Senator John McCain died last Saturday, August 25th. I already wrote a tribute, sans politics, but today I let other voices speak of their thoughts on Senator McCain. Every former living president offered a tribute …
“Few of us have been tested the way John once was, or required to show the kind of courage that he did. But all of us can aspire to the courage to put the greater good above our own. At John’s best, he showed us what that means.” – President Barack Obama, 25 August 2018
“Some lives are so vivid, it is difficult to imagine them ended. Some voices are so vibrant, it is hard to think of them stilled. John McCain was a man of deep conviction and a patriot of the highest order.” – President George W. Bush, 25 August 2018
“Senator John McCain believed that every citizen has a responsibility to make something of the freedoms given by our Constitution, and from his heroic service in the Navy to his 35 years in Congress, he lived by his creed every day. He frequently put partisanship aside to do what he thought was best for the country, and was never afraid to break the mold if it was the right thing to do. I will always be especially grateful for his leadership in our successful efforts to normalize relations with Vietnam.” – President Bill Clinton & Secretary Hillary Clinton, 25 August 2018
“John McCain was a patriot of the highest order, a public servant of the rarest courage. Few sacrificed more for, or contributed more to, the welfare of his fellow citizens – and indeed freedom loving peoples around the world.” — President George HW Bush
And across the globe, world leaders memorialized Senator McCain …
“John McCain was a great statesman, who embodied the idea of service over self.” – UK Prime Minister Theresa May
“He embodied everything that we respect and value and love about our American friends.” – Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison
“Senator John McCain was an American patriot and hero whose sacrifices for his country, and lifetime of public service, were an inspiration to millions.” – Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau
“I am deeply saddened by the passing of John McCain, a great American patriot and a great supporter of Israel. I will always treasure the constant friendship he showed to the people of Israel and to me personally.” – Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
“John McCain was led by the firm conviction that the sense of all political work lies in service to freedom, democracy and the rule of law. His death is a loss to all those who share this conviction.” – German Chancellor Angela Merkel
“The world has lost a great defender of liberty. RIP Senator John McCain. Prayers and love to your family.” – Former British Prime Minister David Cameron
“Senator John McCain had an illustrious military and public service career and was admired across the spectrum of US politics as a man of integrity and a champion of civility.” – Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi
And there were many, many more … but the one that was missing speaks volumes about the monster in the Oval Office, Donald Trump. He said not a single word about Senator McCain, though he did interrupt his rant about “Crooked Hillary” long enough to offer pseudo condolences to the family:
“My deepest sympathies and respect go out to the family of Senator John McCain. Our hearts and prayers are with you!” – Donald J. Trump
Not a single word about John McCain, not a single word of praise or compassion. But even that is not the worst. The worst was yet to come. Press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, Chief of Staff John Kelly and other aides in the administration wrote a statement, praising McCain for both his military service and service to his country as a long-term member of Congress. The statement also referred to him as a ‘hero’, which is appropriate and true.
But Trump refused to allow the statement to be issued, instead insisting that his brief, vacuous Tweet (see above) would serve as the official statement from the administration. This, my friends, is unacceptable. This is NOT the way we expect the president to behave!!! It is the way we expect a five-year-old child who didn’t get his way, who has to be the center of attention to behave.
Other White House officials, instead, released their own statements in tribute to Senator McCain. By Sunday afternoon, the vice president, secretary of state, homeland security secretary, defense secretary, national security adviser, White House press secretary, counselor to the president, education secretary, interior secretary and others had posted statements lauding Senator McCain.
Although President Obama ordered flags to fly at half-mast for five days after the death of Senator Ted Kennedy in 2009, Trump ordered the flags returned to full staff this morning. The flag at the Capitol Building remains at half-mast. A few days ago, I used this quote: “Those who want respect, give respect”. Need I say more?
Author Stephen King summed it up nicely, I think …
“John McCain: American patriot, war hero. Donald Trump: Draft-dodging weasel.”
Former Presidents and World leaders are paying tribute to John McCain today, but the son-of-a-bitch who calls himself “president” cannot be bothered, and not only that, but he won’t allow anybody else to, either. Every person in this nation should be crying tears of shame that we have no person of conscience, no person with an ounce of humility or compassion in the highest office of the nation. I hang my head in shame and sorrow.