Occasionally Standing up for Basic Humanity Does Not Make John McCain a Hero

I am always a little baffled when I read left leaning publications and individuals talking about what a hero and Maverick John McCain is for standing up to the growing white nationalist movement in our country. In his most recent “brave speech” he goes out of his way to not even mention the president, his current Republicans colleagues in congress, or his own personal  involvement in reigniting the “ash heap of history”.

a man wearing a suit and tie: Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) shakes hands with former vice president Joe Biden after receiving the Liberty Medal in Philadelphia on Monday.

While accepting the Liberty Medal Award Last night, John McCain said this:

“To fear the world we have organized and led for three-quarters of a century, to abandon the ideals we have advanced around the globe, to refuse the obligations of international leadership and our duty to remain ‘the last best hope of Earth’ for the sake of some half-baked, spurious nationalism cooked up by people who would rather find scapegoats than solve problems is as unpatriotic as an attachment to any other tired dogma of the past that Americans consigned to the ash heap of history.”

Somehow the media takes this as a veiled shot at Trump but I don’t really see how or why when you listen to what he said and who he has represented for decades.  Considering the man’s past, this speech was more of a testimonial for his level of hypocrisy than his capacity for being a “Maverick”. It seems to me as if the “half-baked, spurious nationalism” he and other unwavering Republicans now bravely and occasionally rail against is somehow viewed as an outside entity to themselves and the Republican Party instead of something they very obviously and willing embraced and created.

Are we so quick to forget his presidential campaign and running mate? Mccain/Palin 2008 campaign rallies were the angry beginning of the half baked spurious nationalism that “birthed” the Trump presidency and that now dominates and defines the party only slightly less than the Palinesque zealtory, stupidity and hypocrisy. Could he possibly not recognize that fact? Sorry Senator, but criticizing Joe Six pack’s not so secret racial bias isn’t nearly as brave today when he no longer represents your only vote and path to election.

Why this hypocritical about face isn’t seen more clearly is beyond me. Make no mistake, he was as aware of it then as he is today facing death and not facing re-election. His calculated, timely speech condemning anyone and no one could just as easily be directed at himself and his own Arizona constituency of the past however many decades.

Trump didn’t invent the tactic of stoking racial tension and white nationalism for personal/political gain even if he is taking it to disturbing new levels today. If he really is so alarmed by the direction we are heading as he states in his latest round of  self serving platitudes then maybe the Maverick’s final brave speech to the American people should start with an apology instead of a medal ceremony.