Tuesday, August 28, 2018


Yesterday, John McCain's family released McCain's Farewell Statement to America. Supremely eloquent and poignant, it will stand for the ages. I would like us to see that statement in the context of the schism in South Carolina. It speaks to us:


My fellow Americans, whom I have gratefully served for sixty years, and especially my fellow Arizonans.

That you for the privilege of serving you and for the rewarding life that service in uniform and in public office has allowed me to lead. I have tried to serve our country honorably. I have made mistakes, but I hope my love for America will be weighed favorably against them.

I have often observed that I am the luckiest person on earth. I feel that way even now as I prepare for the end of my life. I have loved my life, all of it. I have had experiences, adventures and friendships enough for ten satisfying lives, and I am so thankful. Like most people, I have regrets. But I would not trade a day of my life, in good or bad times, for the best day of anyone else's.

I owe that satisfaction to the love of my family. No man ever had a more loving wife or children he was prouder of than I am of mine. And I owe it to America. To be connected to America's causes---liberty, equal justice, respect for the dignity of all people---brings happiness more sublime than life's fleeting pleasures. Our identities and sense of worth are not circumscribed but enlarged by serving good causes bigger than ourselves.

'Fellow Americans'---that association has meant more to me than any other. I lived and died a proud American. We are citizens of the world's greatest republic, a nation of ideals, not blood and soil. We are blessed and are a blessing to humanity when we uphold and advance those ideals at home and in the world. We have helped liberate more people from tyranny and poverty than ever before in history. We have acquired great wealth and power in the process.

We weaken our greatness when we confuse our patriotism with tribal rivalries that have sown resentment and hatred and violence in all of the corners of the globe. We weaken it when we hide behind walls, rather than tear them down, when we doubt the power of our ideals, rather than trust them to be the great force for change they have always been.

We are three-hundred-and-twenty-five million opinionated, vociferous individuals. We argue and compete and sometimes even vilify each other in our raucous public debates. But we have always had so much more in common with each other than in disagreement. If only we remember that and give each other the benefit of the presumption that we all love our country we will get through these challenging times. We will come through them stronger than before. We always do.

Ten years ago, I had the privilege to concede defeat in the election for president. I want to end my farewell to you with the heartfelt faith in Americans that I felt so powerfully that evening. I feel it powerfully still.

Do not despair of our present difficulties but believe always in the promise and greatness of America, because nothing is inevitable here. Americans never quit. We never surrender. We never hide from history. We make history.

Farewell, fellow Americans. God bless you, and God bless America.


The message I see in this to the people caught in the ugly division in South Carolina: we have our disagreements, that is part of life, but as long as we respect each other as children of God we will come through this stronger than before. We are all in this together; and we have far more in common than in difference. Nothing is inevitable. The future is up to us. 

What a great statement and what a great lesson for the good Christians in South Carolina. It is interesting to note that McCain was a lifelong Episcopalian. He and his wife attended a Baptist church in North Phoenix for years, but McCain never joined the church. He always listed his "religion" as Episcopalian. He embodied well the three-legged stool of classical Anglicanism: scripture, reason, and tradition.

[NOTE. McCain's memorial service at Washington National Cathedral will be telecast by C-SPAN 1 and live streamed. It is scheduled to begin at 10 a.m. EDT.

Did you know that McCain's mother is still alive? She is 106.]