I have a friend named Matt. Matt is a big Red Sox fan. One of the jokes that I like to make with Matt is that I’m unsure why I should know anything about Red Sox pitcher Jon Lester.
See, Jon Lester is a cancer survivor who not only returned to baseball, but won a World Series and, later, threw a no hitter.
But any time you watch a game in which Jon Lester is pitching, the announcers spend a good ten to fifteen minutes talking about the fact that Jon Lester had cancer.
For all of his career, Lester will be defined, first and foremost, by the fact that he survived that disease. He has won a World Series and he has thrown a no hitter, but it’s all secondary to that illness.
Which, in the end, is actually pretty irrelevant to his baseball abilities. Sure, it’s amazing that he was able to recover the way he has, but let’s not pretend that a starting pitcher (and once prized prospect) for the Boston Red Sox was receiving the same medical care as Joe Average on the street.
Still, it’s an amazing story and I don’t mean to belittle it. It’s just that, in the scheme of what he’s trying to do as a baseball player now, it really should be secondary, not forefront.
Kind of like being a POW.
The other day on Politico they had the latest TV ad that the McCain campaign was airing in some battleground state. And it opened with him talking about the fact that he had been a POW for five and half years. The ad was about McCain’s plans for the economy.
Again, I am in awe of what the man went through as a POW. I can’t even comprehend that, much like I can’t comprehend having cancer (and hopefully never will). But the fact that McCain was a POW for over five years has very freaking little to do with his ability to run our country.
I have this conversation in my head:
Reporter: Senator McCain, you said that you’re preparing to unveil a comprehensive economic plan.
McCain: My friend, when I was a POW for five and a half years, I had a lot of time to think about America’s economy and how it would need to grow and change over the coming decades.
Second Reporter: Senator McCain, many believe that, if given the opportunity, you would appoint a judge to the Supreme Court who would overturn Roe vs. Wade.
McCain: My friend, when I was a POW for five and a half years, I had a lot of time to think about a woman’s right to choose and how that related to the Bible.
Reporter: Um, I’m sorry Senator, but I thought you spent your time thinking about the economy.
McCain: My friend, clearly you’ve never been a POW.
Waiter: What would you like to drink, Senator McCain?
McCain: My friend, when I was a POW for five and a half years, we rarely got anything to drink.
Waiter: So iced tea, then?
And this will go on and on until he’s elected president.
It should be interesting, in the coming months, to see how many times the GOP uses the words “POW” and “un-America,” the former with regards to their candidate, the latter with regards to Obama.