On Monday night, Arizona Senator John McCain received the National Constitution Center’s Liberty Medal. McCain joins a diverse list of winners including both Bill and Hillary Clinton.
McCain, who was rightly honored for his sacrifices, was awarded the medal by former Vice President Joe Biden for a “lifetime of sacrifice and service” to the United States. Biden praised McCain for his “courage and loyalty.”
Yet, according to his critics, he used the opportunity to show anything but courage and loyalty. Instead, they say, he used the opportunity to justify a foreign policy that feeds the military industrial complex while it starves the middle-class of opportunity, and does little for starving masses abroad.
|Up Next At The National Constitution Center|
KHIZR KHAN: AN AMERICAN FAMILY
Wednesday, October 25, 2017 • 6:30 – 7:30 P.M.
Muslim-American Gold Star father and 2016 DNC speaker Khizr Khan unveils his new memoir, An American Family, and discusses his family’s pursuit of the American dream and the importance of the Declaration of Independence and U.S. Constitution.
A book signing of An American Family with Khizr Khan will folllow the program.
His critics say he used the opportunity to glorify his “hawkish” policies have led to the rise of ISIS and the number of amputees returning home from lands that have little to offer the U.S. but a dangerous reliance of foreign oil.
In his speech, he spoke of the blood of patriots, but veterans say he has done little about the blood of patriots spilled on the floors of VA hospitals across the country for years due to corruption and congressional inaction. The worst abuses have occurred in VA hospitals, in the state he represents.
While he receives the very best care from the Mayo Clinic, his fellow veterans struggle getting even the most basic care. Many of them have made the same sacrifices as he, but they have been nothing more to him than pawns in his war games.
“With all our flaws, all our mistakes, with all the frailties of human nature as much on display as our virtues, with all the rancor and anger of our politics, we are blessed,” said McCain. Critics argue that no one has done more to ramp up the rancor and anger than the angry, bitter McCain. Arizonans have learned firsthand, at too many carefully crafted town halls, the cost of asking McCain the hard questions.
Rather than show his courage by addressing the hard questions, he launches into attacks using epithets like “stupid.” McCain cowardly casts dispersions and a stifling shadow over members of the party to which he belongs.
Rather than offer solutions McCain used the opportunity once again to bash the very little people across the globe he claims to serve. “To fear the world we’ve organized and led for 3/4s of a century, to abandon the ideals we have advanced around the globe, to refuse the obligations of international leadership and our duty to remain the last, best hope of earth, for the sake of some half-baked, spurious nationalism, cooked up by people who would rather find scapegoats than solve problems is as unpatriotic as an attachment to any other tired dogma of the past that Americans consigned to the ash heap of history.”
Half-baked spurious nationalism. Those people “who would rather find scapegoats than solve problems.”
McCain is talking about the very same people, who year after year, put their own needs aside to elect a man who told them that he needed their support to save the country and those other people yearning for democracy abroad. McCain has never promised anything to the residents of Arizona. He has rarely bothered. So his voters weren’t stupid; they made a conscious decision to put aside their own hopes and dreams for the greater good.
When McCain found himself in a weaken position and facing a primary challenge, he promised Arizonans a border wall and a repeal and replace of Obamacare. No one in their right mind believed McCain’s promises. They ignored the electioneering and believed only in his commitment to prevent a nuclear holocaust. By virtually any reasonable standard that is enough. By virtually any standard, those people are reasonable, not contemptable.
In his failed presidential run, the American people were more comfortable with McCain’s brand of crony capitalism than Obama’s brand of crony capitalism. The game changer was that Obama offered hope too. The truth is that nearly every vote cast for McCain was cast out of fear not with hope.
To this day, Americans are still more hopeful than filled with fear. It is that hope that Bernie and Trump spoke to.
A lot of us wanted Bernie, a lot of us wanted Trump. Every vote for either man was a rejection of a corrupt system created and bolstered by too many of those who have been honored with the Liberty Medal.
Senator McCain brags with false modesty that he was, “knowingly or not, along for the ride as America made the future better than the past.”
Better than the past. For who? For our kids, who are drowning in college loan debt? For the thousands of Arizonans that have lost their health insurance? For the members of Arizona’s middle-class who have seen their jobs sent overseas or down south? For the ranchers and farmers who have Mexican sewage pouring into their grazing land?
Senator McCain concludes, “With all its suffering and dangers, the world still looks to the example and leadership of America to become, another, better place. What greater cause could anyone ever serve.”
What would that better place look like though? It would look like Dallas after Hurricane, when people from different backgrounds of every race and ethnicity linked arms to reach an elderly man trapped in his flooded truck. It would have looked like the Gofundme page where perfect strangers contributed money for the burial of a Navajo Nation Code Talker. Through the masses of ordinary people doing the extraordinary every day, you could barely spot the gated compounds like McCain’s nestled in the red rock hills of northern Arizona. The gated compounds of the “fearless” leaders are too few and too far between to really matter to average residents, who with exceptional ingenuity find detours and work-arounds, as they navigate a path to prosperity.
That better place would be occupied by occupiers and hobbits. Occupiers, who know something is wrong, or everything is. Hobbits, who live on fixed incomes, and cower every time another tax is imposed that will eventually force them out of their little homes in order fund one more F-35. (For those who don’t know, hobbit is the term McCain used to describe his constituents in one of his predictably abusive rants.)
That better place would have replaceable tyrants like McCain. That better place would have people who put aside their own needs for the greater good. Many of us believe that other better places can exist. In fact, we are willing to sacrifice so that they can exist. McCain’s seniority in the Senate proves that.
That better place would be filled with critical constituents, who know that discretion is the better part of valor, so they show respect and hold their tongues, while their fading leaders lash out one last time in anger and egotism.
The people in that better place would have a leader, who would stand up for them and condemn the tirades of tired tyrants and “fight back.”