11/21/2008 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

What Happened to John McCain?

Dear Senator McCain,

Let me begin by introducing myself. My name is Peri. I am a 50 year old, middle class white woman from a small town in NC. I know, my name is strange for a woman, but I promise you I have documentation of my lineage that would qualify me for membership in the DAR, (the Daughters of the American Revolution,) and also the UDC, (the United Daughters of the Confederacy), just to tell you how far back my North Carolina roots go.

Now that we have introductions out of the way, I have an important question for you.

Let me start with what I do not want to know. I do not want to know how you're going to solve the troubles in the Middle East, fix the economy, or make sure that every American has basic affordable healthcare. I do not need to hear your plans for addressing our dependence on fossil fuels or their impact on the environment. I do not really even care whether you are going to raise my taxes or not. Personally I wish you'd raise taxes if my paying more would mean that babies with Down Syndrome, like Governor Palin's precious little Trig or the children challenged with autism mentioned during the debate, would have the healthcare and support they need to have lives worth living.

No, what I want to know is this: What happened to the Senator McCain I heard in Spartanburg 8 years ago? The one who so inspired me with his vision and "straight talk".

That Senator McCain talked about how Washington was broken, how we needed to take government away from the special interests and give it back to the people, he talked about the need for our government to be not only effective but also moral. He warned of the threat of a pervasive public cynicism that was debilitating our democracy because the people had come to see government as so corrupt that it could no longer serve our needs. That Senator McCain blamed the cynicism on poll-driven policies, phony posturing, damage control substituted for progress and the lies euphemistically called "spin", tactics that your campaign now wholeheartedly embraces.

My friend, I am no one special, I do not write journalistic essays or give inspirational speeches. I am just Peri the American and I love this country and the people in it -- just like, 8 years ago, I believed you did, too. Because of that I want to ask you to do me one incredible favor, I want you to stop, take the time to listen to your vicious fear inspiring robocalls that have been filling our homes and terrifying our children, watch your negative and deceitful television advertising, and read your hateful and divisive flyers and pamphlets. Then pay close attention to the violent, intolerant responses of those who attend your rallies and remember these words of the greatest Republican who ever led this nation:

"A house divided against itself cannot stand."

The Senator John McCain that I saw those years ago, would have never allowed his desire for power to so corrupt him that he would believe any of this was justifiable or honorable. That Senator McCain would not allow a campaign under his control to tear America apart by race, religion, or creed. America expects and deserves much better from you.