There are few undecided opinions when it comes to U.S. Senator John McCain, who has served Arizona in Congress since 1983. Because of his principles, his decency, and his willingness to put the interests of the nation ahead of his own party, he is admired and despised.
But what all Arizonans should agree on, is he is worthy of respect and our prayers are with him and his family this week.
Doctors discovered that McCain has an aggressive form of cancer, glioblastoma, and has a tumor inside his brain. Senator McCain is receiving the best treatment and we wish him the best as he battles this disease.
McCain has drawn the ire of many in his own party for taking stands advocating for campaign finance reform and refusing to pursue earmarks for Arizona while he was battling to end the practice of handing out pork spending across the nation.
In both cases, he was putting the best interests of the nation first. He reached out to Democrats and worked with them back in the days when bipartisanship was still possible.
And despite all those years in Washington, McCain remains a decent man. During his 2008 presidential campaign, McCain corrected a woman at a New Hampshire town hall meeting who claimed Barack Obama was an Arab.
It would have been easy to hem and haw, to let that rumor grow. Answer the question without answering the question, a skill most politicians know too well. And allowing that rumor to grow might have helped him politically, maybe putting him into the White House.
Instead, McCain shut that down immediately, shaking his head no, then taking the mic away from the woman.
“No ma’am, he’s a decent, family man who I just happen to have disagreements with on fundamental issues. That’s what this campaign is all about,” McCain said.
Others would come along without the quality of McCain’s character, eager to embrace conspiracy theories and repeat proven lies for political gain. But John McCain was too decent a man to do that.
Decency, integrity, a willingness to put the nation ahead of party. These are qualities we should all want in any person serving in Congress.
So fight hard Senator, Arizona and the nation continue to need your unique qualities to help lead us out of the political abyss that our nation’s capitol has put us in during the past few years.