Cindy McCain pens powerful editorial about her late husband, Arizona Senator John McCain

A veiled rebuke of Trump? Cindy McCain says her husband's chief legacy was "serving a cause greater than ourselves"

By Matthew Rozsa
Published September 7, 2018 3:06PM (UTC)
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FILE - In this Jan. 19, 2008 file photo, Cindy McCain, wife of Republican presidential hopeful Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., uses a cheetah hand puppet to make her husband laugh as they ride the "Straight Talk Express" campaign bus to a polling station on the day of South Carolina's Republican presidential primary in Charleston, S.C. "A campaign is like the world's longest job interview, and even though most of us like to think that we're being our natural selves when we interview for a new job, it's only human nature to self-edit ourselves and try to make the best possible impression," says Schnur, director of the University of Southern California’s political institute. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak, File) (AP)

Cindy McCain, the widow of the late Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), penned a powerful editorial Friday on the bipartisan and patriotic legacy of the recently departed statesman.

According to Cindy McCain, her husband's chief legacy was "serving a cause greater than ourselves":


This was the essence of John McCain’s message to our nation: that we must join together, shaped by our deepest values of liberty, equal justice and respect for the dignity of all people, hardened by unwavering courage and integrity, and step into the arena to fight for a greater cause.

John did this every day. Whether it was to demand the best possible leadership and support for our armed forces, or to empower freedom fighters against dictators around the world, or to demand that perpetrators of torture and human rights abuses be punished, or to make sure our native American communities are treated with dignity and respect. John McCain fought for others every day of his life, whether he was wearing a uniform or standing on the floor of the U.S. Senate.

READ MORE: Another American happy warrior laid to rest: John McCain's legacy of gung-ho militarism

Her message was very similar to the one declared by the McCain's daughter Meghan during her eulogy last week:

Just as the first Americans looked upon a new world full of potential for a grand experiment in freedom and self-government, so their descendants have a responsibility to defend the old world from its worst self. The America of John McCain is the America of the revolution, fighters with no stomach for the summer soldier and the sunshine patriot, making the world anew with the bells of liberty. The America of John McCain is the America of Abraham Lincoln, fulfilling the promise of the Declaration of Independence that all men are created equal, and suffering greatly to see it through. The America of John McCain is the America of the boys who rushed the colors in every war across three centuries, knowing that in them is the life of the republic, and particularly those by their daring as Ronald Reagan said, gave up their chance as being husbands and fathers and grandfathers and gave up their chance to be revered old men. The America of John McCain is, yes, the America of Vietnam, fighting the fight, even in the most forlorn cause, even in the most grim circumstances, even in the most distant and hostile corner of the world, standing even in defeat for the life and liberty of other peoples in other lands.

Without mentioning President Donald Trump by name, Meghan McCain chastised his 2016 campaign slogan by saying, "The America of John McCain has no need to be made great again, because America was always great." Was Cindy McCain's reference to a "a cause greater than ourselves" also an indirect rebuke of the Republican president whom her late husband often found himself at odds with?


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Matthew Rozsa

Matthew Rozsa is a staff writer for Salon. He holds an MA in History from Rutgers University-Newark and is ABD in his PhD program in History at Lehigh University. His work has appeared in Mic, Quartz and MSNBC.

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