Should John McCain Be Considered a Political Maverick?

Arizona Senator John McCain died of brain cancer on August 25, 2018, after stopping treatment one day earlier. McCain believed in following his own beliefs, he strayed away from his own party and voted against the repeal of Obamacare.

Maddie Gudrian, Editor

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On August 25, 2018, political maverick John McCain died after stopping treatment for brain cancer. Throughout his career, he fought for his beliefs as an Arizona senator, crossed “enemy lines”, and ran for president twice.

During the Vietnam War, McCain was held by the Viet Cong as a prisoner at a facility Americans called “Hanoi Hilton”. McCain had the opportunity to leave but chose to stand by his troop and stay with them. He was beaten on a daily basis, to the point where he had multiple broken ribs, a broken arm, and had to be placed under medical supervision. He reportedly called his captors by racist names, such as “chinks” or other terms offensive to Vietnamese or other Asian cultures. One has to recognize that the language used while he was in captivity was accepted during and after the Vietnam War. The language has more to do with the era and time than McCain himself.

When McCain was finally released, he went back home to his wife and children. He eventually became a politician. McCain unsuccessfully ran for president twice, once in 2000 and in 2008. During his 2008 campaign, he ran for what he believed in, not what his party believed. While answering questions, many of his supporters made false claims about Mr. Obama. McCain stood by his own beliefs and defended his political foe.

“He’s a decent family man and citizen that I just happen to have disagreements with on fundamental issues,” McCain said. “And that’s what this campaign is all about,”.

Rather than attack the future president, McCain stood his ground. He was a moderate Republican who was willing to “cross enemy lines” in order to stay with his beliefs, rather than the beliefs of his party. McCain was in between for modern-day liberals and conservatives. Because McCain didn’t follow what his party solely believed, he was once asked by the Democratic party to run as a Democrat.  In today’s society, it’s very rare to see someone who is willing to keep their beliefs as their own. McCain was the deciding vote on TrumpCare, he worked with Edward (Ted) Kennedy on immigration, wanted to stop climate change, and much more.

Many reporters have been questioning if there could ever be a chance for another John McCain. He wasn’t afraid of what his party thought of his opinions and beliefs. Politicians today are stuck to their party and won’t cross over, even if they want to get something done. McCain was so successful because he wasn’t afraid. Political parties stand with the beliefs of their party, rather than their own personal beliefs. A good politician should stand by their own beliefs rather than what their party believes.

A political maverick is “an independent individual who does not go along with a group or party,” according to the Merriam-Webster dictionary. John McCain fought against his own party when his personal beliefs were being violated or if he disagreed with his party. Should John McCain be considered a political maverick? McCain is considered a political maverick because he was a war hero, fought for what he believed was right, and was a true American patriot. A politician like John McCain will be hard to find in today’s society. He fought for his beliefs until the day he left office.


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