Hailing from Arizona, I’ve grown very familiar with Sen. John McCain (R-AZ). His book, Faith of My Fathers, was required reading at Arizona State University. He lives less than five miles from my house, and he attends the same political events that I attend. From what I know of John McCain, he is the longest-known survivor of four bouts with Melanoma (a form of skin cancer), a survivor of one of the worst aircraft carrier fires in US history, a survivor of five-and-a-half years of torture in the prisoner-of-war camp “Hanoi Hilton,” and old-school to his own political demise. His family name has struck fear in the hearts of America’s enemies for the last century.
McCain’s grandfather, Admiral John Sidney McCain (1884-1945), piloted the aircraft carrier Ranger and led the Fast Carrier Task Force in World War II. A testament to his leadership, his planes sank 49 Japanese ships—in one day. In one month they destroyed 3,000 Japanese planes at their bases.
McCain’s father, John Sidney McCain, Jr. (1911-1981), was the Commander-in-chief of the US Pacific Command during the Vietnam War. At this time, Navy Captain John McCain’s carrier-based A-4 Skyhawk was shot down and he was captured as a P.O.W. After the North Vietnamese discovered that their prisoner was the son of the American Commander-in-Chief, they immediately offered him freedom so as not to personally offend his “fearlessly aggressive” Admiral father. John McCain III agreed to accept freedom on one condition: that his fellow P.O.W.’s accompany him. The answer came in the form of brutal torture for years to come.
Now that John McCain III is running for president, he must translate his storied past to resonate with an American electorate who historically educated themselves in a kaleidoscope of issues, like Thomas Jefferson’s yeoman farmer, but now their mostly bovine stupidity causes them to latch-on to delightful demagogues who promise the world but have never seen it.
I was not surprised when the former presidential candidate Sen. Sam Brownback (R-KS) defied popular expectation by endorsing John McCain for president.
A highly educated, aristocratic gentleman, it is a testament to Brownback’s character to abide emotionless, age-old political conventions and invoke the learned expertise of old-guard stalwarts like John McCain, with their time-tested experience, when carefully drawing-up his public policy plans. To put it in perspective, Brownback landed the undivided support of the world’s foremost expert on Social Security reform, CATO’s William Shipman, who actually traveled and delivered speeches on behalf of the senator, courteously forgoing his usual $25,000 speaking fee. In an unprecedented display of mutual desire for the common good, Brownback campaigned side-by-side with rival candidate and foreign policy guru Joe Biden (D-DE) to promote the most comprehensive Iraq stability plan ever concocted.
America’s founders argued incessantly, but they agreed on one thing: preserving elements of aristocracy while incorporating vast public responsibility is tantamount to success in America’s future. Indeed, McCain is a member of that aristocracy they spoke of, while also taking responsibility for our bright future.
Though my feeble words may fall on deaf ears, I invite the perhaps scowling reader to hearken to this brief video that, at the very least, will offer a better understanding of the most perfectly imperfect man to be president.
You will realize that, in light of John McCain’s ancestors, the apple does not fall far from the tree.