Like most of America, I grieve for the loss of Senator John McCain tonight, but at the same time I am filled with a sense of gratitude for his life and service and a sense of hope that out of his death some good will come. In these angry, troubled times, when we are so divided, he was a statesman par excellence. He reached across the aisle with respect for his opponents, never with petty name-calling. He truly, as President Obama has said, felt a higher calling and dedicated his life to his country, a remarkable example when we see all around us people putting party and self-interest above country.
My hope is that his death will make more Americans realize the significance of his life, the values for which he stood, the importance of the country he loved. It will be a week of pomp and circumstance, with formal ceremonies in Arizona, the body lying in state in the Rotunda in DC, and a large and public funeral on Saturday.
Some will be impatient with these ceremonies—God forbid they should interrupt sports schedules, bad enough they will interrupt regular programming, perhaps draw some off the golf course or tennis court. I for one will be watching as much as I can, and I hope many others will. We need this formality to impress on our minds the significance of the seismic change in our democracy.
I did not agree with John McCain on many things—war, abortion. I admired his health care votes until the end and can only assume he had good reason for that final vote, because he never ever took a senatorial decision lightly. In spite of our bedrock differences, I respected him, and I trusted that whatever decision he made came after study and reflection.
He was a good man. To borrow a phrase from a good friend, may he rest in peace and rise in glory
On the trivia side of this major event, did you read about the Utah senatorial candidate who proclaimed that McCain and/or his family timed the announcement of the end of medical treatment to undercut the debut of her campaign bus tour? Get over yourself, lady! How dare you? Just how dare you? She did blame the media more than the family, but that did little to blunt her words.
And on to the truly ridiculous that might be called, “Get a life.” I read tonight about an underwater chess tournament. Good gravy. Chess is difficult enough—why get soggy playing it?
Maybe we need the ridiculous to lighten our days.