Know Your Candidate

Read John McCain's account of his captivity, first published back in 1973. It makes "war hero" and "patriot" less like slogans --I was especially moved by his account of when the enemy "broke" him, and his repeated determination not to do anything to hurt his country or his father. (Among other things it is very refreshing in comparison to the Obamas' perpetual weeping about how hard it was for them being Harvard lawyers.)

Think about this in the context of his debate with Obama about meeting with the terrorists:

We knew at that time that unless something very forceful was done that we were never going to get out of there. We had sat there for 31/2 years with no bombing going on--November of '68 to May of '72. We were fully aware that the only way that we were ever going to get out was for our Government to turn the screws on Hanoi.

....It was obvious to us that negotiation was not going to settle the problem. The only reason why the North Vietnamese began negotiating in October, 1972, was because they could read the polls as well as you and I can, and they knew that Nixon was going to have an overwhelming victory in his re-election bid. So they wanted to negotiate a cease-fire before the elections.

I admire President Nixon's courage. There may be criticism of him in certain areas Watergate, for example. But he had to take the most unpopular decisions that I could imagine—the mining, the blockade, the bombing. I know it was very, very difficult for him to do that, but that was the thing that ended the war.

On prayer:
I was finding that prayer helped. It wasn't a question of asking for superhuman strength or for God to strike the North Vietnamese dead. It was asking for moral and physical courage, for guidance and wisdom to do the right thing. I asked for comfort when I was in pain, and sometimes I received relief. I was sustained in many times of trial.
On religious liberty:
In March of 1971 the senior officers decided that we would have a showdown over church. This was an important issue for us. It also was a good one to fight them on. We went ahead and held church. The men that were conducting the service were taken out of the room immediately. We began to sing hymns in loud voices and "The Star-Spangled Banner."
Some things never change dept.:

All through this period, the "gooks" were bombarding us with antiwar quotes from people in high places back in Washington. This was the most effective propaganda they had to use against us—speeches and statements by men who were generally respected in the United States.

They used Senator Fulbright a great deal, and Senator Brooke. Ted Kennedy was quoted again and again, as was Averell Harriman. Clark Clifford was another favorite, right after he had been Secretary of Defense under President Johnson.

When Ramsey Clark came over they thought that was a great coup for their cause.

The big furor over release of the Pentagon papers was a tremendous boost for Hanoi. It was advanced as proof of the "black imperialist schemes" that they had been talking about all those years.

Also intriguing:
I think America is a better country now because we have been through a sort of purging process, a re-evaluation of ourselves. Now I see more of an appreciation of our way of life. There is more patriotism. The flag is all over the place. I hear new values being stressed—the concern for environment is a case in point.
I would have guessed McCain's climate change enthusiasms were of a more recent provenance, but perhaps not. Curtsy: contentions.