Last week, I was intrigued by all the fanfare attendant upon the national farewell to the late Sen. John McCain. I have written in this space that McCain and I were friends who spoke many times, but generally only about the issues upon which we agreed — abortion, immigration and torture.
On those issues, he often stood at odds with most of his Republican colleagues in the Senate. They are opposed to abortion in name only (they will not lift a finger to stop or slow it), prefer judging the moral worth of individuals on the basis of where they were born, and think that torture is wrong unless the victim is a bad guy or a foreigner or has information the government wants.
Moral relativism is the coin of their realm.
On those issues, McCain stood steadfast, no matter the political or personal consequences. For that steadfastness, and with respect to those issues, his behavior was heroic. A hero does not lack fear. He or she proceeds into its face nevertheless, heedless of the consequences to self.
For reasons he has never adequately explained, President Donald Trump rejected McCain's heroism and mocked McCain's time of torment in a North Vietnamese prison. That mockery was brought to full measure at McCain's funeral by the senator's daughter, my friend and former Fox News colleague Meghan McCain. She told the members of the Washington establishment who had gathered, sans the president, at her father's funeral at the Washington National Cathedral — why the federal government founded a cathedral is another question for another time — that her father manifested greatness and that Trump manifests cheapness.
Then the two men who each in his own way personally stopped McCain's efforts to become president — George W. Bush in the Republican primaries in 2000 and Barack Obama in the general election in 2008 — delivered similar accolades of McCain, complete with veiled rebukes of Trump.
On its face, the audience in that government-founded church, establishment to the core, was adoring McCain's memory and mourning his loss. But the establishment is filled with hypocrites.
This is the same establishment that gave us the unguarded borders and airways of 9/11 and blamed its failures on foreigners. It gave us the useless, fruitless wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and the human and monumental destruction they wrought.
It gave us the secret torture of foreign captives and their indefinite incarceration without trial. It gave us warrantless spying on innocent Americans — at first in secret and then openly and under color of law — in direct defiance of the Fourth Amendment. It gave us the 2008 financial crisis, which it cured by borrowing billions of dollars and giving the money to those who had caused it. And — as if all that were not enough — it gave us a $13.5 trillion collective increase in government debt during the Bush and Obama years and the secret but repetitive use of drones to assassinate foreigners and Americans overseas.
Has any of this enhanced your life, liberty or property?
As much as I appreciated the kind words about my late friend and the polite reception those words received, it made me think about how dangerous to life, liberty and property the government has become, how unfaithful to the Constitution have been those in whose hands we have reposed it for safekeeping and how unashamed of their misdeeds are those who have caused all this.