The death of Senator McCain has caused the American people to take a halt and reflect on the life of the Republican senator from the state of Arizona Of the time he spent on this planet, most of it was dedicated in serving the citizens of the United States of America. It is something rare that we may not see again on the political front.
Born on August 29, 1936, McCain had been a part of the American conscience for more than 3 decades ever since his plane was shot down in the year 1968 and he was taken prisoner by the North Vietnamese. He went through extreme torture and excruciating pain and lived in isolation as a prisoner of war.
Later on, McCain left the American Navy in 1981 and became the navy’s contact to the U.S. Senate, which he later stated as his “real entry into the world of politics and the beginning of my second career as a public servant.”
This decision of his led him to settle down in Arizona and in the year 1982, he was voted into the House of Representatives. After serving two terms, he had a successful run for a seat in the U.S. Senate in 1986. McCain gained popularity on the national level after a well-appreciated speech to the Republican National Convention
On a lot of issues that included the defence ministry’s expenses, abortion, labour legislation and regulation of guns, McCain’s position was similar to those of conservatives. In contrast to his campaign rhetoric, McCain was in favour on selected issues that ruled him away from the conservative Republican thinking in Washington D.C.
He was at the forefront of many unsuccessful plans to enact a fresh set of federal taxes on products made out of tobacco that would help in the cash flow for anti-smoking campaigns and help the state governments pay for tobacco-related health issues. On reforms related to immigration, health care benefits, curbs on the emission of greenhouse gasses and reduction in unnecessary government spending and the power of the religious people, McCain stood out. His Critics said that his stance on such problems was politically motivated --mostly to gain votes-- and the kind of positive impression it made in the newspapers was much more than the political risks he took. Still, McCain’s handling of his political career portrayed him as a conservative.
In the year 2000, after promising the citizens of the U.S. of extensive reforms, Senator McCain filed for the presidential nomination, rivalling against George Washington Bush. Bush emerged victorious after a long election battle with McCain which included an all in an effort by the Bush campaign team in the province of North Carolina. McCain got back up from his defeat, campaigned for Bush’s re-election in the year 2004, was in favour of the Iraq war and went after Bush's tax cut reform.
In 2007, the senator stated that he would once again file for the Republican presidential nomination but his campaign was in deep trouble as the election dates came close, having insufficient funds and a not so strong political base. Things turned around for him when he won in New Hampshire and his nomination was confirmed after his victory on the 4th of August, 2008. In the last week of August, he took Sarah Palin, governor of Alaska, as his vice presidential counterpart. But even after all of this, he faced a challenging political atmosphere in the general election.
His choice of Sarah Palin, brought about a great deal of excitement, mainly within the social conservative base. Palin received some harsh comments from a lot of critics, who talked about her lack of experience in the political field which in turn spread a cloud over McCain’s choices. He lost the 2008 presidential election race to Barack Obama on the back of poor economy left by George W Bush.
Determined that the remainder of his political career won’t be remembered as a failed legacy, McCain returned to the Senate, where he continued to play a very important role. When the Republicans were in control of the Senate after the 2014 election, he was elected as the chairman of the Armed Services Committee.
In October 2016, McCain withdrew his endorsement of the trump after an interview of Trump went viral wherein he was reportedly caught boasting about his sexual encounters that showed his predatory behaviour and also because he made some controversial remarks about McCain’s military record, writing that he liked “people who weren’t captured”.
After Donald Trump became the president, McCain joined hands with the Democrats in calling for a special investigation regarding Russia’s political intervention in the 2016 presidential election.
During the final days in his political career, he showed his fidelity to his party’s agenda by giving his support to help develop a smooth passage of the sweeping tax-cutting legislation that had been a priority of the Republican Party for years.
When Senator John McCain died in August 2018, though his death was mourned across the nation, his life was celebrated as that of a national hero who was like by citizens and politicians all across the board. In the goodbye note he left behind to be read out after his death, McCain wrote- “We weaken our greatness when we confuse our patriotism with tribal rivalries that have sown resentment and hatred and violence in all corners of the globe. We weaken it when we hide behind the 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… Do not despair of our present difficulties but believe always in the promise and greatness of America, because nothing is inevitable here. American never quit. We never surrender. We never hide from history. We make history”.