By Rene Bruer
When I heard that Senator John McCain died his legacy immediately shaped itself in my mind. The first words that came to mind were country, service, sacrifice, compassion and straight shooter. The words that describe a lot of politicians such as partisan hard-liner, hack, or opportunist did not even enter my brain.
John McCain self-admittedly was not perfect. He was 5th from the bottom at his Naval Academy graduating class, he crashed two airplanes and made many mistakes in his political career. But none of those things prevented him from being honest and willing to go “against the grain” during his political career. To the contrary, he embraced his flaws and established himself as a maverick. Even for those politicians that disagreed with him, and there are many (both in the U.S. and in other countries), many respected him.
Our country is tremendously blessed to have service members, civil servants and politicians who are independent thinkers, who possess a moral compass and would lay down their lives in service to their fellow citizens. As Americans we benefit from these individuals who, like John McCain, step up and fight the fight within the chambers of our own government and against enemies on foreign soil. While each person’s fight is different their efforts ultimately lead back to our wonderful republic, our way of life and guarantee our freedoms.
There are many countries where soldiers, civil servants and politicians do not serve their people. Rather, soldiers are conscripted to service and are manipulated and threatened by dictatorial regimes in places like North Korea, Syria and Cuba. Politicians do not think or speak independently since they are not elected and instead are appointed by ruling dictators. Civil servants do not serve the population but are simply tools that manage incompetence and corruption.
What I just described is what John McCain and many others like him fought against and legions of others continue to fight. No matter where your political support lies, get behind those who sacrifice for your community and America at large, think independently, act and speak honestly and work side-by-side with those they agree and disagree with. America may have lost a legendary maverick, but there are many others that are still in the fight.