Another good call was one with which I would have thought I’d have difficulty. The issue of torture is one that I didn’t think I’d be able to debate well because it just drives me crazy. For me, this is the issue on which I believe the base of the Republican Party is most off-track, both morally and politically. Seeing people’s reaction to this issue through both town halls and phone calls, I’m confident in saying that I am not alone in thinking that torture is simply wrong. Also, I’m not convinced that a majority of Republican voters that think torture is okay, as is often conveyed. One woman said to me that she liked and respected Senator McCain, but was voting Democrat this year because she thought President Bush and the Republicans had become sadistic.
A fellow I talked to gave me something of a perspective on where some people are coming from on this issue. He was so angered by 9/11 he basically felt the people who perpetrated that act should have no rights. Since the victims of 9/11 were given no chance to fight back, why should we have any regard for the lives of those who murdered them? I stated Senator McCain’s positions, and we went back and forth for some time on the issue of torture. He said, “I’m sorry I must be making your blood boil.”
I replied, “Oh no, that’s why we call.” He said that the rights granted by the Geneva Convention did not apply to these people. I said that Senator McCain agreed with that, but that he thought the definition of torture laid out in the Geneva Convention still held, and that he opposed torture as a human rights issue, but was not in favor of giving detainees all the rights accorded by the Geneva Convention. He again stated that he disagreed with granting detainees any rights; I said I understood, but that I’d hope he would consider that Senator McCain was the candidate best prepared to actually capture Osama Bin Laden upon entering office. He thought that was a good point, and we ended the phone call.
When I got off the phone I turned around, and John Lehman, the former Secretary of the Navy, was standing behind me. My thought was, ‘Boy, I sure hope I got that right.’ He and the fellow who ran the Portsmouth office both had big smiles on their faces, so I think I did okay.
A Good Call from An Independent Call