John McCain Dead at 81

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.

Photo credit: Win McNamee/Getty Images

About Julie Kelly

Julie Kelly is a political commentator and senior contributor to American Greatness. She is the author of Disloyal Opposition: How the NeverTrump Right Tried―And Failed―To Take Down the President Her past work can be found at The Federalist and National Review. She also has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, The Hill, Chicago Tribune, Forbes, and Genetic Literacy Project. After college graduation, she served as a policy and communications consultant for several Republican candidates and elected officials in suburban Chicago. She also volunteered for her local GOP organization. After staying home for more than 10 years to raise her two daughters, Julie began teaching cooking classes out of her home. She then started writing about food policy, agriculture, and biotechnology, as well as climate change and other scientific issues. She graduated from Eastern Illinois University in 1990 with a degree in communications and minor degrees in political science and journalism. Julie lives in suburban Chicago with her husband, two daughters, and (unfortunately) three dogs.

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