John McCain was a statesman. An honorable man in an age of dishonorable men, the six-term Senator’s life came to an end this afternoon in the presence of his family, Fox News is reporting.
It’s common to refer to persons who die from cancer as having “lost their battle” with the disease. This has always seemed an unfair phrase, at least to my ear. Those who endure to the end perhaps ought not be credited with a “defeat”. No one embodied such courageous endurance more than John McCain. Captured as a POW in Vietnam, McCain suffered frequent torture at the hands of the enemy; given the opportunity to be released early, the committed Naval pilot refused to leave before the rest of his countrymen. He would go on to spend over five years in captivity.
McCain was known as “The Maverick” in Republican politics for his tendency to buck Party politics and go his own way on numerous issues in the Senate. Often, this infuriated the GOP base; whether it was over campaign finance reform or immigration, Senator McCain had a knack for just going with his gut, to the consternation of his own side.
But let no one claim he lacked integrity. John McCain earned the respect of his colleagues on both sides of the aisle. Even if he wasn’t the darling of conservatives in 2008, he ultimately was given the trust and support of Republicans to face off against Barack Obama in the battle for the White House. Yes, his campaign fell short. But his nobility in carrying the mantle of leadership in that role did not. He ran, as in most all his endeavors, with honor.
In the context of his legacy as a wild card, McCain created no shortage of detractors on the Right. There will no doubt be harsh critics viciously decrying McCain’s track record and reputation in coming days. There will, on the other hand, be decent people.
Let it be known that on August 25th, 2018, Senator John McCain, an American patriot, did not lose his battle with cancer. He completed his tour, he came to the end of his endurance test of suffering, and finally, he was set free.