Sunday, August 26, 2018
With the passing of John McCain, the Senate loses the last of its long term members who believed in treating everyone with dignity. He believed in including members of both parties in decision making, voting on principle not partisanship. One of his best friends in the Senate was Joseph Lieberman, an independent and former democrat. He and Vice-President Biden were known to spar politically but also maintain a strong friendship. Senator McCain reached across party lines to work on immigration legislation with the late Senator Ted Kennedy. He cast the deciding vote to preserve the Affordable Care Act. Perhaps his own illness and his acknowledged high quality care influenced his vote and empathy for those who can not afford care without assistance. In addition, Senator McCain opposed the transgender military ban and supported other LGBT rights.
There is no question that Senator McCain loved the United States and was despairing of the current climate of divisiveness.
Having suffered in a POW camp for five and a half years, Senator McCain experienced the worst of torture and knew first hand the seriousness of human rights violations.
Not without his flaws, Senator McCain was known for his flash temper. But he was well loved and known also for his humor, literacy and literary references.
Congress has lost its conscious as well its last effective influence of civility. The hope for cooperation and respect now passes to those who will soon be newly elected as those currently in Congress seem unable to overcome the entrenched hostility.