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OpinionLetters

Readers reflect on John McCain and the era of President Trump

Sen. John McCain is remembered on a billboard

Sen. John McCain is remembered on a billboard along a Phoenix highway on Monday. Photo Credit: Getty Images / Justin Sullivan

As politicians on both sides of the aisle express affection and respect for Sen. John McCain, they typically mention his ability to work with both parties on issues to make America a better place [“Sen. John McCain dies at 81,” News, Aug. 26]. He is universally praised and admired for this quality. One would think that more of his colleagues would take his example by breaking free of the set-in-stone positions dictated by their parties and the deep-pocketed lobbyists.

And what of President Donald Trump praising the “bravery” of the thieving Paul Manafort after disrespecting Sen. McCain’s military service? Unfortunately, McCain will not be around to explain the meaning of bravery, but then again, the list of admirable human qualities that Trump needs to learn is too long to list in any newspaper.

Chris Marzuk, Greenlawn

Sen. John McCain truly deserves to be called honorable, a term applied to many but deserved by few.

Dennis Fecci, Mount Sinai

Disagreement and respect can be mutual. This is one of the virtues that American hero John McCain adhered to and taught us all.

Thank you for your service to our country. Peace to you and your family.

Steven Taub, Melville

I remember and honor John McCain for defending NFL players’ First Amendment rights to take a knee during the national anthem in peaceful protest of police brutality against blacks and other minorities in America.

“That’s their right to do what they want as citizens,” McCain said.

McCain represents a much more respectable political philosophy of healthy public debate as compared with the racism, classism, and sexism seen in the Trump era. McCain lost his presidential election bids, but earned the nation’s respect for being a man of integrity.

The Rev. Arthur L. Mackey Jr., Roosevelt

Editor’s note: The writer is senior pastor of Mount Sinai Baptist Church Cathedral.

Whether you are Republican and didn’t like his vote on repealing the Affordable Care Act and his criticism of President Donald Trump, or a Democrat who didn’t like his aggressive military intervention policies, you have to agree that he was an honorable man. His stability and willingness to cross the aisle on legislation will be sorely missed. And his country-before-party philosophy is just what we desperately need in today’s divisive politics.

And yes, Mr. President, McCain is a national hero. He was a man who could chose to serve his country in a dangerous conflict, a man who was tortured as a prisoner of war but refused an early release.

John McCain will be missed, and we can only hope that his legacy will inspire more people to put country before themselves. Godspeed, John McCain.

Jim Kiernan, Holbrook

If anything illustrated the vapidness of President Donald Trump, it was his initial canned statement on the passing of Senator John McCain, a true American hero who embodied the essence of patriotism and represented the best of us.

Richard M. Frauenglass,Huntington

Godspeed, John McCain, a great American who always put country above himself. You will be missed! Signed by a fellow Navy veteran.

James Klein, East Patchogue

Patriot, honorable, American hero, maverick, country before party: These are the words being used to describe the late John McCain.

Sadly, these words are in short supply when describing his colleagues in the Senate and the House during this administration.

McCain was a man this country could be proud of even with his faults, because he made a difference.

Ann Leahy, Wantagh

It was so very sad that we have lost Sen. John McCain. When he was running for president in 2008, I wrote him a letter to ask about unemployment, the economy, Social Security and veterans issues. He responded with a signed picture, and directed me to his website with details on what he had done and planned to do.

As a fellow Navy veteran, I salute McCain for a job well done. He will be truly missed.

Frederick R. Bedell Jr., Glen Oaks

The late Republican Arizona senator and presidential candidate John McCain was always a breath of fresh air.

What you saw is what you got with his “Straight Talk Express” campaign bus. He regularly worked across the aisle with Democrats. They included Massachusetts Sen. Edward Kennedy on comprehensive immigration reform and Wisconsin Sen. Russ Feingold on campaign finance reform.

His history in the Senate hearkens back to an age of collegiality no longer seen.

Like New York’s late Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan, McCain was an intellectual giant who stood head and shoulders above today’s newer generation of senators.

In our era of highly partisan politics, let’s hope that all members of Congress honor McCain’s memory, move beyond rigid ideological commitments and come together on behalf of all Americans. McCain was a role model others should emulate. With McCain’s death, