On John McCain’s death.
By Silas Nyanchwani
President Barack Obama, in his last State of the Union Address, said his one of his regrets as a president was that “the rancor and suspicion between the parties has gotten worse instead of better.”
He was commenting on the deep disrespectful divide between democrats and republicans that inevitably gave the world President Trump.
Obama, one of democracy’s best ambassadors had this to say,
“…democracy does require basic bonds of trust between its citizens. It doesn’t work if we think the people who disagree with us are all motivated by malice, or that our political opponents are unpatriotic. Democracy grinds to a halt without a willingness to compromise; or when even basic facts are contested, and we listen only to those who agree with us. Our public life withers when only the most extreme voices get attention. Most of all, democracy breaks down when the average person feels their voice doesn’t matter; that the system is rigged in favor of the rich or the powerful or some narrow interest.”
He was referring to the tendency of republicans to be extremely malicious and in his case racism did play a role in the hatred towards democrats. So petty were republicans in his reign that they even questioned where he was born. Hardly anything used to get done, and often he relied on Executive Fiat to get things done. Democrats in America do have their own flaws, including thinking that everyone who disagrees with them or what they stand for is a fool.
Everywhere in the world political divisions have only gotten worse. If not extreme right-wing politicians rising to the top, we are having extremes such as BREXIT, and anti-immigrant sentiments, and political exchanges that are so immature, you wonder where the world is going.
But one Republican was different. We all remember him telling a woman that Obama was American, and he only had sharp ideological differences with him. McCain was graceful in his defeat, unlike Hillary Clinton towards Trump’s victory. McCain remained a principled politician, reminding us that you can pick a position, defend it without insulting others.
For his country, they have called him a maverick, a patriot, and he paid the a big price, being imprisoned for five years in Vietnam. When Trump decided to run for presidency, McCain was vocal in his opposition (may be safe that he was not in the race, but really out of principal). He earned an insult from Trump who said that being imprisoned was not a sign of heroism, saying “I like people who were not captured”. Which is an insult to a war veteran and a POW, no less.
Many have talked about McCain’s vocal support of the Iran war that left hundreds of thousands dead. And other Republican ideals he lived for and supported.
But as a politician, sometimes you have to make choices, at certain moments. The consequences of such choices, regardless of the motivation are for history to judge. Iraq was a disaster, but it was an American war.
In his deathbed, he asked only President Bush and Obama to deliver eulogies. Proving that if you are honourable, you remain consistent to the end.
Kenya and Africa needs this type of leaders. People willing to die for their country. The greedy fools who run Africa don’t love their country. You appoint someone to the Ministry of Education, he kills public schools because he or she owns some private schools or private universities. You appoint someone as the Minister of Health, he runs down the public hospital because they have a stake in private clinics. We are useless.
Let McCain rest, but if there is something to learn, if you love your country, prove yourself by actions, not stupid rhetorics.