The Crimson White

McCain’s passing brought Americans together

Dominick Calcara, Contributing Writer

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In times like these, it’s hard to imagine that George W. Bush and Barack Obama could speak so highly of the same man and sit next to each other at that man’s funeral. Only a truly special person could create that act of solidarity and bipartisanship. That person was John McCain. A firm conservative at times, McCain was also known for his fantastic ability to reach across the aisle and cooperate. His work for the American government will not be forgotten.

While running for president against Barack Obama in 2008, McCain showed great respect for his political rival. During a McCain rally, many citizens were given the microphone to ask questions. One man claimed that he and fellow voters were scared of the possible Obama presidency. John’s swift reply simply stated that “He is a decent person who you do not have to be scared of as the president of the United States.”

Then a woman took the microphone to say not only that she didn’t trust him, but also that he was “an Arab”. McCain once again stood up for his rival, saying he was a “Decent family man, citizen, that I just happen to have disagreements with on fundamental issues.” In today’s political world, comments like these are few and far between, and could be seen as “selling out” to an opponent. McCain did not care that his comments could upset his followers, because he was on a mission to defend decency in American politics.

McCain was also graceful when defeated by Obama in the election, and gave possibly one of America’s greatest concession speeches. His concession not only congratulated Obama, but also recognized the historic impact of the election, saying that America has come a long way, and that then Senator Obama has achieved a great thing for himself, his nation, and for all African Americans. Obama touched on this during his moving eulogy, stating that McCain’s words not only defended his character, but America’s as well.

Bush also had a touching eulogy, where he focused on recalling a “good friend” in McCain. He described him as being “honorable, always recognizing that his opponents were still patriots and human beings.” Bush spoke very highly of McCain, even though they were once rivals, when McCain and Bush ran against each other in the 2000 GOP Primary. Bush beat McCain in the primary and went on to win the presidency as well. Bush harkened back to that election and noted that the two had a real rivalry, but that they were able to forge a great friendship due to McCain’s respect and honor.

Notably absent from the funeral was current president Donald Trump, after being barred from attending by McCain himself. Trump handled the passing of McCain with some respect, but refused to give him as much as he deserved. He only offered a very brief tweet regarding the death of McCain and notably lowered the flag at the White House, but for less time than it usually is lowered when a notable character passes. However he would, after public outcry, lower it again. He then went on to defend his behavior stating that he’d “Done everything that they requested.”

While he did technically follow protocol, albeit without much care, Trump missed a grand opportunity to be a figure for unity for our nation. Had he been more sympathetic and reassuring to the American people, his approval could have raised, even if only slightly.

McCain was graceful during his time in our government, and his passing shows us that even in these dark, divided times, the left and the right can still come together for a common cause; to celebrate the life of a true American. To see him celebrated greatly by figures on both sides is proof of this. He lived a hero and now he will rest and be at peace. John McCain will truly be missed by all who care about our politics, and our government will not be the same without him.

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McCain’s passing brought Americans together