Stratfor, a private U.S. intelligence company with high-power clients around the globe, disclosed that Sen. John McCain was aware of significant voter fraud during the 2008 presidential campaign.

Despite having had evidence that the Democrats had allegedly stuffed ballot boxes in Ohio and Pennsylvania on election night, McCain chose not to pursue charges against the Obama campaign. In essence, he handed the presidency to his opponent without putting up a fight.

McCain's behavior seems in stark contrast to his impressive record of heroism as a Naval aviator. Shot down over enemy territory during the Vietnam conflict, he was held captive in Hoa Lo prison for five years and endured regular beatings. McCain beat the odds. He survived the torture without the obvious psychological damage incurred by many similarly traumatized veterans. He appears to have had, by apparent objective evidence, a successful life.

His timidity during the 2008 presidential campaign, his obvious lack of judgment in the choice of Sarah Palin as a running mate, and his flawed campaign strategy seem to be a striking paradox in a man trained in professional warfare. Is there some way to understand such contradictions?

Gentlemen eschew un-gentlemanly behavior, insisting on playing by the Marquess of Queensberry Rules even as their opponents defeat them in bloody fights. Unlike blue-collar families, the affluent send their sons to private schools where they are educated not to be rowdy hooligans. Instead of being encouraged to defend themselves in a street fight, they are admonished against lowering themselves by such undignified behavior.

Is it really better to be knifed or gunned down and die a gentleman? The country club GOP crowd seems to think it is!

In this culture, self-defense is viewed as a character flaw, not survival protocol. Instead of a virile young warrior, the Republican inner circle elite anoint a 71-year-old, tired man as a candidate. They do it twice — Sen. Bob Dole was first — for good measure. As a consequence, two presidential elections are lost before the first vote is even cast!

Why choose obvious losers? Even if McCain had been much younger, he would have been a poor choice.

His congressional and academic records were undistinguished. He always seeks to oppose or compromise, not stand and fight.

How do we make sense out of McCain's steadfast refusal to take up arms and challenge Obama's 20-year apprenticeship at Jeremiah Wright's church, his close friendships with radical activist Bill Ayers, or the still smoldering questions about the matter of his eligibility for the presidency itself? McCain refused to address these issues and fired a senior adviser who did.

How do we explain the choice of a loser and the chosen one's losing choice? An esteemed colleague aptly described it as self-sacrifice.

It is a Christian virtue immortalized in the martyrdom of Jesus Christ himself, of many Catholic saints as well as saintly souls like Joan of Arc and untold numbers of missionaries in god-forsaken parts of the globe. It is exemplified in such homilies as it is better to give than to receive. A 4-year-old would instantly spot the weakness in the argument and be wise to ask, "Who says?" Amen to that!

It is not only unwise to keep giving and giving, it is fatal, as we are witnessing in our own culture. We have been raised to be nice, kind, charitable and unselfish.

Our Judeo-Christian faiths instruct us to tithe and instill guilt if we do not. The question of the personal cost to our families is moot. Whether we can afford such largesse is often irrelevant. We tithe to avoid the sometimes public shame we would feel if we refused.

It is said that the neurosis of the leader or founder becomes part of his institution or religion. Christ's martyrdom is the ultimate self-sacrifice. By his act, psychological victimhood has been institutionalized as well as glorified in Christianity.

Would it not have been better if Christ smote Judas before he committed the act of betrayal? The history of Western civilization would have been very different if he had.

There is no virtue in picking losers and getting defeated, in allowing our country to be invaded and parasitized, in allowing our values and institutions to be destroyed and in giving away everything we fought and died to build and create for the past 250 years. Our beloved America is very much a Christian country, despite Obama's pronouncement that it is not.

We have, therefore, inherent in our national psychology the fatal flaw in the New Testament of turning the other cheek. We are witnessing self-sacrifice on a national scale that needs to be reversed, lest it prove as fatal to us as to our Lord and savior.

Let us pray history does not repeat itself. We cannot afford it.

R. Claire Friend