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Saturday, September 1, 2018

They Could Have Been Heroes - Editorial, The Week in Review

Analysis, Commentary, Opinion

They Could Have Been Heroes

I have been thinking this week about the passing of John McCain, as many Americans have.

I learned a lot about him that I did not know before, my respect for has grown considerably; my respect for his service, and his audacity, my appreciation for the regard his colleagues held him in, and for work done by his foundation all around the world.

Much of the last two years of his political life have also been impressive, much but not all. His vocal opposition to Donald Trump has been much appreciated, but in my view it required more of common sense and a commitment to decency than courage. This is not to say that John McCain did not possess personal courage, he did, he had it in spades, but political courage is a different matter, and it is hard to believe we apply the word courage to politics at all.

I am grateful to him, as an American, for resisting Trump and the rest of the Republicans when they tried to dismantle the Affordable Care Act, but it is not lost on me that McCain voted for the Trump Tax Plan.

I am also grateful for the way in which he has organized his funeral rite, knowing that the eyes of the country, and of the whole world would be on this moment. He has coordinated the symbolism in a way that recall the very best of the American tradition. The words and images are replete with calls for unity, bi-partisanship, service and honoring our common traditions and the institutions that hold us together.

Though I am mindful of the fact that in his own campaigns, especially in his latest campaign for his senate seat, he also beat the drum of divisiveness, vilified immigrants, blew the horn of jingoism, and sucked at the teat of identity politics.

John McCain could have done more to stand up to the most corrupt, Anti-American, and criminal regime we have ever scene.

He could have ended his days in the senate as the hero we are making him out to be, the people who are praising him this week have the opportunity to do it now.

They could be heroes if they chose to be, they could exercise some political courage, though I would just call it decency; they could if they abandon Mitch Mc Connell and Paul Ryan and the feckless Republican leadership, turn independent and hand the reigns of power over to the Democrats now.
They could be heroes, they could do it today.

In a very short amount of time we are going to look back on the period of the trump presidency, and we are going to be able to see it for what it was, just a minor fad in popular politics, one that was promoted by a corrupt foreign influence, played on the fears of the diminishing majority, seized the levers of power, and played itself out with disastrous consequences.

Trumps disapproval rating is at an all-time high.

People are abandoning the Republican Party, among those who are remaining, who still give vocal support to the Trump, half of them already don’t believe the things they say, they just don’t want to admit that they were wrong. They would rather make excuses, cross their fingers and hope for a brighter tomorrow. They are like gamblers who can’t walk away from the table when the chips are down.

Trump will be left with the support of less than ten percent of the people, history will not be kind to him, he may very well end up prison, whether or not he is impeached.

The Republicans Office holders and politicians, especially those who were in a position to do something, the who had a responsibility to hold Trump accountable but failed to do it, because they were cowards (there is such a thing as political cowardice), they are going to look back on this moment, see it for the grotesque fad that it was and they are going to be filled with regret.

They could have been heroes, but they buried their head in the sand, they refuse to watch the destruction of their party, to the harm that one man in that one office is doing to the nation, and because they fear to their hold own power, they have sacrificed their dignity, and subordinated their legacy to the whims of an insecure and gluttonous, self-serving despot.

And they could have been heroes. They still could be…if

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