John McCain

If you’re looking for a Victor Hugo script in the 21st Century, the current Washington DC administration has plenty of fodder for your keyboard. Anger, controversy, foreign intrigue, indictments, convictions: this White House has it all and more. Good people everywhere are pushing back in their own ways to make their points. There doesn’t seem to be middle ground, as you’re either with the President or resisting. Along those lines, the Resistance has its martyr now, and it’s the same man who helped make his party into what it is today.

Unless you buried your head in the sand, you know John McCain was honored September 1st at the grandest meeting of the Resistance since 45 was inaugurated, as noted in the New Yorker. Former Presidents, the Senator’s daughter, and other speakers made pointed personal remarks about the character and behavior to the current White House occupant. Senator McCain found the President’s behavior repugnant to the point that Mr. Trump was not invited to the Washington National Cathedral, three and half miles from the Oval Office (Mr. Trump was at his Virginia golf club, anyway).

Also uninvited was Mr. McCain’s running mate from his 2008 presidential campaign, former Alaskan Governor Sarah Palin. Her rise to a national stage was one of the key factors in the rise of the Tea Party Republicans, though not certainly the first, last, or most important factor. Her nomination as her party’s standard bearer helped validate and empower thousands of Palins across the country. While some of their extremism is out of fashion, the impact of these vocal ultra-conservatives continues to resonate through the halls of Congress. From the cheap seats where I sit, the momentum created in 2008 played a key factor in Donald Trump’s election in 2016. This version of the Trump-oriented Grand Ol’ Party may not be of Mr. McCain’s choosing, but he certainly had a hand in its creation.

Whatever your opinion of Senator McCain, and it seems very few people sit in the center between the extremes between love and hate, his carefully orchestrated memorial service paid appropriate homage to a complex man who loved his country and helped make his party into the what it is today. Whether or not that’s a good thing is up to you.

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