NY Daily News: May veterans in Congress be guided by the inner light of McCain
At a time of poisonous polarization, 92 military veterans, including 16 new faces, will be serving in the U.S. House and Senate, replenishing the ranks of former servicemen and women at a time when dozens are retiring.
We heartily hope this robust cohort, including newcomers like Staten Island’s Max Rose and New Jersey’s Mikie Sherrill, wields immediate influence — because Americans who have served in uniform often have a knack for putting their boots on, pushing through partisan muck and winning concrete results.
So it was with Sen. John McCain. Though the former Navy captain was a conservative and in some respects an ideologue, he was guided by an indomitable love of country and by an honorable veteran’s gut.
Because of that gut, he forged durable partnerships with Democrats; glowed with incandescent anger over the corrosive power of special-interest money in politics; distrusted dictators; fought to stop American hands from committing torture; and rejected attempts to run roughshod over Senate rules. Because of that gut, he condemned the “half-baked, spurious nationalism cooked up by people who would rather find scapegoats than solve problems,” and said of Donald Trump’s disgraceful performance alongside Vladimir Putin in Helsinki: “No prior President has ever abased himself more abjectly before a tyrant.”
Veterans have a range of perspectives as wide as the civilians on whose behalf they serve, and there are surely political hacks among them. But in a Capitol crawling with petty party operatives and vindictive Trumpites, they just may be our best hope.
— New York Daily News