Point Park Globe

John McCain’s legacy and lessons

Showing reverence in honor of an American war hero

Written By Jordan Hronec, Copy Editor

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The U.S. Senate has lost one of its most prominent names. Arizona senator John McCain passed away at 81 after a year-long battle with brain cancer. His death came just one day after it was announced that he had decided to stop medical treatment for his condition.

McCain was a huge figurehead for the Republicans, running against former president George W. Bush for the Republican nomination in 2000, and against former president Barack Obama (D) in the 2008 presidential election. Because of these races, McCain had become a house-hold name of sorts. But what the American people may not know is that McCain is largely considered to be a war hero.

However, it seems, the courage and valor demonstrated by McCain during the Vietnam War, the very war that current president, Donald Trump, dodged by way of bone spurs, is being dismissed at the hands of those who disagree with McCain’s politics.

If you recall, a statement came out of the White House from Kelly Stradler, special assistant to number 45, invalidating McCain on the account that he was irrelevant as he was “dying anyway.” And while an apology has since been issued for this statement, it definitely left a sour taste in mouths.

But the rift between McCain and the current White House administration runs deeper than that. McCain made it clear before his death that President Trump was not to attend his funeral, in any capacity. However, McCain requested that former presidents Bush and Obama, as well as former Vice President Joe Biden, give eulogies.

Many are looking at this as a testament to the late Senator’s values, and even see it as a beacon of hope that the two main political parties may learn to overcome their differences and work together for the greater good.

During McCain’s 2008 campaign against Obama, McCain famously shut down negative assumptions made about his opponent. It was a presidential election season in stark contrast to our most recent. McCain and Obama chose to duke it out over facts and their simply differing political platforms. The 2016 Trump vs. Hillary showdown saw no shortage of mud-slinging where the two went for blood and attacked each other’s character. It was this election that furthered the divide between parties, and it demonstrated that in the world of politics, things do get personal.

McCain was liked and looked up to by many people. In mourning him, the two parties are presented with an opportunity to remember McCain and to continue his legacy in the Senate.

However, the White House continues to obviously discredit McCain in delaying the lowering of the flag to half-mast in his honor, almost as if honoring an American war hero and senator is an afterthought to the Trump administration. Trump’s half-hearted “commemorative” tweet, especially in comparison to extremely heartfelt statements from Obama and McCain’s fellow senators, seems to confirm this sentiment.

But with or without Donald Trump, the United States government will and should move forward in mourning this loss, honoring Senator McCain’s heroic actions in the Vietnam War, and rebuilding the Senate, hopefully with Democrats and Republicans a bit closer to a future in which they can work together. It’s what Senator McCain would have wanted.

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