Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Shame On You, John McCain

Shame on you, John McCain

If you have not listened to McCain's speech, I suggest you do so.
I may be disappointed in the man, but it is still a good speech.

A big part of why I have not been as active on my blog has been my desire to avoid talking about Trump. I don't want to engage in the type of political writing that increases the divisions in our society. I write mostly about politics and knives, but if my political writing only contributes to the fracturing of our society then it serves no purpose, and is best for me to keep quiet. And just being another Trump-hater does nothing to help. But I can't keep quiet today. I have been sorely disappointed by one of my political heroes.

For decades McCain has been a voice working against the disintegration of our National identity.  He served in the Navy (and was tortured as a Prisoner Of War) and then went on to serve the nation as a Senator for three decades.  During the George W. Bush administration he was a consistent voice for bipartisanship and amity even as the parties moved further into divisiveness.  In 2002, after almost a solid decade of bipartisan work, he helped bring the McCain-Feingold Act to fruition to fight against campaign finance corruption.  Despite having been tortured by the Vietnamese, he worked to normalize relations with Vietnam.  I could go on (his defense of Bill Clinton's appointments of SC Justices for example), but suffice to say, McCain has had a distinguished career as a politician who I have long believed worked for the good of the Nation before partisanship.

So far as I have had political heroes, John McCain has been chief among them.

Now, I feel disappointed in McCain. I have long been a fan of John McCain. I wanted him to win the nomination in 2000, and I think he would have been a good President. I have supported and defended him, but today I am greatly disappointed. 

Following the vote to move forward with debate on Republicare he gave a lovely speech about bipartisanship, and pledged not to vote for the bill as it stands (even as he helped it forward), but the hypocrisy of his vote stunk like a week old pile of salmon guts in the sun. Perhaps the early detection of his brain cancer will only buy him a few extra months or a year, but those are months and years that he would not get without the regular screenings and checkups that are only possible through quality health insurance. Glioblastomas usually double in size in 50 days.

50 days. Think about that. 

If he didn't have insurance he probably would not have found the tumor until it had seriously impinged on his ability to function. And that probably would have been in 50 days or less, and he would have been well on his way to dying. Whatever time he has left on this Earth is thanks to taxpayer funded healthcare.

Some people (Dr. Drew Pinski--of whom I am a fan--comes to mind) like to point out that in the US people are not denied healthcare regardless of ability to pay. And that is true, but misleading. McCain would not have been denied care for his brain cancer regardless of his ability to pay or possession of health insurance, but it wouldn't have mattered, because if he didn't have health insurance he would probably be dead in three months anyway.

Today, he fought through pain of recovering from medical treatment to act to assist in denying millions of Americans of the chance at a few more months with the ones they love that he is currently enjoying. If he is alive in 10 months, then I hope you can all remember that--despite his calls to unity and bipartisanship--when faced with his own mortality, he placed partisan victory over his honor, humanity, or legacy.

Shame on you John McCain. Shame.

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