"Farewell, fellow Americans. God bless you, and God bless America."
—-John McCain (last words to his fellow Americans)
The death of John McCain was not a surprise to any of us. Glioblastoma is an aggressive brain tumor with a dismal survival rate. Though he fought it in the same manner that he fought all of his battles, this one was just a little stronger. I am sure that the loss his family feels is beyond words, but perhaps they can take comfort in the fact that as always, he is bringing people together rather than accentuating their differences.
Although I never voted for him, I admired him greatly through the years. Indeed if he had picked a different running mate, I might have been swayed in his direction in 2008. His beliefs didn’t always jive with mine, but I never doubted his commitment to America and her people, and that is what makes him a hero in my estimation.
He could not help being captured many years ago, but he did have a choice to make when he was offered freedom. He chose to remain and support his men, and few would have made that heroic choice. In the years that followed, he chose to devote his life to the betterment of our country. While a republican by choice, John McCain continued to put his country and his fellow Americans ahead of his party. When others wouldn’t, he crossed political lines and worked with democrats to pass legislation that he felt was advantageous to all.
On July 28, 2017, John McCain went against party politics once again, and voted against a “skinny repeal” of the Affordable Care Act. It proved to be a deciding vote and earned him many enemies in his party, but for a man who always stuck to his principles, there was no other choice. He could not take insurance away from so many of his fellow Americans without offering them a clear alternative, and as ill as he was, he heroically took on the President rather than vote against his beliefs. That, my friends, is my definition of heroic.
I smiled the other day, when I realized that even in death he is trying to set the right example. He asked the two people who ended his run for the Presidency to give the speeches at his funeral. One is a Democrat and one is a Republican. One is white and one is black. Both spent their time in the Presidency putting their country ahead of all. Both were moral men, respected and respectful of the position they were given. John McCain knew exactly what he was doing when he asked Barack Obama and George W. Bush to speak at his funeral.
Our current President has made some mistakes. He was thrust into this position by a country tired of business as usual. Many people believed that we needed a leader who was not a politician, and in theory that made some sense. In actuality however, without the diplomacy that political experience encourages and the knowledge that is built into a political leader, it would be impossible for anyone to run a country the size of Monaco, let alone one such as the USA.
It might have worked though, if the likes of Ryan and McConnell were as heroic as McCain and put our country ahead of their party and their own needs. If they joined with democrats and faced Donald Trump straight on, they could have prevented some of the scary situations that we find ourselves in today. The fact that Russia’s interference might have worked in their favor so far, doesn’t ease the horror of us all being manipulated by a foreign power, and the fact that some people don’t believe in global warming doesn’t change the fact that allowing waste to fill our oceans and skies will lessen the quality of life that our children/grandchildren might enjoy.
Compromise has always been the cornerstone of our democracy. McCain knew that, and most of our Presidents knew that. No person or political party can have exactly what they want at all times, but like in the most successful marriages, if both sides give in a little and consider the needs of the other side, the results can be quite positive. The person or party in the stronger position, the Republicans at this time, has the choice of running as far as they can with the ball without giving thought to those they are trampling on, or joining hands with the competition and building a stronger foundation for the country we all love. May John McCain’s example guide them in the right way one last time.
The book I read/reviewed this week, The Other Woman: A Novel by Sandie Jones, certainly highlights competition. It is the story of two women fighting over one man. In this case, Adam is being torn between Emily, his girlfriend, and Pammie, his mother. Pammie is a force to be reckoned with, and the twists and turns in this novel will keep you turning until the last page.
As always, a complete review of this book follows my blog.