John S. McCain, the six-term senator, passed away at the age of 81. He suffered imprisonment and endured torture for more than five years by the North Vietnamese. He ran twice as a presidential nominee and was defeated both times, during his three decades of representing Arizona in the Senate.
McCain had a history of skin cancer and was diagnosed with brain cancer in July 2017. He had a blood clot over his left eye that was removed. He was undergoing cancer treatment, which he decided to discontinue and was announced by his family on August 24. He died on August 25 at his ranch near Sedona.
The word “maverick” became a part of his name because of his nonconformist nature as he reveled in going against orthodoxy. He advocated finance reform campaign and ran against the GOP grain. He liberalized immigration laws and banned the use of “enhanced interrogation techniques” by CIA against terrorism suspects.
John McCain was one of the most vocal Republican critics of Donald Trump, and he went on to say that the president had weakened the United States’ standing in the world. McCain returned to the Senate chamber after his surgery, an incision fresh above his left eye, and rejected the GOP plan of Trump, which probably was his most dramatic break with Trump.
“He took enjoyment from fighting, not winning or losing, as long as he believed he was fighting for a cause worth the trouble, ” said McCain’s long-time aide Mark Salter, who co-authored many books with him. McCain also had memoirs, the last of which included a critique of Trump.
He also critiqued Barack Obama’s foreign policy, and in 2012 he went on to say, “The demand for our leadership in the world has never been greater. People don’t want less of America — they want more.”
Historian Douglas Brinkley said “McCain was part of the tradition of being able to say, ‘I did public service when I was young,’ ” McCain represented the end of an era which looked at wartime military experience as mandatory for those who aspired to high office.