Tuesday, July 25, 2017

New Yorker -- Donald Trump, John McCain, and the Politics of Decency

The dignity of our country, our place as a leader among nations, respect, honesty, integrity, health care for all Americans, environmental protections, public education, regulations, a free press, preserving our democracy are a just a few things that are at stake under the leadership of President Donald Trump and the Republican Party. We are a government and a nation in crisis right now.

“Donald Trump, John McCain, and the Politics of Decency” by the New Yorker’s Jeffery Frank tells of one more thing that is at stake. Although all over America there is a desperate need for decency and a need to respect others. We sorely need leadership that sets examples of best behavior and practice.

This is how Frank ends his piece, but it in its entirety is a worthwhile read:

“We’ve often heard statesmanlike views from John McCain, the Arizona senator. He’s been capable of hawkish overreach, and political missteps, but he has risen to a level of decency -- of generosity and courage -- when it was called for. One celebrated moment came in the midst of the 2008 Presidential campaign, when people in a crowd questioned Barack Obama’s legitimacy and McCain set them straight. Five years ago, after Michele Bachmann, then a congresswoman, made the baseless, and scurrilous, charge that Huma Abedin, the longtime aide to Hillary Clinton, had “ties” to the Muslim Brotherhood, McCain, on the Senate floor, said, ‘Huma Abedin represents what is best about America: the daughter of immigrants, who has risen to the highest levels of our government on the basis of her substantial personal merit and her abiding commitment to the American ideals that she embodies.’ He added, ‘I am proud to know her, and I am proud, even maybe with some presumption, to call her my friend’ -- another win for decency.

“In his autobiography, ‘Faith of My Fathers,’ published in 1999, McCain wrote that ‘nothing in life is more liberating than to fight for a cause larger than yourself, something that encompasses you but is not defined by your existence alone’—a theme that became part of his brief, joyful Presidential campaign, in 2000, and is bound to be recalled as people root for him in the wake of a brain-cancer diagnosis. The thing is, McCain really meant it. Could anyone imagine Donald Trump, or anyone in his orbit, fighting for, speaking up for, or defending any cause larger than himself? The question, alas, for all of us, answers itself.”

By Jeffrey Frank