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Senator John Sidney McCain was one of the most beloved and respected politicians of the United States of America. Idolizing his father and grandfather, John McCain graduated from the Naval Military Institute and got a commission in 1958 where he became a prisoner of war while his father was serving as an Admiral of the Navy. His life being full of adventure was overshadowed when he was diagnosed with brain cancer along with all the injuries of the Vietnamese war that left him with many lifelong disabilities. The Republican from Arizona died at the age of 81 in 2018 where he left a legacy and a void that can never be filled. John McCain will be recognized as an unfading figure of present-day American history, and his life will long be proclaimed as nothing less than remarkable. However, in his very own words, McCain strikingly focused on living an ordinary and simple life.
Senator McCain was born at a Naval Air Station on 29th August 1936 in Panama Canal Zone. His father and grandfather were both naval decorated war heroes who rose to the ranks of four-star Admirals (Parry-Giles and Steudeman). Being born to a military family, he moved all around the United States of America and received his education from more than 20 schools and colleges. John McCain attended Episcopal High School where he excelled at wrestling and athletics. After graduating from high school, he got admission in the United States Naval Military College. At the Naval Academy, he was known for his rebellious nature as he always had some sort of an issue with his seniors. This behavior contributed to his low ranks and slow promotions (Howes). After his graduation from the Naval Academy, he started training at Pensacola where his comrades and batch mates called him a partying person. In 1961, he became a navy pilot after completing his training. McCain was irrefutably pervaded with the estimations of open administration and selflessness. The experience from imprisonment in Hanoi, Vietnam ostensibly characterized an incredible remainder, however, Senator McCain would demand to be in access of wartime captive. The ghost of the Vietnam War would not frequent McCain as much as it would encourage his undertakings to battle for equity and freedom around the world (Villagran).
With a family full of military officers especially being under the guardianship of his father and grandfather, it became evident that he will follow the footsteps of both of them as he admired them greatly (Parry-Giles and Steudeman). Even after returning home as a prisoner of war from Vietnam, he did not resign until he achieved the rank of Captain. Before that, the McCain family fought multiple wars including the Civil War where they sided with Confederates and also the Revolutionary War. McCain's family has held multiple important roles in political and military positions, and it was in the destiny of Senator McCain to enroll himself for the United States Navy.
The Vietnam War
McCain’s characteristics shined the most in Vietnam, where he was deprived of everything except his strong will and character. He bubbled over inoffensive condemnations at his captors (Barrett). Since his father was the commanding officer of every American power in the Pacific during the greater part of his five and a half long stretches of imprisonment. Mr. McCain being a Navy lieutenant commander turned into the most well-known detainee of the war, a casualty of ghastly torment and an instrument of adversary proselytizers. As his plane was shot down near Hanoi, enduring broken arms and a broken leg, he was exposed to isolation for a long time and was beaten much of the time by the Vietnamese army. Regularly he was suspended by ropes with his arms whipped behind him. McCain tried committing suicide two times but failed. His weight tumbled down to 105 pounds. He dismissed and categorically refused early discharge to keep his respect and to stay away from foe promulgation upset or hazard crippling his detainees being kept along with him. He at long last broke under torment and allegedly confessed after all the torments (Villagran). No one trusted it, even though he felt the weight of deceiving his nation.
To a great many Americans, Mr. McCain was the exemplification of boldness: a war saint who returned home on crutches, mentally scarred and having a body structured with broken bones as he was beaten after every two hours along with his other comrades who were selected for a program of torture and beating, however not in soul (Barrett). He experienced long therapeutic medications and recovery, yet was left forever impaired, unfit to raise his arms over his head. From that point, he was helped with combing his hair for the rest of his life. After his return, he was appreciated by many and at times he had to face many backlashes and harsh words from people belonging to different backgrounds. Up until recently in 2015, his inclusion in the Vietnamese war was criticized by many social speakers and was against his public services and political career. He was termed as a war criminal by many and criticized his presidential campaigns and was being targeted by his opponents as well. Senator McCain's political career was full of ups and downs, but he was the center of attention most of the time.
Though Senator McCain was held captive for more than five years in Vietnam, his heroism was not forgotten. He could have had himself extracted after his father was given then charge and overlook of Vietnam War but he stayed behind with his war comrades. For all his duties he was awarded the Legion of Merit, Distinguished Flying Cross, the Bronze Star, a Purple Heart and Silver Star (Howes). All these achievements speak of his boldness and patriotism that McCain had for his country which later on depicted the true nature of his political thinking where his values and norms were given importance and respect by both Democrats and Republicans. All the achievements for him were insufficient. In any case, a specialist's report appeared to catch his most joyful minute. "Felt satisfaction," it stated, "when his father was presented at a supper as Commander John McCain's Father (McCain).” This simple yet heavy statement made him complete and he felt that his military career was complete.
