There are many things one must consider when one tries to decide who they believe is the best person to lead the United State. First of all, one must consider their stated policies. What a politician says they will do matters. But we must also be concerned about how effective a leader they would be. Can they actually do what they claim they would do? It is easy to promise the world, but it is more difficult to deliver it. Promises are constantly set out during a campaign, but how quickly are they forgotten once someone is elected into office! If promises are being made which cannot ever be kept, how honest and forthright is that politician? And thus we come into the question of the moral integrity of the candidate. Character does matter because it tells us how much we can trust a candidate when they are put into difficult situations and whether or not we think they will deliver what they promise.
But there are other questions which must be addressed. Each candidate has different ones which need to be asked. For John McCain, who has now had a big campaign victory, some of them, because of how personal they might seem to be, have not raised. And yet I believe they should be.
I am concerned with what happened to him while he was a POW. What long term, even unforseen, effects have they had on him? Can his experiences have any negative influences on him and his actions? Certainly we should honor him for what he did for the United States. But, to do this properly, we should not disregard the level of insane cruelty American POWs suffered in Vietnam. It was awful enough to have long term psychological efffects. Most people would probably be harmed for life. And that is the point. If we do not look at the possible long term effects such experiences might have on a pscyhe, we might put ourselves into a dangerous position if he is made president. We must really ask ourselves, how mentally stable is he actually? Do his experiences from Vietnam haunt him to this day? How exactly has he dealt with them? Is he still dealing with them? If so, how? If not, should he be?
Would you feel safe with someone who had experienced such great, mind-numbing trauma in the past to own a gun? What about a nuclear bomb? And yet that is exactly what would happen if McCain were made president. His hand would be on top of the nuclear trigger. Is this a risk we want to take? And while we are pondering these questions, do we know for a fact that he has not had some subliminal programming put into him while he was a POW?
Of course, this is not to say that John McCain should not run for president, nor even that he should not be elected. The only questions are — why have these concerns not been raised, and how legitimate a concern do you think his experiences as a POW might actually be? If you find they would be a concern, why? If not, why not?