This constituted the exchange between a citizen at a rally and Sen. John McCain during the 2008 campaign, referring to Barack Obama, and, even in its brevity, reflected the clash of civil dialogue in our political sphere. McCain’s response demonstrated a commitment to civility in political dialogue and affirmed a standard of decency designed to encourage a fair exchange without name-calling, snark, or bitterness, which characterizes far too much of our current “we/they” partisanship and exchanges among voters and within campaigns.
But it seems that any who promote civil dialogue are not to receive equal treatment. Senator John McCain’s current struggle for survival against a virulent and likely deadly disease affords no protection from the vapid, valueless political disease that resides at White House Central.
The attack upon McCain has been vicious and unrelenting, from the criticism of his heroism as a prisoner of war, to his thumbs down vote on health care, to his statement of opposition to new CIA director Gina Haspel. Few believed any dignity remained in the Oval Office, but were further assured of that view in the absence of an apology for the staffer’s remark about McCain’s pending death. Instead, the White House concerned itself with leaks.
We take the lead and offer our apologies on behalf of our nation to John McCain. We may have disagreed with the majority of his positions over the years but never doubted his sincerity or courage during the Vietnam war or his commitment to our democratic political process.
Thank you, Senator McCain, for showing all of us what a gentleman is supposed to be, even to the extent of defending a political opponent. We pray for you and your family.