There’s no need to pussyfoot around this.
John McCain is seriously ill. Accordingly, serious — life-threatening — illness has a way of liberating anyone. The Republican U.S. senator is fighting for his life against a virulent form of brain cancer.
He is about to have a book published in which he speaks from the deepest recesses of his gut about a man — Donald J. Trump — who once disparaged his valiant and heroic service to the nation he loves.
The book is titled, “The Restless Wave: Good Times, Just Causes, Great Fights, and Other Appreciations.” In it, the senator says this about the president: “He has declined to distinguish the actions of our government from the crimes of despotic ones.” He adds: “The appearance of toughness, or a reality show facsimile of toughness, seems to matter more than any of our values.”
There’s more, of course, such as: “I’m freer than colleagues who will face the voters again. I can speak my mind without fearing the consequences much. And I can vote my conscience without worry,” McCain writes.
“I don’t think I’m free to disregard my constituents’ wishes, far from it. I don’t feel excused from keeping pledges I made. Nor do I wish to harm my party’s prospects. But I do feel a pressing responsibility to give Americans my best judgment.”
McCain is a brave warrior. Of that there can be no doubt. There can be no question or equivocation.
He fought for his country during the Vietnam War. He was shot down over Hanoi and taken captive. He endured unspeakable torture on top of the grievous injuries he suffered when he bailed out of his jet fighter and splashed into a lake in the middle of Hanoi.
Sen. McCain is one of those politicians one can admire even when you disagree with his politics. I am one of those Americans who holds this man in the highest regard possible, even though I did not cast my vote for him for president when he ran in 2008 against his “friend and colleague,” U.S. Sen. Barack H. Obama.
The nation he fought so valiantly to defend wishes him well. I hope for a miracle that he can beat the cancer that is ravaging him.
I’m glad he has found his voice, although I am saddened in the extreme over the circumstances that have led him to that discovery.
I want him to speak out for as long as he is able.