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Remembering John McCain, an American hero

by Bridgette Babb - Copy Editor
Tue, Sep 4th 2018 11:00 pm

A hush fell over the nation on Saturday Aug. 25, as news spread of Senator John S. McCain’s death. While many individuals mourn the loss of the late senator, others start to realize the many things that made him a controversial figure.

Now, the history and politic buffs most likely know all about McCain’s life. On the contrary, a lot of college students only know he lost to former president Barack Obama, during the 2008 United States presidential election. The question then stands: why is McCain’s death being talked about this much, and why should we care?

Coming from a military family, the main motto at the McCain house was about service to others. McCain was captured by the Vietnamese during the Vietnam war and he showed exemplary resilience by not giving up his fellow comrades. Even with the status of having a high ranking naval father, he chose not to use the easy way out of the service. While rumors surfaced that he signed a confession with the Vietnamese to be released after five years, he is a prisoner of war in the public’s eye. Hearing him divulge into the torture he endured in the camp gained him widespread respect.

McCain turned his sites to politics a few years after returning from war, and became senator in 1986. While he was a decent senator, he was not taken as serious in the 2000 election against George W. Bush. Bush seemed to be the real shoe-in and McCain did not really stand a chance. He fought hard, however, his biggest campaigning highlight was the “Straight Talk Express.” Whatever reporters wanted to discuss, McCain was all for talking about it, which shows how he genuinley cared about the people’s voice. 

Although he lost the election, he campaigned for Bush the second go around, against Senator John Kerry. Bush winning that election gained McCain serious points against the republicans who did not like him. McCain was always someone in politics to speak his mind on issues, whether it be the popular opinion or not. 

He had a way about him that even made the people he ran against long term friends in the end. Kerry writes on twitter “I love @SenJohnMcCain. Unbeatable, unbreakable. He’s Teddy Roosevelt’s “man in the arena” even when we’re on opposite sides. God bless.” 

Politics aside, he was a man that made people feel safe, and did not let all his failed attempts at being president hold him back from building longlasting friendships.

On the topic of friendships, there was one person McCain definitely disliked, and I think many of us share the same views. President Trump was definitely on the top of McCain’s enemy list. 

According to The Times article “How McCain Got The Last Word Against Trump,” journalists Michael Shear and Katie Rodgers relay the rift between the two parties have been going on for quite some time now. Trump has never been the type to be shy about mocking people on his twitter account, and McCain was just another victim. 

Trump’s unpopular opinion about him did not seem to bother McCain. During a "60 minutes" interview, Trump talked about how McCain being captured did not make him a war hero. Still, he backed Trump’s presidential run until he started talking about assaulting women and the famous “grab her by the pu**y” comment. At that point he cut all ties. McCain stated, "..with the disclosure of his demeaning comments about women, make it impossible to continue to offer even conditional support for his candidacy."

One would think that the senator’s death would put this to rest, but that is not the case. Trump Tweeted "The very foul mouthed senator John McCain begged for my support during his primary, then dropped me over locker  room remarks." 

McCain was diagnosed in 2017 with glioblastoma, which is a type of brain cancer. With an illness as aggressive as that, anyone would understand why he decided to leave the public eye and fight the disease. He received treatment for over a year, but that came to a halt on Aug. 24. The cancer moved fast after the treatment ended, and the next day he was pronounced dead.

McCain had more of an interesting life than even I knew, and in my opinion, he deserves all the recognition he has been receiving. He served his country and created an impact in an array of lives. 

 

bbabb1@brockport.edu

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