron-Paul-like feel, Szymanski raises many questions about McCain’s classified POW files. McCain is now the Democrats’ darling Republican, but one must expect these questions will come to light should McCain become the GOP Presidential Candidate. Regardless, McCain should open his POW files in the interest of honesty, as well as to eliminate speculative controversy.

Nevertheless, Szymanski’s article seems more consistent with McCain’s track record than McCain’s own version of the story. According to the widow of POW and Navy pilot, Larry Van Renselaar, “I remember my husband saying, [McCain] was not well-liked [by other pilots] and thought of as a hot dog and a punk.” Does this sound consistent with what McCain’s “fellow” Republicans might think today?

Upon his heroic return to America, McCain’s repugnant propensity to look out for himself suddenly resurfaced. While he was a POW, McCain’s first wife, Carol Shepp, was involved in a horrible car accident. She was a former model, but the accident left her four inches shorter and on crutches. Though she suffered serious injuries, she refused to allow news of the accident to reach McCain in Vietnam, as she feared the news would only add to his suffering as a POW. Not long after his homecoming, however, McCain revealed his appreciation for her loyalty and faithfulness by engaging in extramarital affairs.

Six years later, McCain met Cindy Hensley. She was 25 and attractive. She was also the daughter of Jim Hensley, founder of the nation’s third largest Anheuser-Bush distributor. McCain divorced his wife and then married Hensley a month later. He followed her to Arizona where her millionaire father helped McCain begin his political career.

As a senator, McCain continues to conduct himself unfaithfully. He has betrayed his party time and again: McCain-Kennedy for amnesty of illegal immigrants (enough said); McCain-Feingold for campaign finance reform (suppressing free speech); McCain-Lieberman for energy tax (global warming); and McCain-Edwards for a Patient’s Bill of Rights (socialist medicine).

Is it any wonder McCain is a poster child for Democrats and EDS? Apparently, he has always needed a little artificial help to get the job done. He talks tough to compensate for his raspy little voice. But his tough “hawk” image mainly covers up his waning male virility.

Don’t be surprised if McCain joins real hero Bob Dole in Viagra commercials. Then again, McCain would probably jump to Cialis if Kennedy or Clinton would extend an invitation.

With his kind of loyalty, is it really all that ironic how hard McCain is on pharmaceutical companies?


Lee Culpepper

Lee Culpepper is a recovering high school English teacher and former Marine. He currently teaches firearm courses and has resumed his passion for writing.