John McCain

To the Editor

Just one week ago I wrote: “In the last couple years we’ve all witnessed with heartbreak the destruction the Republican/ Fox News/Russian propaganda has brought to the lives of too many people close to us. It’s been hard watching conservative friends manipulated by fear and anger turn against their own decency.”

One conservative that was in no way turned by any of this was John McCain. His principled stance against the corruption of the current President will be forever remembered in America’s history as one of the amazing acts of patriotism that has always made this country great.

John McCain was a hero not for the events that happened to him in his life, but for the way he responded to those events. We all like to imagine ourselves as being capable of turning the other cheek, but the reality is that those who are tortured become the torturers.

Not John McCain. He fought the all-too-human urge for revenge and instead became a powerful voice for decency. And again after losing his 2000 bid for the presidency to a racist attack against his family, his refusal to stoke the flames of racism in 2008 in his campaign against Barack Obama showed so much of the man he was.

Heroes in any party of politics are few and far between. We could sure use some conservative ones like John McCain right now.

At long last the court process has begun to roll back the lies on which this administration has for so long thrived. The process won’t be quick, but before it’s over, everything the modern Republican Party has become will be exposed.

After that it will become very difficult for the party to continue on. At some point all of America, liberals and conservatives alike, need to wake up to the reality that what Russia and Fox News have been attacking is not America’s liberalism. Look at any poll or any recent special election and you will see our country’s liberal values are surging. What these forces have been so effective at wiping out from our politics are our conservative values, the very values John McCain spent so much of his life upholding.

Though we are in for tough times, these times won’t last forever. In what comes next will be the opportunity for a new American conservatism for modern times to emerge.

Imagine a conservatism that believes in conservation, and that leads in America’s historic fight for equality. A conservatism that knows capitalism only works when the playing field is even for all. And most importantly, a conservatism that demands the end to profiting off damaging the public good while expecting the tax payers to pick up the cost of cleaning up. All this is possible, but only if we are willing to work towards it.

Now is not the time to ease up. The future looks brighter, but that brighter future is only possible if we all do all we can to get out the vote. As Cooks we know how to overcome all the little obstacles that stand in the way of bringing happiness to the table. Now is the time to focus those very same skills on helping to overcome all the little obstacles that hold back those around us from voting come November 6. Together we can make the very difference needed now.

And as we work towards November 6, let’s all be inspired by John McCain’s passion for America. Please start imagining what the new modern American conservatism to come could be. The life of John McCain is a good spot to start this imagin- ing, not just for the values he stood for, but in the incredible strength with which he stood for them.

Going forward we will need many-many more women and men with as much of that strength as possible. As Cooks, it’s up to us to build them one meal at a time.

I do get it that we live in an odd time when it comes to what it means to be a hero. Contrary to the movies, it has pretty much nothing to do with wearing a cape and being invulnerable, or the new trend of suddenly being vulnerable after previously being invulnerable with or without a cape. Being a hero in real life is far more about the strength to admit where you were wrong even though everyone around you is not ready to do the same.

Look back far enough in John McCains’s life and you will find on many issues, especially those of equality, his views were not always those of enlightenment or of where the country needed to be, but instead of his time and place. But what makes him so remarkable, a hero even, is that the views he was born into were not where he ended up; far from it really.

That John McCain was able to live long enough to, in the time of the president’s transgender military ban, become a co-sponsor of the legislation against the ban is no small accomplishment.

At the time, he issued this statement: “When less than one percent of Americans are volunteering to join the military, we should welcome all those who are willing and able to serve our country. Any member of the military who meets the medical and readiness standards should be allowed to serve — including those who are transgender.”

For an 80-year-old conservative from a conservative state this is something remarkable. John McCain really is worthy of celebration. We need more like him. Please do what you can to keep his spirit alive.

Bill Penzey


Penzey Spices

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