McCain: A unique political voice and remarkable patriot

Patriot.

When we think about Arizona Sen. John McCain, who died last week after a tough bout with brain cancer, we think first of his patriotism.

He spent a lifetime defending America’s ideals, serving time in Vietnam and, most notably, several years as a prisoner of war, where he famously refused early release from his captors unless all his fellow prisoners were released.

Physically beaten but eventually freed, McCain embarked on a political career that included time as a congressman, six terms as a senator and a presidential run in 2008.

Through four decades of public service, he stood out as an elected official who would not abandon his ideals for political points. He was a strong advocate for veterans, immigration reform and campaign finance changes and was viewed as one of the nation’s most respected voices on foreign relations.

He was a maverick until the end, casting the deciding vote defeating a replacement for Obamacare in one of his final votes in 2017 as Republican colleagues in the Senate looked on and gasped.

He was witty, cantankerous, dependable of spirit and unpredictable regarding his actions – all at once.

What distinguished him, especially in an area of extreme partisanship in Washington, was that he favored ideas over robotic group think.

The result was a checkered voting record that we concede we haven’t always agreed with. We suspect we are not alone in that thinking.

But none of that is how we – and we suspect even his stiffest ideological foes – will remember Sen. McCain.

Friend and foe alike can only reverently remember John McCain for his righteous honesty and patriotic devotion to his country and its ideals.

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