John McCain, A Rare American Republican (#71)
Senator John McCain, an authentic American war hero, a man of great courage, strength and integrity, a life-long bipartisan public servant, a rare politician with character, and conscience, died on August 25th, 2018 after battling a rare case of aggressive brain cancer, a few days before his birthdate of August 29th, he was 81 years of age.
The son and grandson of Navy Admirals, John McCain followed in the family tradition and became a distinguished navy pilot, receiving numerous medals during his naval career, but became most noted for his imprisonment in North Vietnam when he suffered grievous wounds from his plane being shot down, was captured and was additional wounded by his captors, and tortured daily for 5 long years.
While imprisoned and brutally tortured, John McCain refused any preferential treatments as an Admiral’s son, knowing it would be used for propaganda purposes by the North Vietnamese. His strength, extraordinary courage under years of extreme torture, and refusal to be used as a propaganda tool for personal concessions, made him a National War Hero with bon-a-fide credentials. John McCain earned every bit of respect and affection he is being showered with now by the American people, and his admirers around the World.
As in his early life, John McCain was a lifelong rebel who flouted rules and regulations, pushed the envelope, whether in the Naval Academy or flying his planes and refused to toe the line.
This streak of rebelliousness and fierce independence that he carried through in his public life as a long serving Republican U.S. Senator, earned him the reputation of being a ‘Maverick’ as he was not afraid to cross Party lines to vote his conviction and his principals against his own Republican Party’s interest. He was also not afraid to speak his mind against the powers that be, whether in politics, or against the financial power of Wall Street, to which the Republican Party is traditionally beholden.
That characteristic of John McCain earned him the ire of his fellow Republican Senators and the titans of Wall Street, more than a few times.
But his refusal to initially endorse Donald Trump as the Presidential candidate for the Republican Party, considering him unsuitable, and later to kowtow to him and the Republican lawmakers, in what he considered to be damaging policies for the ordinary Americans, such as the wholesale scrapping of the healthcare program known as ObamaCare, is where he earned their bitterest condemnation and the eternally enmity of President Trump.
But in being the politician who was willing to go against the sole considerations of politics to vote his conscience along bipartisan lines, for the benefit of the American people, and the Country as a whole, rather than partisan agendas, is where he always earned his respect and admiration nationally and internationally.
Donald Trump in his usual shameful style, went really low when John McCain opposed him, and in doing so, earned his eternal vindictive displeasure. Trump stated publicly that John McCain was no hero because he was captured. He went on to say that he considered those people heroes who weren’t captured. It was quintessential Trump in all his despicable hypocrisy. As the World knows, Trump repeatedly dodged the ‘Draft’ and thus the possibility of having to go and fight for America in Vietnam, where John McCain earned his rightful claim to eternal admiration for his extraordinary courage and grit in the face of horrific torture.
Trump the sham, certifiably cowardly arm chair warrior, who loves the idea of glorious war and merciless torture inflicted upon ‘enemies’, by others, as long as he stays out of harm’s way, as he has proven all his miserable life with excuses of foot ‘bone spurs’ to dodge being drafted, is not fit to lick the boots of a top-flight front-line warrior like the indomitable John McCain.
John McCain was a highly decorated warrior - the recipient of - the Silver Star, two Legions of Merit, Distinguished Flying Cross, three Bronze Star Medals, two Purple Hearts, two Navy and Marine Corps. Commendation Medals, and Prisoner of War Medal. He will be forever admired, respected and missed for being a truly great man. May he rest in eternal peace - well earned.