The Lessons of the late U.S. Senators Life – Told in the Eulogies for Him – Show How Small Trump Truly Is
A Commentary by Doug Draper
Posted September 3rd, 2018 on Niagara At Large
Watching, as I did off and on over these last days of August and first days of September, the cable television coverage of the now-late U.S. Senator John McCain’s funeral services, it seemed as though many, if not most or all Americans have been mourning his death as if they are mourning the vacuum of principled leadership and service to country over self now in the White House and in the irretrievably dead Republican Party.
It was especially remarkable to watch this while coming to terms with something I thought I would never see– a sitting President of the United States not only uninvited, but instructed via the wishes of the deceased and surviving members of his family, to stay away from services that rise to the level of a state funeral.
Then again, in the case of Donald Trump, why would anyone who respects the decency and love for country that (however much you may have agreed or disagreed with his politics) exemplified John McCain’s life, want this despicable, hate-filled individual anywhere near the great man’s casket?
It was hard enough this past Friday, August 31st, to stomach the sight of Trump’s vice-president, Mike Pence, standing near the casket as it lay in the U.S. Capitol Rotunda as he praised John McCain for being the model of someone who put public service above self when so many other times.
However true that many be, how little it means coming from this holier-than-thou, empty suit of a stooge who so often has been seen standing a short distance behind Trump, looking upon him with reference while he spits out the most vile, self-serving crap about others.
What made up for the wretched hypocrisy of Pence and of other gutless, morally bankrupt leaders of what is now the ‘Party of Trump’, including those two shameless swamp creatures, Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell, – were some of the last words John McCain left to be shared with his fellow Americans and with other people of the world, along with the eulogies delivered this past September 1st by his daughter Meghan McCain, and by former U.S. presidents Barack Obama and, yes, even George W. Bush.
Without ever once mentioning Trump by name, their words collectively warned and called upon a nation now flirting with an agent of fear-mongering and fascism to rediscover what it can be, at the best of times, before it is too late.
In that spirit, here are a few of the words that John McCain wanted to be shared after he died, as read by his spokesman, Rick Davis, this past August 27th –
“I lived and died a proud American,” McCain wrote. “We are citizens of the world’s greatest republic. A nation of ideals, not blood and soil. We are blessed and a blessing to humanity when we uphold and advance those ideals at home and in the world. … We have acquired great wealth and power in the progress.”
We weaken our greatness,” McCain warned, “when we confuse our patriotism with rivalries that have sown resentment and hatred and violence in all the corners of the globe. We weaken it when we hide behind walls rather than tear them down, when we doubt the power of our ideals rather than trust them to be the great force for change they have always been.”
“We are 325 million opinionated, vociferous individuals. We argue and compete and sometimes even vilify each other in our raucous public debates.”
“But we have always had so much more in common with each other than in disagreement. If only we remember that and give each other the benefit of the presumption that we all love our country, we’ll get through these challenging times.”
“We will come through them stronger than before. We always do. … Do not despair of our present difficulties, we believe always in the promise and greatness of America because nothing is inevitable here. Americans never quit, we never surrender, we never hide from history, we make history. Farewell fellow Americans. God bless you and God bless America.”
Then there were these words, delivered by Barack Obama during his eulogy for John McCain this September 1st –
“John was a pretty conservative guy. … But he did understand that some principles transcend politics. Some values transcend party. He considered it part of his duty to uphold those principles and uphold those values.”
“John cared about the institutions of self-government, our constitution, our bill of rights, rule of law, separation of powers, even the arcane rules and procedures of the senate,” Obama said.
“He knew that in a nation as big and boisterous and diverse as ours, those institutions, those rules, those norms are what bind us together. Give shape and order to our common life. Even when we disagree. Especially when we disagree.”
“John believed in honest argument and hearing our views. He understood that if we get in the habit of bending the truth to suit political expediency or party orthodoxy, our democracy will not work.”
“That’s why he was willing to buck his own party at times. Occasionally work across the aisle on campaign finance reform and immigration reform. That’s why he championed a free and independent press as vital to our democratic debate. And the fact it earned him good coverage didn’t hurt either.”
“So much of our politics, our public life, our public discourse can seem small and mean and petty, trafficking in bombast and insult, and phony controversies, and manufactured outrage,” Obama said. “It’s a politics that pretends to be brave and tough, but in fact is born in fear. John called on us to be bigger than that. He called on us to be better than that.”
In his eulogy for John McCain, former president George W. Bush, stressed the following –
“He loved freedom with a passion of a man who knew its absence. He respected the dignity inherent in every life, a dignity that does not stop at borders and cannot be erased by dictators. …”
“Perhaps above all, John detested the abuse of power. He could not abide bigots and swaggering despots.”
Then there were the words of John McCain’s daughter Meghan, which came the closest to tearing the head off the monster who, while Trump dodged the draft five times during the Vietnam War while McCain rotted for five years in a jail for war prisoners, once had the audacity to say that her father was “no hero” –
“The America of John McCain has no need to be made great again because America was always great,” said Meghan McCain, adding that her father was “American greatness – the real thing – not cheap rhetoric from men who will never come near the sacrifice he gave so willingly, nor the opportunistic appropriation of those who lived lives of comfort and privilege while he suffered and served.”
Some of the mindless nuts that make up Trump’s base and attend his rat-infested rallies, tore a page out of their idol’s book and slammed Meghan McCain in twitter land.
Never mind the trolls. Meghan McCain did her father proud with those words she pinned the tail on the scoundrel who no one outside of those nuts could ever see as a portrait of greatness, let alone a hero.
A few days after John McCain’s death on August 25th, a Washington Post/ABC News poll was released, showing that for the first time since he took the oath of office almost 18 months ago, a majority of Americans are in favour of impeaching Trump.
If and when that glorious day of impeachment comes, I can see John McCain looking down from the heavens with a look of approval on his face, with Aretha Franklin up there beside him, singing ‘Amazing Grace’ loud enough for the entire world to hear.
To watch and hear Meghan McCain’s eulogy for her father, click on –
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