The Man Of Honor!
By Leigh Saavedra
Much ado in recent months about whom a person lives near, has as a pastor, and serves on a board with. In the case of Barack Obama, many have expressed the feeling that the character of anyone Obama has spent time with mirrors Obama's character itself. Here is a story that truly deserves our attention.
Imagine that it could be proven that Obama is so often involved in the same work, sometimes with close ties, sometimes on the same stage with a man who many consider the poster child for "Honor." Suppose it could then be proven that what is honor to one person may be something far different to another. Suppose the man was married to a woman, the mother of his children, who stood loyally by him during the most difficult time in his life, when he was in prison, and that during that time she had a near fatal car accident that took away her outstandingly good looks and her health. The man in question did not know about this at the time, as she didn't want to cause him undue stress. He was, after all, in prison, a naval officer captured by the enemy and held for over five years.
Upon his release and reunion with his wife, he learned of her near death and that she, once tall and willowy, was now two inches shorter due to bone that had to be removed from her legs in her lifesaving surgery, and had been confined to a wheelchair until she, by sheer force of will, relearned to walk. Even then, she -- who had been a great beauty and a swimming athlete --had gained a lot of weight. Sad story for the poor guy, huh? Coming home to his beautiful, loyal wife who had taken care of their children for all those years despite her own nightmare to find a woman no longer so attractive.
But he was a hero, so what would we expect? Even with a past reputation of being quite a ladies man, most of us would have expected him to be a man of honor, remain with her and help her continue to be rehabilitated.
Not so with THIS fellow. Instead, his eyes began roving until he settled on another beauty, this one eighteen years younger than he and an heiress to a fortune in the beer industry. He was feeling pretty self-assured in his new hero's role, after shaking Richard Nixon's hand. Without wasting a lot of time, he divorced his first wife, Carol, took a job in Cindy's multi-million dollar beer industry, and a month after his divorce, married his new love, the heiress. In this turn of life events he found an opening as a war hero to then enter politics.
This man, John McCain, is presented as a selfless, principled war hero whose campaign represents a determination to rescue our nation's smeared reputation. Thus the buzzword for every time he's run for office has been "Honor."
Personally, I don't like studying the candidates by looking into their love affairs and moments of imperfect judgment, particularly in personal matters, but as long as the 72-year old John McCain, is going to be portrayed as the one to restore honor to the White House, I believe the whole story is in order. A lackluster earlier career (graduating in the bottom of his class and being known as a ladies' man) can be wiped away by the heroism he showed by serving in our services and surviving a brutal imprisonment. But when he was returned home, he still had or didn't have a level of honor, and it is THAT honor that should remain very defining. His wife (the first one) forgave him completely, saying it was just a matter of a forty-year old man wanting to be twenty-five. Say what? I have a LONG list of men who'd like to be twenty-five again. Some of them are honorable, others less than, but none of them is running for leader of the country, the shining example of integrity.
Perhaps it won't, for some, be of importance, but in a campaign when everyone is scratching at the ground like chickens for ANYONE with whom Barack Obama has ever served with on a committee in order to undermine his integrity, it is only fair to tell the WHOLE story of the man with whom he will be debating on stage. Telling it ALL is the only HONORABLE thing to do.
Leigh Thomas, formerly writing as Leigh Thomas, as been a writer and political activist since the civil rights era. Her book, "So Narrow the Bridge and Deep the Water" (Seal Press, Seattle) was the winner of the Washington State Governor's award, and she has since written a book of political commentary, "The Girl with Yellow Flowers in her Hair," primarily opposing the War Against Iraq.