By now, you know Arizona Senator John S. McCain III lost his battle with cancer yesterday afternoon. He wasn't my senator and I am the last person anyone would even think of when the word Republican is mentioned, but his death hit me very hard. Harder than I thought it would.
We've all known for some time he was fighting an uphill battle and yet, when word came down Friday that he'd stopped treatment, it was still a shock when my husband told me last night, "John McCain died."
Politically speaking, I was McCain's polar opposite--a proud liberal who despises war and tax cuts for corporations, who hated seeing Obamacare gutted instead of seeing the parts that didn't work fixed. And yet, I respected McCain. He was a true patriot--a POW during Vietnam who lived with the reminders of his captivity and torture for the remainder of his life. Unlike the disgrace who currently occupies the White House, McCain didn't ask for deferments. He served his country for almost sixty years.
In 2008, when he ran for president, I was thisclose to voting for him, and I have never cast a vote for a Republican presidential candidate. But then, he chose the Talking Turnip from Alaska and I couldn't, in good conscience, vote for him after that. The thought of someone as stupid as Sarah Palin occupying the Oval Office chilled my blood. So, I voted for the man I felt was too young and too inexperienced. I don't regret that vote. Not one bit. But I do think McCain would have made a good president.
This one moment of the 2008 campaign is forever embedded in my mind:
In these days, when the occupant of the Oval Office seems to have difficulty with acting like an adult, never mind acting presidential, McCain reminds me of a time when civility still existed. He is the last of a dying breed--an honorable Republican--and our country is worse off for that.
Godspeed, Senator McCain, and thank you for your service. This country will miss you more than you could ever know.