Benjamin: Well done! Having this kind of insight from someone who had to face bullets as part of his patriotic duty is poignant.
I will use your analysis of John McCain to further elucidate. From my perspective, I have to admire this man: becoming a fighter pilot is an extremely difficult occupation to accomplish, spending seven years in a POW camp and coming out relatively unscathed is profound, climbing the political ladder politics is another feat, yet doing political in a mostly honorable way is another testament to this man’s character (I didn’t agree with more than a few things he said or did, but I still respected him in how he framed his vision and insights).
Despite whatever God-given or acquired talents he had for the job of politics, he still needed to yield to the vehicle of the political party to attain his political position. The minute he campaigned under the Republican banner, he was no longer John McCain. He was John McCain and something else. That something else was part of the corruption necessary to rise in party politics.
We on the outside can be so condemning to those who submit to that corruption. But you, I, and all these commentators to this article would have to compromise our principles if our goal was to be elected or stay elected. There is no political messiah out there who is above these forces.
Yet the very democratic system that some of us have recognized as very fallible (and possibly denigrating into a formal oligarchy) has also inculcated, in each one of us, a of hopelessness that it cannot be changed in any meaningful way. Hence there is no use in investigating serious alternatives to western democracy.
So my question to you (and other commentators) is: Should we continue to write articles condemning a hopeless, unchangeable system or should we investigate alternatives with the intention of working for it if we can see some hope.