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Micah Grimes @MicahGrimes
, 9 tweets, 2 min read Read on Twitter
This line from President Bush sticks with me today:

John McCain "loved freedom with the passion of a man who knew its absence."

When men and women like him go, we lose an important authority to speak with authoritative experience and perspective of their lives.
President Bush was referencing the authority of John McCain to speak up against tyranny and torture around the world, which he often did, because he experienced 5+ years of confinement, where he was tortured with his freedom stripped away.
And what you get in a world where there are less and less voices of authority to shout down those who don't mind a little torture here and don't mind a little tyranny here, is a lot more aggregate torture and tyranny, over time, here and there and everywhere.
McCain is one of a last few Vietnam veterans in the US Congress who can speak directly to the lessons of that war, to that time, to the lessons of being sons of WWII fathers -- who could instill direct perspective of how truly cruel and evil and cataclysmic this world can get.
But former Sen. Bob Kerrey, a fellow Vietnam vet who lives on, gave some of that unique perspective today, saying of McCain’s legacy:

"I don't think it's the end of an era ... you’re going to have people coming into Congress who have been at war for 16 or 17 years."
And many of those veterans of the 2000s' wars will have their own perspective to provide, including some who will likely note the juxtaposition of McCain's fights for freedom with his regular support for oppressive US wars.
But despite his contradictions, which he often noted himself, he was striving for something more than a zero-sum game, and he takes with him perspective and lessons from the 20th century that may prove increasingly important as we move through the early 21st century.
The Declaration of Independence says that "all men are created equal," but as I've heard a historian say, it is inherently not obtainable - it is an ideal, but McCain and millions of others in this world have agreed to try to obtain it, because it is something worth striving for.
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