It was hard not to be inspired by John McCain’s funeral. We were reminded of decency and integrity, compassion and forgiveness. It was such a contrast to what we have been living with in the past two years. Two years ago, talking about a Senators’s integrity and courage would not have been perceived as the political statement that it was at his death. Such a contrast between the occupant of the White House and the good soul that was John McCain.
I think of the choice that McCain made as a young man in a POW camp. He could have gone home, but chose not to, knowing the impact his leaving would have on the other POW’s in the camp. How many people, when offered that out, would have stayed? But, I also so appreciated the way he gently called out a woman during the 2008 Presidential campaign. It happened not far from where I live, when a woman began to talk about then candidate Obama in a derogatory way. McCain had corrected her immediately, taking the microphone away, and told her that Obama was a “good and decent family man,” whose politics he disagreed with.
Contrast that to the mocker in chief, who chooses to denigrate everyone he disagrees with, and encourages people to hate. His divisive rhetoric continues to build a wedge between people. I always thought that one role of the president was to be the person who would unite the country. The president was the one to cast a vision of the nation at its best . . . An inclusive vision, recognizing the gifts of all people. We’ve been blessed with presidents in my lifetime who knew that and lived it out. McCain’s death reminded all of us, what true statesmanship looks like. It has also reminded us of what we’ve lost.