11/27/2008 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

What Is a Maverick Anyway?

After many months of hearing the term "Maverick" I asked myself, "what does it really mean? I went to my own dictionary and looked up the meaning. According to Webster's Dictionary it means "unbranded calf." Apparently, Sam Maverick in 1870 was the first to not brand his calves. My next question was "what is John McCain's meaning?" Could he be meaning someone who goes out against the pack? Well, in this case, it didn't work.

I asked some of my friends what they thought "Maverick" might mean, and Carrie told me that it is "someone who splits from the herd, or does his own thing." Her friend, Kim says "it could mean something from his naval days." Most of my friends concur. I wonder if they are right. I started thinking of everything that I have read about John McCain, and I think that my friends have a lot of good points.

I did some research on his naval days and realize that he wasn't "Maverick" when his plane was shot down over Hanoi. A friend who flew in the Air Force in Vietnam told me "when the air raid signal rings, you have 15 seconds to close down the aircraft and eject from the plane." Why did McCain keep on flying? Why did he go into enemy territory? Was it stupidity, or a "false sense of bravery?" I don't know, and I don't think that anyone will really ever know.

When McCain's captors realized who he was, they offered him a chance to leave. McCain turned them down. Was this "Maverick? or a false sense of bravery?" Why did he stay, when he could have been freed? Why did he take these risks? I suppose he was following his mandates. So even that is not "Maverick" in my book. According to what I read, McCain says he would do it again. I guess that he didn't learn his lessons very well. He graduated the bottom 10% of his class. It is wonderful to have pull, but it is not necessarily a great advantage. He was given the chance to fly airplanes, even though he crashed five along the way. Is this stupidity or "maverick?"

Later in life, after he decided on politics as a future, all of these questions are still unanswered. Fast forward 26 years, and now we have John McCain, politician. I wondered if these experiences in Vietnam have taught him some good lessons to be an effective politician. John McCain never tries to be one of the pack, and I don't think that he has been very successful. McCain seems to find "buzz words" and repeats them over and over - almost as if he is wondering if these words will stick. One such word is "earmarks." He has consistently told Arizonans that he will not accept any earmarks for Arizona. That has really hurt this state. The schools are at the bottom of the barrel in funding, and many of the text books are out of date. There are many roads that have not been paved due to funding and we have very few niceties due to his strong stance. Yes, that might be "Maverick," but that is not helping Arizona.

When John McCain told us that he decided to run for office, I thought "oh no, not again." I said McCain won't help this country, in fact, he will hurt this country, and he will be another term for Bush. He won't put "country first." He only wants to sit in the White House to add another notch to his already filled belt. He has gone all over the country on attack of Barack Obama and poked fun at Obama's ideas. Yet, he hasn't had any real ideas of his own. He often takes ideas of Obama and uses them as his own. "Change" sounds good even to him, yet he scoffed at it many times. Is that really "Maverick?" Perhaps in McCain's mind it is, but I don't think so. He has not had an original thought during this entire run. Take it from an Arizonan, he hasn't done much for Arizona. I have asked people who have lived in Arizona longer than I have lived my entire life, and they tell me that McCain has done nothing for Arizonan's.

As much as John McCain tries, he is still compared to George Bush. He voted with Bush 90% of the time. He agrees with Bush most of the time and stands united with the Republicans. What is "Maverick" about this? No matter what the issue is, he might say "no", but he eventually goes along with it. That's no "Maverick" in my mind.

When Obama picked Biden, I was pleased and I suspected that McCain was going to pick a woman. He did, Sarah Palin, the wolf shooting, hockey mom. At first look, I thought that her demeanor was good, and I thought that "this might be good," but it turned out to be the "mistake of the campaign." Her extremist rhetoric, and fundamentalist belif's would hurt this country more than it would help. Palin has tried to incite people to hate Obama and shout racist things. She claims to be "Maverick", and I don't believe that this is "Maverick." I don't think that buying $150,000 in clothing is "Maverick" either. Are they really going to donate this clothing to charity or are they just saying that? I always wondered, why would an Alaskan wear such high heels, wouldn't she be afraid of slipping on the snowy streets?

Of all of the capable women McCain could have chosen, he picked an unknown, attractive lady with little experience. The Republicans acted as if they were pleased, but in reality, there was strong dissension and it showed up almost immediately. If McCain was truly working with the Republicans, why are so many fleeing the "sinking ship?" Is this the "Maverick" that McCain purports to be? There is no unity in the party and I think the spirit that McCain has followed has really hurt his party. There is no "Maverick" here. Perhaps, McCain will ride off into the sunset and live in one of his 8 homes, as Arizona doesn't need a "Maverick" like McCain helping us.