One of the true profiles in courage – John McCain – has passed.

Everyone should admire his bravery when, at the height of the Vietnam War, he was captured and taken prisoner for some 5 1/2 years and endured beatings and torture at the hands of his captors.

McCain’s values were never compromised as he was an advocate for human rights and served as chairman of the armed services committee. He wasn’t afraid to reach across the aisle in his years as a senator to join forces with his Democratic counterparts if he thought that the cause would make a better America.

Contrast his life with that of our current president, Donald Trump.

Trump received numerous deferments from serving in the military, some for dubious reasons, such as bone spurs. Trump never has a kind word for any member of the opposition party, calling them numerous degrading names.

In McCain’s book “The Restless Wave,” he says of Trump, “The appearance of toughness, or a reality show facsimile of toughness, seems to matter more than any of our values.”

McCain goes on to say humility is the self-knowledge that you possess as much inherent dignity as anyone else, and not one bit more. If humility vanishes entirely, we will tear our society apart.

This world needs more heroes the likes of McCain, who embodied the qualities of humility, compromise, sacrifice and the love of others. We should all reject egotism, deceit and hate at any level.

John Washko


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