Man, I’m not going to lie, I teared up while watching this.
Not because I agree or disagree with his decision, or because I’m a Republican or a Democrat, but because I am an American. For so long, all we’ve seen in the newspapers and on television is that America is in chaos — the media is lying and the government corrupt and Russia has us by the balls and terrorists are knocking on our doors.
But what you see before you is a sign that reports of democracy’s demise have been greatly overexaggerated. What you see is an 80-year-old man who was just diagnosed with brain cancer fly 2000 miles across to country to vote against his own party for the sake of principle.
What you see is John McCain, one of the most well-respected Americans in the history of this great country, urging his fellow countrymen that they must ‘now return to the correct way of legislating.
McCain has defied his party before. The former prisoner of war stood with Democrats to release a report on the use of enhanced interrogation techniques during the Bush years. He reached across the aisle to fix the country’s health care system for veterans with independent Sen. Bernie Sanders, and was known to unload on his own party when he felt they needed a reality check.
But Friday’s vote may be one of his most memorable moments. In the end, the senator voted against a bill that would have repealed the Affordable Care Act’s individual and employer mandates, despised by Republicans, and against his party’s seven-year campaign promise to dismantle President Barack Obama’s signature legislative achievement. Instead, McCain took a vote that very well may re-chart the course of Trump’s own legislative agenda.
Yet, despite the fact that McCain was speaking to a mere fraction of a percentage of the country, his words can be a source of inspiration to Americans of all shapes and sizes:
“This country — this big, boisterous, brawling, intemperate, restless, striving, daring, beautiful, bountiful, brave, good and magnificent country — needs us to help it thrive. That responsibility is more important than any of our personal interests or political affiliations.
We are the servants of a great nation, ‘a nation conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.’ More people have lived free and prosperous lives here than in any other nation. We have acquired unprecedented wealth and power because of our governing principles, and because our government defended those principles.
America has made a greater contribution than any other nation to an international order that has liberated more people from tyranny and poverty than ever before in history. We have been the greatest example, the greatest supporter and the greatest defender of that order. We aren’t afraid. We don’t covet other people’s land and wealth. We don’t hide behind walls. We breach them. We are a blessing to humanity.
What greater cause could we hope to serve than helping keep America the strong, aspiring, inspirational beacon of liberty and defender of the dignity of all human beings and their right to freedom and equal justice? That is the cause that binds us and is so much more powerful and worthy than the small differences that divide us.”