Yesterday, I mentioned that the McCain campaign had driven me to the edge of angry ranti-ness. Well, I'm still angry, and once you finish reading this post, I hope you'll understand why I waited a day to write it. I wanted to level myself out a bit before broaching a really sensitive subject.
To begin, I'm a pretty cynical person when it comes to politics. I expect stupid things like the "lipstick on a pig" argument along with the dishonest twisting of quotes from places like Factcheck and Katie Couric, and it's no surprise to me that yet another Republican presidential candidate has no respect for the intellectual property of musical artists. But what set me off yesterday was the McCain ad that suggested Barack Obama was in favor of teaching kindergartners how to have sex, and used images that made him look like a leering pedophile.
It set me off because I was molested by a babysitter when I was four years old.
My baby sitter was a teenager from our church, and she'd been given full power to punish my sister and me if we misbehaved. This was 1972-3, so that wasn't unusual in the least, and child molestation wasn't talked about much then, so there was no reason for my parents to suspect anything. My babysitter would catch me disobeying (or maybe manufacture something--it's a little foggy on that) and would molest me as punishment. After she was finished, she would have us pray for forgiveness together. Remember, I was four years old, and I was convinced that I had done something wrong here.
We didn't have any sort of sex-education in the schools I attended, not until I got into high school and took a one-semester, very basic Health class. There wasn't anything like what Senator Obama was pushing for in that legislation, namely a class on what is appropriate and inappropriate touching. If I'd had that when I was in kindergarten or first grade, I might not have internalized the guilt I carried into my teens. I might have told my parents before I was eighteen years old. I might have had a shot at a reasonable view of sexuality earlier in my life, instead of having to work all that shit out in my twenties and thirties.
There are no guarantees, of course. I might have clammed up as well. But this isn't about me. This is about a man who condemns his political opponent for suggesting that we might want to teach young children that it's necessary for them to tell an adult when another person is touching them inappropriately. John McCain, by attacking Barack Obama in this way, has effectively said that he's willing to make sure that other kids who are currently in the same situation I was in 35 years ago don't have the knowledge or the resources to stop pedophiles who are abusing them.
And for what? A point or two in the polls? The presidency, potentially? How dare you!
There was a time, about 8 years ago, when I thought John McCain was an honorable man. I've had doubts about that ever since he decided that falling in line with his party and standing beside the man who smeared his family was more important than defending his wife and children, but now it's absolutely clear. John McCain has no honor, he has no soul, and I have no use for him.
I have to stop now, or else I will drop into that f-bomb filled rage I was worried about yesterday. I hope this explains why I'm so upset by this latest set of attacks, and I encourage others, if their stories are similar to mine, to share them, and fight back against this outrage.