If the past is any indication, some of my fellow liberals will take issue with the nice things I’m about to say about Senator John McCain, but today we lost a hero in an age where heroes are so very hard to find…especially, let’s be frank, on the Right.
But John McCain was a hero. For starters, he risked his life time and again to defend our country, and was tortured beyond most of our comprehension for doing so. I honor him for that.
In an age of nearly unanimous hate and vitriol, McCain called for civility and respect in our discourse. I honor him for that as well.
And for most of his career, McCain acted – and voted – like a true moderate. Moderation has become a toxic word on both sides of the aisle, but not to me. Life, and government, is often about compromise – and although McCain recently voted with Trump on a lot more issues than I’d care for, he never did so out of cowardice or to fall into his party line. He voted what was, to him, his conscience – and even if I disagree with the specifics, I respect the integrity.
Which leads me to the main issue I will remember and praise John McCain for: he – along with Senators Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski – defeated the repeal of the the Affordable Care Act, which has literally saved the lives of so many people I know and love. Why? Because his fellow Republicans had provided no alternative, and because it had been pushed through without any Democratic consultation (let alone support). Therefore, according to McCain, supporting the repeal would be utter negligence and hypocrisy, and since it would lead to tens of millions of people losing health insurance, he voted no. If he had voted yes, a lot of people who are alive right now would not be.
I think that I, even more than most Republicans, long to see a day when the Republican Party is restored to some semblance of honor, conscience, and integrity. To me, John McCain represented those admirable traits. Was he perfect? Far from it. But I will take an imperfect official doing his best over someone who is perfectly corrupt and self-interested any day.
Thank you for your service, Senator McCain, and for your example. Rest in peace.
I am seeing such disgusting and vitriolic rhetoric from dozens of people whom I consider to be my political allies that I am compelled to say something.
In the fight against the Trump administration and everything it stands for, there are factors which, if lost, will render us liberals just as guilty and unworthy as the other side. Those factors are Truth and Decency.
If you write some ridiculous claim or post some ludicrous “article” without thinking it through and properly fact-checking, congratulations: now you know what it’s like to be a Breitbarter. (Seriously: I’ve spent a LOT of time on that website, and what some of you are saying and doing is no different in terms of ignorance and falsehood.)
And if you banish an entire group of people to a decree of sub-humanity without recognizing that there is nuance and individuality in every single person, then maybe you should think more carefully about your daily use of Nazi comparisons (which are merited sometimes, but not always), and reflect on how you yourself are turning into everything you hate.
Even if acting this way were to help us win elections (it won’t), we will have done so at the cost of our moral integrity and the actual values we claim to be fighting for. And then what are we?
And on a more practical note: these kind of despicable tactics WON’T help us win. This may surprise you, but people’s minds are not generally changed by shutting them up or kicking them out of restaurants. It will only convince them – perhaps rightfully so – that your ideas exist only to victimize and shame. Change is made by engaging with people as human beings, recognizing our commonality, and then making a logical argument to support what you stand for rather than releasing a tirade of vitriol to banish what you’re against, and becoming it in the process.
So everyone, please: calm the fuck down. You’re making us look bad, and you’re hurting the cause. Be kind, be responsible, and then get to work.
Let me tell you what my policy is, as a Jew, on whether you wish me “Happy Holidays,” “Merry Christmas,” or even “Happy Hanukkah.”
I truly don’t care.
If you wish me Happy ANYTHING, the only way I will react is to be grateful that you sent me good wishes at all instead of telling me to go fuck myself. Much appreciated.
There is no war on Christmas. Unless I’m a total anomaly, my strong impression is that most people just don’t give a shit. Wish people a happy whatever-THEY-celebrate if you can, or else just do what you want. If you wish people a happy opposite-of-what-they-celebrate just to make a point, you’re a dick. But beyond that, it literally couldn’t possibly matter less.
Can we please go back to worrying about nuclear war and global warming now?