Sad news to report. After a 13-year fight with brain cancer, Arizona Senator John McCain passed away at 81 years old on Saturday, August 25. Reportedly, he was at his Sedona, Arizona home and surrounded by family.
Although there were many things to disagree with McCain on, arguably his most iconic moment was during the 2008 presidential campaign against Barack Obama. At a rally in Lakeville, Minnesota, a woman accused Obama of being an “Arab.” McCain grabbed the microphone, cut the woman off and famously said, “No, ma’m, He’s a decent family man [and] citizen that just I just happen to have disagreements with on fundamental issues, and that’s what the campaign’s all about. He’s not [an Arab].”
This moment from John McCain will go down in political history for all of the right right reasons. Unfortunately, this type of class and grace is nonexistent today. Instead, we have Republicans who uphold, defend or dismiss clear racism from President Donald Trump.
Speaking of Trump, while he was dodging the draft and refusing to serve his country during the war in Vietnam, McCain was a prisoner of war from 1967 to 1973. He endured severe torture and isolation, but always refused to sign propaganda statements, which his captors demanded.
See the famous footage below from 1967.
Upon his return to the U.S., McCain was active in politics. However, in 1983, he disappointed many when he opposed a federal holiday for Martin Luther King Jr. In 2008, McCain said about opposing the holiday, “I was wrong and eventually realized that, in time to give full support [in 1990] for a state holiday in Arizona.”
In 1986, he was elected Arizona State Senator. In 2000, he ran for president, but failed to grab the Republican nomination. In 2008 McCain was the Republican nominee, but lost to President Barack Obama.
Over the past three years, McCain has been attacked by Trump. In July of 2015, McCain disgustingly said, “He’s not a war hero. He’s a war hero because he was captured. I like people that weren’t captured.” Nonetheless, McCain never backed down from Trump. He was consistently critical of 45 and as recent as last month, when Trump met with Putin, McCain called the meeting “one of the most disgraceful performances by an American president in memory” and “a tragic mistake.” He also said the damage from by Trump’s “naiveté, egotism, false equivalence, and sympathy for autocrats is difficult to calculate.”
Again, we can disagree with John McCain’s politics, but there is no doubt he cared more about his country than partisan politics.
Condolences to John McCain friends, family and supporters.