The Shakespearean and enigmatic words, "The ground noise and the static" will live out their days in infamy. They will almost certainly become the title of a book, or a movie, and they may very well echo throughout Barack Obama's historic campaign to the White House.
"The ground noise and the static." The words convey an almost mystical subterranean force, a whir of supernatural activity amidst, perhaps, darkness and the dew drops and cowslips of the forest in "A Midsummer's Night Dream."
"The ground noise and the static," is a phrase that conveys mysticism, but the words also evoke an attractive and centrally American theme because in them we see our humble selves. We remember the American ideals of freedom and equality, a common struggle for greatness, a melting pot of languages and cultures and creative minds. McCain's words are quite nearly the briefest summary of all of humankind's activities, from the dawn of history until today. A swarming horde of humanity covering the earth, beneath God.
In them we are reminded of the clattering streets of Philadelphia on market days circa 1776, the factory workers of the industrial revolution, the stevedores and Irish immigrants bustling along the ports of New York City at the turn of the century, the Civil Rights movement of the 1960s.
The words are poetic brilliance, but John McCain will never be able to claim them or use them again.
For those of us who watched Senator John McCain speak them on September 4, at the Republican National Convention, we will never forget the dismissive and elitist undertones of his statement.
We will not forget McCain's gloating haughtiness as he said, "Friends, my dear friends, please, please don't be diverted by the ground noise and the static." As McCain said, "and the static," his eyebrows lifted and a grin spread across his face. He proceeded to out-evil Dr. Evil as he laughed at his own joke (compare the clips. It's frightening).
This is a man comfortable in country club surroundings, raising a toast to his fellow billionaires. "Please don't be diverted by the ground noise and the static," McCain sneered down his nose as security led the common rabble out of the convention center. The handful of protestors at the RNC were the catalyst for his infamous words, but millions upon millions of Americans heard John McCain slight them--the ground noise and the static.
Americans heard John McCain tell his billionaire friends not to be diverted by common Americans; not to be diverted by an Iraq War veteran, Adam Kokesh, who fought in Fallujah during one of the most hellish battles of the American occupation. They heard him shed the campaign persona and reveal just how little he cared for their opinions.
So presses John McCain, onward to defeat. From every corner of this country, this morning, American supporters of Barack Obama are lifting their heads higher, a growing confidence in every breast.
Victory is before us. Look no farther for proof than the growing list of conservatives defecting from Senator John McCain: Orin Hatch, Bill O'Reilly, Peggy Noonan, Mike Murphy, Ed Koch (conservative in practice), Charles Barkley, Rupert Murdoch and on and on.... You know Murdoch can't get it wrong.
McCain cannot even count on the support of many of his own Republican colleagues because they have too often been on the receiving end of his explosive temper. I suspect that Hatch, O'Reilly and Murdoch see something of themselves in Barack Obama. They certainly respect him. They likely want history to be made by a self-made man, a living fable and not by a woman with nothing to show for her rise to fame and a loose cannon, angry, 72-year-old.
I wonder how long it will be before someone clues in Sean Hannity and Rush Limbaugh. These guys will not want to look like they lost this election. They will not want to look like they did everything they could and, guess what? they don't have as much power as they thought they did. They sure sound lonely these days.
When this election is over. When we, as a country, reflect on all that was and what can now be, we will, for a moment, remember what it means to be united and victorious in the face of adversity. We will remember the national struggle for greatness as we recognize the accomplishments of the individual. We will know that strength of character, integrity and virtue is still the greatest American resource, and it can be found in many places out there, somewhere, amongst the ground noise and the static.