I woke up this morning full of hope and optimism that the week long orgy of love for John McCain would finally be over. I mean, as much as people loved Aretha Franklin, people said what they had to say and after a couple of days it was over. Her musical legacy will live on forever, of course, as it should.
However, my hopes were quickly dashed. The news people had to go over everything everybody said at the funeral (or funerals, rather – there were different services in different places), and who was giving nasty looks to who, and on and on about what a great patriot he was and what a great hero, and what a bi-partisan politician, which I don’t exactly see as a virtue and he really wasn’t one, either, so I don’t quite know what to make of that.
After he died, I sort of thought I would take the ‘speak no ill of the dead’ route, because there are even worse warmongers than John McCain, but it’s been so damned over the top, I just have to say something. This morning, a couple of reporters were talking about how ‘stirring’ and ’emotional’ an air-force fly-by was. These people are probably unhappy they won’t get to cover a big military parade in Washington.
So, let’s examine the life of John McCain, to see if he stacks up as a hero and a patriot.
Well, he never, that we know of, did anything heroic. Except to pilot planes, of course. That’s pretty brave, and I wouldn’t do it. But he wasn’t flying rescue missions, and he wasn’t flying to defend the U.S. against foreign aggression. It was not a heroic war.
He got shot down, and he spent time in prison. That is sad, and I can understand feeling sorry for the guy. But, it’s not particularly a heroic thing. Lots and lots of unheroic people wind up in jail.
Patriot? Yes, I’m sure he loved America. But, the America that he lived in was one of mansions, luxury, and power. What’s not to love about that? He didn’t really love the American people. Not all of them. Not equally.
Anyway, I hope by tomorrow everybody will stop talking about him. He wasn’t a president. He was not a particularly good person. Just let him stay dead.