John McCain, the Arizona Senator and on-time Republican presidential nominee who distinguished himself as a political maverick in an era of increasing polarization and partisanship has died. Almost every news story announcing the death of Senator McCain used these words in some form or fashion. Then each article would continue with more details from their particular perspective about John McCain's life and career. Some go on to describe his military service to our country and his five years as a P.O.W. in Vietnam. Others describe his family life and point out his ups and downs as many of us have. Many describe his political career marking his successes as well as his short comings.
Everyone has given a critique of John McCain. I thought I would add mine.
He grew up Episcopal but attended the Baptist Church. One of the spokesmen for the family indicated that John had spent his last days examining his relationship with God--I believe he said "He prepared to meet his maker." Of course, everyone will have an opinion as to what that was or should have been. It indicates to me that John McCain was a man of faith. Being a man of faith did not make him perfect nor his political stances any righter than the next guy. It does say to me that he had a moral compass that he relied upon.
John's desire to serve his country, in my mind makes him a patriot. I do not care what political party a person is in...…. if they have served in our military, they have been in combat duty, and they have spent time in a prisoner of war camp they have my respect as a patriot. When a man cannot put on his own jacket or comb his own hair because of injuries he received being tortured at the hands of our enemies...he is a hero and a patriot.
But my favorite description of John McCain seems to be the most controversial--Maverick. Most of us like the idea of Tom Cruise playing "Maverick" in the movie Top Gun. The rebellious, over confident, fighter pilot, who pushed the edges is the idea of a maverick we like. However, a maverick who thinks, evaluates, stands on principle, and votes his conviction is often ridiculed and condemned and made to look unpatriotic. In my mind this made John McCain a man. I did not always agreed with him politically but I always respected his courage, independence and willingness sometimes stand against the status quo.
Our Country will miss the likes of John McCain. I am afraid we have so few mavericks left.
This is my story....