The Death Of John McCain

I wrote this as a post on my Facebook page. But I wanted to dig a little deeper into these sentiments. I’d like to do more posts like this on my website but I’ve also got a lot projects that I’m part taking in on regular basis and am on tour 40-50 weeks of the year. So If you’d like help make this a regular thing on the website, consider becoming a monthly Patron for only $2/month! Fair warning, this is more of a serious post than it is a funny one.

There’s a lot of fervor surrounding the death of Senator John McCain. If you look into his politics he’s an interesting person. He’s not someone that agreed with a lot of the time or someone that I was fond of on the opposition, but from what I can gather he seemed like an interesting, flawed human being. I don’t consider him a hero or anything. Just a human being.

Firstly he’s a Republican but I don’t much care for labels. Considering the fact that there’s not much of a difference between political parties in a corporate run duopoly. I think there are some people that are unfairly judging him because of his label and color of tie he wore.

McCain was a war veteran that didn’t believe in cutting taxes during war time because we have to fund the military somehow. He supported the war in Iraq, parts of Africa and most of the Middle East. Now I know a bunch of vets and most of them don’t believe in war as an option to solve problems. 

But lets look at McCain’s Veteran status. He was ordered to commit a war crime of blowing up a civilian glass factory in Vietnam, captured and became a POW, tortured and then rescued. He then came home, became a decorated war veteran and then the Senator of Arizona. This is better treatment than most combat veterans see in their entire lifetime. I have friends who got healthcare treatment for the first time a decade after their service! There’s tons of Vets that are homeless out there. So to McCain the system gave him the luxury treatment for his Veteran status.

So based on how he was treated as Veteran, he probably saw going to war as a badge of honor. Now he’s also funded by companies like Raytheon and General Dynamics who are war profiteering corporations. This is another reason he probably saw War as a good thing. It can make you wealthy and it if you believe that money is a value of success then this will override most other things, like a moral compass.

But he wanted to cut funding for Boeing’s war manufacturing and eventually changed his mind on the F-35 saying it’s a waste of time. He also wanted the American military to stop spending money on special interest projects. I don’t think this made him anti-war, it made him a fiscal conservative. Money is the defining factor here yet again. 

From what it seems he was a fiscal conservative who wanted to put the American people first. He talked a lot about taking care of American families. He wanted to bail out people instead of banks! I can’t find any information on whether he acted on this or not. I have my doubts, but much like Obama he had nice things to say about helping  the American People.

Another reason he was pro-War! People are pro-war because they believe it will protect their country and it’s citizens. These rationales don’t make it right and neither do they change my anti-war stance. But I think it’s important to consider when talking to people that disagree with us and learning why they believe what they believe. It’s important to understand each other so we can have some rational discourse rather than shouting obscenities and calling each other names. That has solved zero problems so far.

McCain was also know for his anger and public outbursts. This makes me think that he probably has PTSD from his service and being captured. I can’t even imagine what that must have been like. I also wonder how much of his PTSD played into his politics. Did he believe that if we did depend on corporations and go to war with different political ideologies that we’d all be in a POW camp? I’m not sure, but maybe.

Fear makes for some strange decisions. And perhaps he was a scared man that saw the world through the lens of a POW and wanted to make sure that wasn’t a fate for anyone and made his decisions through that. It’s a limited lens.

Now the question of whether he had access to healthcare and a therapist isn’t the right one. I’m sure he did. But if he comes from an honor bound family, seeking mental health help isn’t considered manly or brave. No one from Top Gun ever went to therapy…though like McCain they probably should have.

He was also pretty adamant that “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” didn’t incite a witchhunt for homosexuals in the military. As he stated the policy doesn’t allow for it. He didn’t argue whether or not the policy was being enforced, which it wasn’t. But it seems like cognitive dissonance. He can’t reconcile that an organization he was part of would do something like that. That the brotherhood preached by the military was being besmirched by the people in it. It’s a tough pill to swallow.

Speaking of pills, I also disagreed with John McCain’s healthcare plans. Privatization of healthcare and cutting Medicare doesn’t help families. He was also anti-abortion which also doesn’t help families or bring back the middle class. He eventually changed his mind on privatized healthcare after his brain tumor that ended up taking his life.

Perhaps if he would’ve changed his mind earlier, I wonder if he would have eventually championed for better mental health and micro-dosing. We won’t really know, but it would’ve been fun to see the rest of the GOP’s head spin as McCain slowly became a true Maverick. Taking care of him PTSD and ensuring the American populous was actually cared for instead of soundbytes with a smile.

From what I can gather he was someone that was malleable in his beliefs based on experience and what he learned. He was against MLK Jr. Day and then said he regrets his decision and changed his mind after some reflection. Did he implement new ideas based on changing his mind? I’m not particularly sure. He seemed like someone that had good intentions and some bad ideas to execute his intentions. Unfortunately good intentions don’t really work out in a corporate run duopoly!

Because he seems like a good intentioned person stuck in a machine more concerned on applying a dollar value to your beliefs, he got sucked into it. Maybe if he wasn’t pulled into politics as a vet and paid off by the war profiteers he’d be like most of the Veterans I know, anti-war and pro-legalization of marijuana and psychedelics.

From what I can gather, he was a product of the broken system, which is fully in the light with the Trump administration. Perhaps if we had a better structure in place people wouldn’t be telling a Republican centrist to go to hell. We can just be honest about what he was and wasn’t.

McCain was far from perfect. He wasn’t someone that I liked. I doubt I’d be someone he liked. Regardless his death is sad. It’s sad because of the grief his loved ones must be going through. The loss of life is sad, regardless of who it is. I don’t particularly care for these so-called Progressives trashing him at the point of his death. Nor do I care of the revisions of history by the mainstream media.

People are calling him a monster and of the like and I don’t think that’s ok. True monsters exist. They’re created through a cocktail of fear, resentment, anger and ideologies as rigid as concrete. I don’t think McCain was a true monster. My assessment of him is that he tried, he made mistakes and had a hard time reconciling a bunch of them. Again, it doesn’t make it right, just something we might want to consider.

He was a human being. Flawed. Hypocritical. Learning. I think John McCain made decisions based on whether he thought it was good for the American people or not. His record shows that a bunch of those decisions didn’t work out in the favor of the American people, which is more than unfortunate. It shows you how really broken the system is and the work that’s still left do.

McCain’s legacy doesn’t have to do with his nickname or his war mongering or his conservative politics. There’s plenty of other Democrats and Republicans carrying those ideas forward. His legacy can be one of learning from our mistakes and bettering our lives. It’s the fact that we can treat our enemies a little better. Show them compassion and empathy. Maybe they don’t know how much power and value is in those ideas. We can teach them by example.

Attacking his supporters or his family for grieving isn’t going to make for a better tomorrow. It’s going make them feel resentful and enraged and probably push back. Which starts the cycle all over again. Caring for people that didn’t or don’t care about you is hard, but maybe it’s the way we break the cycle we’re in now and fix the system. Maybe we can look at John McCain’s hypocrisies & flaws and learn from them to decrease our own for the sake of future generations.

RIP Senator McCain. Thanks for giving it your best shot.