Monday, August 27, 2018

Farewell to a True American

Senator John McCain


While I personally did not always agree with his politics, I do wholeheartedly agree with the strength, courage, honor, and sacrifice that Senator John McCain showed in all aspects of his life. 

His love of country and unyielding stoicism in the face of deprivation and torture while in captivity in the infamous "Hanoi Hilton", and later against the rising tide of American isolationism and base populism shows the full measure of his quality. 

Our country is a poorer place with his passing, and the very real dangers he fought against, both at home and abroad, remain. But what we should all take from the life of Senator John McCain is that no matter our failings, our missteps, we can, nae, must, get back up, admit to our failings, and strive always to be better than we were the day before.

Jeffery B. Harris

“We have made mistakes. We haven’t always used our power wisely. We have abused it sometimes and we’ve been arrogant. But, as often as not, we recognized those wrongs, debated them openly, and tried to do better. And the good we have done for humanity surpasses the damage caused by our errors. We have sought to make the world more stable and secure, not just our own society. We have advanced norms and rules of international relations that have benefited all. We have stood up to tyrants for mistreating their people even when they didn’t threaten us, not always, but often. We don’t steal other people’s wealth. We don’t take their land. We don’t build walls to freedom and opportunity. We tear them down. To fear the world we have organized and led for three-quarters of a century, to abandon the ideals we have advanced around the globe, to refuse the obligations of international leadership for the sake of some half-baked, spurious nationalism cooked up by people who would rather find scapegoats than solve problems is unpatriotic. American nationalism isn’t the same as in other countries. It isn’t nativist or imperial or xenophobic, or it shouldn’t be. Those attachments belong with other tired dogmas that Americans consigned to the ash heap of history. We live in a land made from ideals, not blood and soil. We are custodians of those ideals at home, and their champion abroad.”
― John McCain, The Restless Wave: Good Times, Just Causes, Great Fights, and Other Appreciations