I’ve always liked Arizona Sen. John McCain.
My son got to meet him — and get his autograph — when he came to Howell in January 2008 as part of that year’s presidential campaign.
It was an exciting event; the buzz in the crowd that day was palpable. Everyone was so excited for the chance to meet all the John McCains: the senator, the war hero, the man who could be president.
I was excited to be there as the editor of the Livingston County Daily Press & Argus, and even more so because I was able to introduce my son, then 8 years old, to a great American. There were lots of other people there, too, many who also had kids in tow to see and hear from a man who might become president of the United States.
McCain spoke for two hours, and taking questions from the crowd at Crystal Gardens, including this one that made the national news.
Now, my sincere admiration for John McCain doesn’t mean I agree with him politically; that said, I’ve always had the upmost respect for him, especially as a war hero. The story of his being shot down and captured by the North Vietnamese over Hanoi in 1967, and then being held as a prisoner of war for five years — even refusing to be released ahead of his fellow prisoners — is the stuff of legend.
But the Livingston County Republican Party, for whatever reason, felt it necessary to diss McCain not once, but twice, on its Facebook page on Sunday, May 27, in a post that talked about how important Livingston County is politically. In that post, the author chose to dishonor McCain by refusing twice to call him by his name.
Since the post on the LCRP Facebook page is unsigned, it comes off like it is the official position of the Livingston County Republican Party. It’s hard for me to believe that that is the case.
And on top of that, could the timing be any more tone deaf? John McCain, valiant war hero and lifelong public servant, is battling a brain tumor for his life, for crissakes. Have we really become that disrespectful?
Truth be told, when I first saw the post with the McCain slap, I gasped. I was shocked that anyone would choose to dishonor a war hero who bravely sacrificed so much, and who went on to become decorated for his distinguished service with awards that include the Silver Star, the Bronze Star, and the Purple Heart.
And to top it all off, the LCRP Facebook page the next day posted a Memorial Day tribute to veterans.
Taken together, these posts, coming just a day apart, seem way too schizophrenic. And it’s head-scratchingly bewildering that anyone could possibly consider McCain’s service and sacrifice deserving of anything other than great honor and our deep, undying gratitude.