McCain’s attitude was straight forward and he never thought about losing until he lost his fight with cancer. McCain's diary may effortlessly be confused with an undertaking novel. His encounters and tales — some clever, some grave, yet all informative — catch self-depicted anxiety filled by enthusiasm for administration and service for the public. In a time where the most elevated recognition is given to the dejected businessperson, figures like McCain appear to be found in our history exercises however not in our souls. John Sidney McCain battled numerous battles, and he battled them all gallantly (Schwenkel, 30-42). He battled because everyone is equal as we all are human beings and was a fierce upholder of the constitution of the United States of America. He fought because he accepted we are more similar than we are extraordinary. He battled since he accepted that genuine human instinct is love and sympathy, not ravenousness and animosity. He fought for the rights of people and at many times was seen having a good time with his opponent Barack Obama on the platforms of medical care and immigration (Wilson-Kratzer and Benoit, 178-180).
"Nothing in life is more liberating than to fight for a cause larger than yourself, something that encompasses you but is not defined by your existence alone (McCain)."
In 1982, at the point when Representative John Rhodes of Arizona resigned following 30 years in Congress, Mr. McCain, in a battle somewhat financed by his better half, effectively won the seat in a Republican area. This was the starting point of his political career. A long-lasting card shark and gambler with connections to the gaming business, Mr. McCain in 1988, composed the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act, classifying guidelines for Native American betting endeavors. John McCain was a true American as he believed that Americans never quit and have been making history since its independence (Alexander). A Maverick in the political ranks, he never shied away from criticizing his own party’s leadership and candidates.
McCain kept on attesting the supremacy of American power. He discredited the nation's retreat from a guideline put together worldwide request prefaced with respect to the American administration and dependent on opportunity, free enterprise, human rights and majority rule government (Povich). The versatile Mr. McCain was a huge hurdle in Obama's healthcare plans. He casted a ballot against the Affordable Care Act, Mr. Obama's mark human services plan, which became law in 2010. He embraced Mitt Romney's losing Republican offer in 2012 for the election of presidency. One of his greatest achievements was getting the chairmanship of the Armed Services Committee in 2015. He considered this post the most powerful after the United States Presidentship (Wilson-Kratzer and Benoit, 178-180).
After the nomination of Donald Trump as the contender for President Ship, the Republicans started to keep their cool against Donald Trump. However, the Maverick McCain did not hesitate and became an even more prominent figure of the senate and American politics as he openly criticized Trump's policies in press conferences and on Twitter. He even denounced Trump's nomination and presidential election and deemed him unfit for the harshest job on the planet. He had to keep his cool (Schwenkel, 30-42). Be that as it may, the country was stunned. A torrential slide of censures plunged from publication sheets and political pioneers, yet the shock blurred into the embroidered artwork of Mr. Trump's incitements against Muslims, Mexicans and black and Hispanic individuals. Trump supporters, who were generally white, were off the view that his predispositions demonstrated an invigorating ability to ignore political rightness.
Indeed, even as McCain battled his very last fight against the chronic disease of cancer, he did not quit battling for the nation as he took up intertwined fights against the brokenness of government and the division of the general population in his last words on the floor of the Senate. McCain finally gave up his fight and passed away on the 25th of August in the year 2018. Throughout his life, McCain battled and showed others how it is done. His fortitude knew no limits. In his memory, we should carry on these fights with the equivalent tenacious mental fortitude and with patriotic acts. McCain's heritage cannot be compared with or called as a perfect hero. Instead, McCain's eternal significance remains in his flaws and his benevolence in loss and impediments. His presidential campaigns were not enough to get him the white house, but he stood by his party's nominees no matter what and criticized them if their actions were against the interest of the public, McCain is a true American pride and not someone who will be forgotten in simple words. His political and military life will always be a part of the great American nation.
Alexander, Paul. Man of the people: The life of John McCain. John Wiley & Sons, 2004.
Barrett, Evan. "John McCain: Character and Contrast." (2018).
Howes, Craig. "Recovering, but Not Healing: America's Vietnam War Thirty-Five Years On." (2011): 395-398.
McCain, John. "Access to quality and affordable health care for every American." New England Journal of Medicine 359.15 (2008): 1537-1541.
McCain, John. "John McCain’s acceptance speech." New York Times (2008).
Parry-Giles, Trevor, and Michael J. Steudeman. "Crafting character, moving history: John McCain’s political identity in the 2008 presidential campaign." Quarterly Journal of Speech 103.1-2 (2017):
Povich, Elaine S. John McCain: A Biography. Greenwood Publishing Group, 2009.
Schwenkel, Christina. "From John McCain to Abu Ghraib: Tortured bodies and historical unaccountability of US empire." American Anthropologist 111.1 (2009): 30-42.
Villagran, Gil J. "John McCain: War Hero or War Criminal?." (2015).
Wilson-Kratzer, Jessica M., and William L. Benoit. "A functional analysis of press releases from Senator Barack Obama and Senator John McCain during the 2008 primary presidential election." Public Relations Review 36.2 (2010): 178-180.
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