Portrait of a Patriot – John McCain

Image result for John mccain half-staff

The stabilizing voice of American politics – in the age of extreme partisanship – has suddenly fallen silent.  We all knew that it was coming . . . but not sooner than later.  He informed the world that he was stopping medical treatment for his brain cancer on Friday.  And, shockingly, he died on Saturday.

As the flaming lifelong Liberal that I am, I disagreed with Senator McCain on a great many issues.  Most notably on Defense spending, and the War in Iraq, and the broader “War on Terror”.  But, I truly admired how he reached across the aisle, to get things done.  Clearly, he was an old school conservative, but he wasn’t all about the money, as are far too many in politics these days.  The McCain-Feingold Act was a game changer in campaign finance reform, at least until the Citizens United decision came down in 2010.  He had the nerve and resolve to speak out against torture and “enhanced interrogation”.  He called waterboarding what it is . . . torture.   He thought we should close Guantanamo Bay, and transfer the prisoners to Fort Leavenworth to expedite their legal proceedings.  He stood up to the religious right and called them “agents of intolerance”, and  denounced their tactics as “division and slander”.  He stood up to President Trump on more than one occasion, most notably against a bill to repeal the Affordable Care Act . . . without a replacement.

He did things, and voted, based on his conscience, and the belief that America should always set an example for the world.  He didn’t care if that meant rankling those in his own party.  He cared about his fellow Americans, and how the world perceives the United States of America.  He believed in that “shining city on the hill”, and that the US should always be a beacon unto the world.  As corny as it might sound, he had the old school values of the words to the intro of the  old television show “Superman”:  “Truth, Justice, and the American way!”

He often demonstrated that he had a fiery temper, but that just showed that he was a man of great passion.  He also had a great sense of humor, and he often used it to make fun of himself.  He refused to take the low road while campaigning, and was deferential and gracious in defeat.  Those traits made him more human than most politicians.  He was honest, and honorable, and noble.  He loved his country, and devoted his life in service of it. 

Proud:  son, Navy pilot, husband, father, and dedicated public servant.  He was all those things and more.  He was a true lion of the Senate, and he will be remembered as a legend of the legislature.  Our country is richer for having had his dedication to public service, but we’re now a little poorer for his passing.  He may have graduated near the bottom of his class at Annapolis, but he reached the pinnacle of respect among his peers and countrymen.

God speed, John McCain.


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7 Responses to “Portrait of a Patriot – John McCain”

  1. 1 K@countingpenniesandsheep August 26, 2018 at 6:30 pm

    What a fabulous tribute! Bravo!

    He will be missed! ❤️

  2. 2 Colltales August 26, 2018 at 6:38 pm

    Quite moving and truthful, YUR. I couldn’t have expressed it better, specially the part about disagreeing with him, or finding it hard to consider his stature as a person and the bills that he didn’t support as a congressman. Still he’s done more good than most of all his colleagues. American democracy – and I can’t believe that I’m already preparing myself to refer to into such restrictive terms – will miss him, and so will millions, and at least two generations of Veterans who were inspired by him to serve, no matter what. In fact, that’s what he wanted on his tombstone and I hope his wishes are respected: ‘He serve his country.’ Best

  3. 3 Lorelai Kilmore August 26, 2018 at 6:41 pm

    Very well written. While I, myself, am a blue state, I can honestly say they don’t make patriots or gentlemen much like that anymore. Thanks for posting, Yur.

  4. 4 paulj541 August 26, 2018 at 7:31 pm

    God speed, Songbird, God speed.

  5. 5 unclerave August 27, 2018 at 11:01 am

    Thanks, guys. Glad you all approve. John McCain was someone you could disagree with, without having to be disagreeable. He had – what today has become the rare combination of – humility, honesty and a real sense of honor.

    — YUR

  6. 6 lwc August 28, 2018 at 7:38 pm

    Big shoes to fill !

    If we’re lucky, another dedicated public servant will step forward and try on those shoes.

  7. 7 unclerave August 29, 2018 at 9:25 am

    Excellent, lwc! — YUR

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