I Wrote In John McCain
Main Photo Credit: Newsweek
I can't control how people think, so therefore, I can't control how you the reader will interpret the following nor how this reflects on the blog. It's been a stance of mine to not get political on here, and sometimes I adhere to it, but whether you're red, blue, green or free from color, the political prism is ingrained in everything we do and how we live our lives, so I'm bound to break the gate from time to time.
That being said, this isn't a politically charged post. I want to think that in memoriam of its subject, that it's quite the opposite.
Politics is one dirty, lowdown, sleazebag game. I used to be an avid hoot and hollerer for its characters and intricacies, but now I avoid it like its a mattress swarming with bed bugs.
Nothing in life is that cut and dry where one side is absolutely right, and having just two powerhouse parties come to fisticuffs every two years over who is in power, the people in the ol' U.S. of A. will never quite see eye to eye. And if human history is any indication, it would be an unrealistic expectation to have for us anyways.
I remember John McCain, during his 2008 campaign for presidency, used the phrase "reach across the aisle" on several occasions, implying that he had an ability for everyone in Washington to come to some sort of mutual understanding. That seems like a fantastic notion to have for us today, but how our politics is heavily charged by social media, the talking heads of news channels and the influences of what those outlets have on how people prioritize, unity seems farther away than ever.
Nonetheless, combine that phrase with him being a POW hero, I had to think McCain's intentions in this political den of thieves was one with a solid core, whether he was someone in office or not. He may have laid down on that infested mattress, but at least he appeared to take the necessary precautions to check his person when he'd get up to go to work.
There were other aspects I liked of McCain, albeit superficial on my end. The nickname "Maverick" was a pretty cool one before his campaign and media outlets caused it to jump the shark (the nature of the beast), and John's voice sure was a fun one to impersonate when saying ridiculous stuff while tipping back a couple of Rolling Rocks. Even coming up with a scenario that McCain ate at Bob Evans on the regular had comedic legs that still lasts to this day.
Eight years passed since McCain made that Maverick run with Sarah Palin and Obama's tenure in office was coming to a close, but November 2016 brought in two candidates that many of us came to know as "the two evils." Now honestly, I don't care who you voted for, as I have friends and family on both sides of McCain's aforementioned isle and my own beliefs that don't completely line myself up with either, but I do know being understanding rather than divisive helps everybody in this Oregon Trail game filled with snake bites and death by dysentery. However, to say I enjoyed either candidate that was trotted out would be a boldfaced lie worthy of a chirp on Twitter or a Facebook post you'll more than willingly scroll by to avoid one less "unfollow" or "unfriending."
At that same time, I felt it in my patriotic duty to make some sort of statement in the election, whether many would deem it worthless, pointless or downright "part of the problem." However, for my sake of self-worth and sanity, whatever party I was registered under at the time (my memory sucks and I switched several times over the course of my voting career that it's pretty tough to keep track of) I went over to that funky kiosk at the West Penn hospital to type in the following for 2016 President of The United States: "John McCain."
After I left the polling place, even though I felt pride in my unorthodox stance, I still questioned myself: am I part of the problem? Was what I just did indeed pointless? I gave it a considerable amount of my head space before I settled on "maybe, but that's what I wanted to do."
Now we come to today, where John McCain just passed away due to a rapid form of brain cancer and America mourns his loss as a hero rather than his decisions as Senator of Arizona.
I couldn't feel any more prouder of that write-in than I do today, because maybe, in this uphill battle that we're all facing, John McCain's legacy might cause a party member or two to extend an understanding hand across that ever-widening aisle.