Tuesday, August 19, 2008

McCain's "Cross in the Sand" stump story stolen.

John McCain: the maverick? the story teller? the liar? the thief? You decide.

While I respect John McCain's service record and feel for him as a former POW, I can't help but be angry about his obvious plagiarist patterns. Not only has he plagiarised speeches with information from Wikipedia but now appears to have stolen a story from a former Siberian prisoner from Russia, Alexander Solzhenitsyn.

Here is Alexander's story:

"Alexander Solzhenitsyn, the Russian author who spent many years in the gulag of Siberia, bears witness to the power of the cross. After long suffering in the work camp of Siberia, he fell into despair. Like other prisoners, he had worked in the fields day after day, in rain and sun, during summer and winter. His days were filled with backbreaking labor and slow starvation. On a particular day, the hopelessness of his situation became too much. He saw no reason to continue living, to continue fighting the system. He thought that the rest of his life was meaningless since he would most likely die in this Siberian prison. His life made no difference in the world. So he gave up.

Laying his shovel on the ground, he slowly walked to a crude work-site bench and sat down. He knew that at any moment a guard would order him to stand up, and when he failed to respond, the guard would beat him to death, probably with his own shovel. He had seen it happen to many other prisoners.

As he waited, head down, he felt a presence. Slowly, he lifted his eyes and saw a skinny, old prisoner squat down next to him. The man said nothing. Instead, he drew a stick through the ground at Solzhenitsyn’s feet, tracing the sign of the Cross. The man then got back up and returned to his work.

As Solzhenitsyn stared at the sign of the Cross, his entire perspective changed. He knew that he was only one man against the all-powerful Soviet empire. Yet in that moment, he knew that there was something greater than the evil that he saw in the prison, something greater than the Soviet Union. He knew that the hope of all mankind was represented in that simple Cross. And through the power of the Cross, anything was possible."

This charge gained legs when Conservative blogger Andrew Sullivan decided to come out with his own ideas about the “cross in the sand” story from Alexander Solzhenitsyn. John McCain’s attempt at "shared Christian fellowship" with his North Vietnamese prison guard story is merely a distant image of Solzenistyn's story and is nothing but pandering. I find it very odd that McCain did not begin reciting this story until 1999 even though he had run many campaigns before that. Perhaps it's because Solzenistyn's story did not get published until 1997?

Here is McCain's story:

"It was Christmas day, we were allowed to stand outside of our cell for a few minutes, and those days we were not allowed to see or communicate with each other although we certainly did. And I was standing outside for my few minutes, outside my cell. He came walking up. He stood there for a minute and with his handle [sandal?] on the dirt in the courtyard he drew a cross and he stood there and a minute later, he rubbed it out and walked away. For a minute there, there as just two Christians worshiping together. I’ll never forget that moment…"

The similarities of these two stories are too close to overlook. Not to mention he did not even mention this story in his full disclosure account of the Vietnamese POW camp that he wrote in 1973.

This is the man running for president as the Maverick? There truly are 3 candidates this election...Barack Obama, Old John McCain and Older John McCain. I could give Older John McCain much credit for trying to stave off a horrible Bush presidency. He did not thanks to some well placed ads LYING and claiming he had an illegitimate ethnic child. Yet he continue to support Bush and even had a nice picture hugging him:

Let's all remember what this man's been through to make it to the Senate of the United States. But, let's also remember what he's done since he got there. He's lied, he's not educated himself properly on Iraq and Economic Policy, and worst of all, he's cheated on his first wife while trying to claim high moral ground along with the rest of the Republicans' "Contract for America".

I cannot, in good conscious, vote this man into office as our next president.

We need change, we need better economic policies, we need the world looking upon us with admiration, we need less war hawking and more peace talking, we need a more thought provoking presence, we need Barack Obama in 2008.


David Gerard said...

John McCain and Wikipedia is more innocent, I think (speaking as a Wikipedia editor) - obviously he said to a speechwriter "I want something on Georgia, say this and this" and the guy went "sure thing" and ahh got a bit lazy. Comedy potential, though.

RedWing-SM- said...

Thanks for the comment David. While it may be 'innocent' it still shows the lack of originality from the McCain campaign. I seem to remember the Republicans blaming Obama for plagiarising a speech he had. Upon investigation it was found that the two speeches only had 2 words in common; the & an.

The difference here is that the claims on McCain actually have merit.