I’ve lived in Arizona for nearly twenty years now. Our U.S. Senator John McCain died yesterday at age 81 after suffering from brain cancer. He became a war hero during the Vietnam War as a fighter pilot when the plane his was piloting was shot down. He suffered broken bones and then much torture as a POW for the next 5.5 years, which included 2 years in solitary confinement. When the Vietnamese learned that his father was a Navy Admiral, they offered John McCain freedom and he refused because they would not free his POW buddies as well. John McCain became a symbol of courage to Americans, especially those like me who served in the military.
I usually liked McCain’s political positions. I once attended one of his town hall meetings. I then became even more impressed with him. He was Republican, but he worked with Democrats as well as he built a legacy in Washington politics as a “maverick.” I think we need a lot more John McCain politicians in Washington D.C. Our other U.S. senator here in Arizona, Republican Jeff Flake, is cut out of a similar mold as McCain. But he is retiring because he says Republican politics is so toxic that he can’t win an election. That’s a shame. We need more Jeff Flakes as well. Both of those men have been courageous, lived by ethical principles, and applied it to their work as senators. We Americans will be worse off without John McCain and Jeff Flake helping to run to this country.