By Mike Lazuka
It was with great disgust that I read John McCain's sanctimonious opinion piece directed at the people of Russia and published last week here on Pravda.ru, and it is my hope that the people of Russia can see right through his rhetoric. I would imagine that the average Russian citizen has little idea of who Mr. McCain is beyond being an American politician who unsurprisingly holds himself in very high regard, and thus deems it appropriate for him to preach to the citizens of other countries about how he cares for you much more than your own elected officials.
As an American citizen I feel that it is my moral responsibility to let you know the truth, and hopefully in the process bring to light some of the reasons why you should never put one bit of trust or faith in the words of Mr. McCain, or any other American politician. I have lived in America my entire life, growing up as a child during the Cold War, and later attending a prestigious university in the evening while I worked during the day building medical equipment, contributing to the good of society while building a career. I am from a working middle class family that has earned everything we ever had, and lived what the overwhelming majority would call an average American life.
On the upper end of the spectrum in America is Mr. McCain, a member of the American political and financial elite. His net worth is over one billion dollars by some estimates, and when asked during the 2008 presidential election the question of how many homes he owns, he could not answer - as he had lost count. I do not begrudge the wealth of the man, but feel that it is safe to assume that he could not tell you what a gallon of milk or a loaf of bread costs at the grocery store, let alone relate to the lives of any average citizen in either the U.S. or Russia. His life is one where unimaginable wealth and power are a given, and as with the other members of the American ruling class, his life is centered solely on gaining more.
As an example of how detached Mr. McCain is from the lives of the American citizenry, take the example of a town hall meeting in Cedar Falls, Iowa. At this meeting he was presented with a question regarding American soldiers, many of whom were also fathers and suffering with the issue of their wives filing for divorce while the soldier was deployed, resulting in these soldiers coming home to find that they no longer had access to their children, and were instead relegated to four days a month "visitation" with their children and saddled with an unmanageable monetary obligation to their ex-wives. Under American law these soldiers were supposed to be protected from court action while deployed, but this obligation was being ignored by the courts. Asked what action Mr. McCain would take to rectify this injustice, his response was that this "was a tar baby of enormous proportions" and that he would do absolutely nothing.
The press in the United States made a big issue out of the use of the racial slur "tar baby", which is a derogatory term relating to people with dark skin, and rightfully so. What most media outlets ignored however was the rest of Mr. McCain's answer, which speaks volumes about his character beyond that of his use of hate speech. Here we have a supposed war hero who was captured during the Vietnam War and makes a very public display of his military service in an effort to gain political favor. Now years later as a politician he blatantly and deliberately turns his back on military fathers who, in the service of their country, risk losing the single most important and valuable piece of any human life - their children. I ask you: does that sound like someone who is worthy of your trust?
In fact, Mr. McCain is in lock step with other American politicians when it comes to such basic human rights as the one to raise one's own children. All of them like to tout terms like "freedom" and "equality" and phrases like "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness", all the while believing in none of it. The actual application of those ideals are provided not to everyone, but only those groups that the political elite deem fit - the groups that will help them amass ever more power and money. This can also be seen with the revelation of America's domestic spying program, where the individual right to privacy has been removed and the same citizens that are the subject of such unchecked surveillance are also the same citizens that are being forced to pay for it through ever-increasing taxes. For yet another example, look at American warfare in general. The same political elite that is so willing to send troops into baseless conflicts around the globe also happens to have ownership in the defense companies that produce the missiles, drones, and other equipment used. The elite are enriched by war while everyone else, troops as well as innocent civilians, die as a result. In need of another example? Take note of the fact that while the United States has less than 5% of the world's population it has 25% of the world's prison population, and that the privately owned prison companies typically have contracts with state governments that require 80% to 100% occupancy.
In short, Mr. McCain and other American politicians may think it is their right to preach to you from their hypocritical pulpit, but keep in mind that the same values they are preaching they in fact deny to citizens of America. Recently I have seen the Russian people stand up to do much good in the world, and pray that it continues. The world needs your voice.