“No ma’am. He’s a decent family man, a citizen that I just happen to have disagreements with on fundamental issues, and that’s what this campaign is all about.”
“I admire Senator Obama and his accomplishment,. I will respect him. I want everyone to be respectful, and let’s make sure we are. Because that’s the way politics should be conducted in America.”
Senator John McCain
Recently, I watched the HBO documentary “John McCain: For Whom the Bell Tolls.” I wasn’t going to watch it, but I was folding clothes and needed something on which to zone out.
The thing is: I forgot. I forgot who John McCain was. He brought Sarah Palin onto the national stage, and erased my memory of the good he had done.
See, Senator McCain was responding to a woman, a supporter of his, who stood and said Senator Barack Obama was an Arab, that she didn’t trust him. The quote above is how Senator McCain responded.
The woman gave us a glimpse of what many wanted to do with this country. Spew hatred towards those who were different than they were. It was a peek into the future we had no idea was coming. She showed us that some were willing to absorb the lies and hatred, perhaps out of fear of change.
Then, the change came.
Barack Obama swept into the White House and did everything he promised… or at least he tried. He was severely blocked by Congress, but he still did as much as he could to relieve us of what could have been another depression, make sure people got their basic health needs covered, and supported any underserved community, including the LGBTQ community.
While all this was being done, no family scandal or drama surfaced. By all accounts, the Obamas are a dedicated group… to each other. The love can be seen and felt, for sure.
Yet, that misinformed woman and all like her continued to be fed buffets of lies about President Obama. I read comments on social media that brought tears to my eyes because they were rooted in such anger and hatred, not fact.
So, 10 years later, we find ourselves asking… how did we get here?
I wrote everything above here a few weeks ago. I only had a little idea that I was writing this during a time when our political Maverick was going to pass and leave our world.
I don’t have any answers in this blog post, but I do have hope.
My hope is that John McCain’s death will serve us in the same way his life did.
My hope that, as we listen to his past political opponents praise and honor him, we see what we can be.
My hope is that the quote that started out this post will play, and someone who is putting party above country will reconsider that stand.
We lost one of the last true independent thinkers who understood what this country is and should be.
My hope is that we can honor him in the best way possible: By standing up for America, respecting our opponents when they deserve it, and loving each other.
Rest in Peace, Maverick. Thank you for everything you gave to our country.