Senator John McCain President Donald Trump — The Saint And The Sinner

One thing that Senator McCain proved was that one need not be perfect in order to be a saint. Old John knew that he was not perfect, but he was never afraid to admit his failings, and for a human being that is about as close to sainthood as one gets. As for Donald Trump, we all know his reluctance to admit to being wrong about anything, even silly nothing things like crowd size.

A couple of decades ago I blistered John for turning hard right in one of his reelection campaigns, which of course in conservative Arizona was a requirement. But, still, McCain was what some would rightly characterize as a pragmatic idealist, something in him that I later came to admire.

They say that McCain started out his naval career as somewhat of a playboy aviator, but five years of torture in a North Vietnamese prison changed him — kicking out what might be viewed as the flimflam Trump within him. He became a serious, sincere man who put people and national ideals far above personal interests.

McCain admitted that on those occasions when he did things mostly for his own gain he would end up feeling bad, but when he went against the tide and did what he knew was best for the country, it usually worked out well for him in the end.

What really changed my view of Senator McCain happened when he ran for Presidency in 2008, and something for which he will always be remember for with great appreciation by our better angels.

It was when McCain shut down a supporter who pushed a racist conspiracy theory against Obama, who was then a Democratic senator from Illinois.

“I can’t trust Obama. I have read about him, and he’s not, um, he’s an Arab,” a woman said to McCain at a town hall meeting in Lakeville, Minnesota, in October 2008.

McCain then grabbed the microphone and cut the woman off.

“No, ma’m,” he said. “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].”

And as expected in these partisan rallies, McCain’s response was met by boos from some in the crowd.

In any event, a great American has passed into history, and we are currently stuck with an unreconstructed sinner in the White House. We can only hope that the ghost of Senator McCain and other great American patriots will be enough to carry us through these perilous times.

Jim Ridgway, Jr. military writer — author of the American Civil War classic, “Apprentice Killers: The War of Lincoln and Davis.” Christmas gift, yes!

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