“I’m freer than colleagues who will face the voters again. I can speak my mind without fearing the consequences much.”
Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) has released some excerpts from his upcoming memoir The Restless Wave as he battles stage 4 brain cancer in Arizona.
He wrote that he will be retiring after finishing his current term, which has made him feel “freer” to speak his mind.
“This is my last term. If I hadn’t admitted that to myself before this summer, a stage 4 cancer diagnosis acts as ungentle persuasion,” he wrote in his book, “The Restless Wave,” according to the excerpt published on Apple News on Monday. “I’m freer than colleagues who will face the voters again. I can speak my mind without fearing the consequences much. And I can vote my conscience without worry.”
CNN cropped out an important part. When I saw that McCain wrote he feels like he can vote his “conscience without worry” I fumed. After all, Congress works for us. They represent us. It’s not about what the representatives or Senators want; it’s about what we want.
I browsed through other experts and found this at AZCentral.com:
“I can speak my mind without fearing the consequences much. And I can vote my conscience without worry. I don’t think I’m free to disregard my constituents’ wishes, far from it. I don’t feel excused from keeping pledges I made. Nor do I wish to harm my party’s prospects. But I do feel a pressing responsibility to give Americans my best judgment.”
McCain had some harsh words for President Donald Trump. He wrote that the president “has declined to distinguish the actions of our government from the crimes of despotic ones” while making “[T]he appearance of toughness, or a reality show facsimile of toughness” matter more than America’s values.
Which leads me to the next portion because it’s part of the reason why we ended up with Trump. McCain noted the “decline in civility” in politics and America in general mainly due to partisanship. From NPR:
“We are secluding ourselves in ideological ghettos,” McCain writes. “We have our own news sources. We exchange ideas mostly or exclusively with people who agree with us, and troll those who don’t. Increasingly, we have our own facts to reinforce our convictions and any empirical evidence that disputes them is branded as ‘fake.’ That’s a social trend that is going to be very hard to turn around.”
“Paradoxically,” McCain writes, “voters who detest Washington, because all we do is argue and never get anything done frequently vote for candidates who are the most adamant in their assurances that they will never ever compromise with those bastards in the other party.”
The senator encouraged those who are sick of the political climate to become more active and “[P]lay as big a role in the mundane activities of politics as the zealots do.”
More importantly, McCain reminded people that those in “other parties can be good people.” NPR continued:
“We need to recover some perspective about how much someone’s politics is a testament to their character. When did politics become the principal or only attribute we use to judge people? Republicans and Democrats can be good neighbors, loving parents, loyal Americans, decent human beings. I don’t remember another time in my life when so many Americans considered someone’s partisan affiliation a test of whether that person was entitled to their respect.”
It disgusts me that so many people base friendships and relationships on politics. As a libertarian, if I did this, I’d have maybe two friends. But I also noticed that after I converted from socialist to libertarian, a lot of my friends left me. I had conservative and Republican friends before I converted and my insane leftist views didn’t bother them too much.
McCain won his sixth Senate term in 2016, which means his term will end in 2022.DONATE
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