Accolades from around the world continue to flow honouring the remarkable life and career of the late U.S. Senator John McCain.
McCain’s service to his country as a navy pilot, a Vietnam prisoner of war, who endured immense torture while refusing to abandon his fellow prisoners and, of course, his long service in American politics is the stuff of legends, to be sure.
But, the moment that for many, helped shape McCain’s legacy was at a Republican rally when McCain was running against Democratic nominee Barack Obama.
An irate supporter was parroting some of the vile falsehoods about Obama, claiming that he was an Arab and a terrorist sympathizer.
McCain grabbed the microphone and told the ranting perpetrator that she was wrong.
McCain told her and the crowd that Obama was a proud and patriotic American who loved his country and his family and that, although he and Obama had major political differences, he would not allow anyone to denigrate his opponent with false accusations.
That stern rebuke of the politics of hatred and bigotry defined John McCain; he showed that integrity and respect can be and must be the foundation for everyone in public service.
While so many politicians, including the current president, wallow in the quagmire of falsehoods and deceit, it was John McCain who exhibited the very qualities that citizens should demand of every political leader.