It would be sophomoric to say Senator John McCain was everything U.S. President Donald Trump wishes he could be. However, at the very least, McCain was the statesman Trump has shown he is incapable of becoming.
Nonetheless, McCain’s final wish to ban President Trump from his funeral while asking for former Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama to eulogize him is quite stunning.
Trump, a prisoner of the moment, loves the theatrics, pomp, and circumstance that the office of the President holds. McCain, who was never president, knew how to put his pride aside for the greater good of the country.
Trump, even on his best day, will never be the honorable gentleman McCain was on his worst days.
As the nation mourns McCain’s death, he will be best remembered as the senator, statesman and war hero who served the United States of America for 60 years.
At times, McCain rankled the ire of Liberals and Progressives, yet he was often able to place the business of the nation above his interests.
The tributes have poured in from all levels of American government and more world leaders have paid their respects to Mr. McCain. Senior members of the White House staff and Cabinet members even praised McCain except for one man.
President Donald Trump chose to tweet his sympathies and respects to Senator McCain Saturday at 8:44pm, saying:
“My deepest sympathies and respect go out to the family of Senator John McCain. Our hearts and prayers are with you!”
Trump did not praise McCain, opting instead to go against the original statement the White House staff crafted for him.
While the President is facing a potentially inexorable investigation into his behavior plus his sordid business, personal and political dealings, his ego could not step aside for sixty seconds and honor a man who did more for America than he could dream of doing himself.
The brevity of the president’s tweet rang loudly around the world.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel lauded McCain as “one of the great political figures of our time,” emphasizing that he was an “indefatigable fighter for a strong trans-Atlantic alliance.” She emphasized his “courage” and “sincerity.”
“Senator McCain was led by the steadfast belief that the aim of every political activity is to serve freedom, democracy and the rule of law. His death is a loss to all those who share that belief,” Merkel said in a statement.
Next, Australia’s Prime Minister Scott Morrison said this about McCain:
“Senator John McCain was a true friend of Australia who was committed to strengthening the alliance between our two nations. He was a man of great courage and conviction. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his wife, Cindy, and all the McCain family during this time.”
Lastly, former President Barack Obama issued a statement:
“Few of us have been tested the way John once was, or required to show the kind of courage that he did. But all of us can aspire to the courage to put the greater good above our own. At John’s best, he showed us what that means.”
For Barack Obama to issue that statement nearly 10 years from the date in which McCain’s camp labeled the future 44th President as a dishonest Muslim-come-Communist hellbent upon overthrowing American democracy as we know it today, says a lot the character in McCain, compared to Trump.
It is rare to see an American politician who has never served as Head of State, get honored and remembered in such a dignified and distinguished manner.
Meanwhile, Trump’s pettiness and narcissistic ways prevented him from making a humane statement showing the minimal amount of respect toward his political rival.