Senator John McCain (R-Ariz) died of brain cancer today. His family announced on Friday that he would discontinue treatment for the deadly disease he has battled for more than a year. He was 81.
McCain has assumed many titles over the past 50 years, including prisoner-of-war, presidential candidate, political maverick, and senator. His lasting legacy might be his latest role: An ardent foe of President Donald Trump. The two have exchanged barbs for the past few years, and this week will feature many recriminations about what Trump has said about the former senator, and how “pro-Trump” outlets and pundits handle the news of McCain’s death. In many ways, the Trump-McCain battle represents the fault lines of the contemporary Republican Party.
But tonight, most of us are remembering the pain of losing someone we love—particularly a parent—at the hands of a cruel and destructive disease. No one is immune from cancer’s unrelenting, agonizing, and humiliating rampage. When you watch someone you think is invincible succumb to an unyielding physical monster that the smartest people in the world cannot stop, it humbles you in a way that nothing else can. No title and no amount of money can insulate you from the doom prescribed by the most potent forms of cancer.
There will be a time to evaluate John McCain’s record, his impact on the Republican Party, and influence on national politics. But tonight is not the night. Tonight is the night to pray for Cindy McCain and his entire family. Even if you aren’t the praying type, it’s a time to remember your loved ones who have suffered from this horrific disease. And toast the days that you—and those around you—are cancer-free.
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