Saying Goodbye To John McCain
To those that know me, it is no secret that I am progressive in my political views, but what might surprise some is the respect I have had over the years for Senator John McCain. It comes partly from growing up around a family that was mostly what I call old-school Republican, which is different from what we see in the current Republican Party. John McCain was part of that generation of Republicans, and he tended to be progressive in his views even while being a conservative.
He understood the need to modify laws as times changed and to compromise with Democrats to produce legislation that gave the American people what was needed to benefit them as well as maintain balance in all areas of government. He also understood that sometimes you have to go against the immediate wishes of the people to give them something they will eventually see as good for them while not taking away their hope and dignity.
His loyalty was, first and foremost, to the American people above even his political party, which left him clashing with fellow Republicans at times as well as earning him the reputation of being a maverick. He was a senator not to forward an agenda, but to serve his fellow Americans. His life was about duty, honor, and service to his country.
He wasn’t perfect, as he had admitted, but no one is. After all, that is part of what it is to be human, and all we can do is do the best we can. In his final words, McCain even said he hoped his mistakes were outweighed by the other things he had done in his life.
Senator McCain knew he wasn’t going to survive his bout with brain cancer and planned his funeral with a final jab at both Vladimir Putin and President Trump, as he selected Vladimir Kara-Mirza, a forceful opponent of Vladimir Putin’s policies, to be a pallbearer at his funeral. McCain chose to have his view of his country and service on display at his funeral for all to see. He even went so far as to box out President Trump, as he invited the previous two Presidents to attend his funeral and give eulogies, along with former Vice President Joe Biden.
President Trump, meanwhile, seems to think it is ok to have a campaign rally during all of this before going to Camp David. However, it does not take away from Senator McCain’s legacy of duty and service and being a maverick in speaking out for what he thought was right even if it went against his own political party’s wishes.
The capital is much darker for the loss of Senator McCain.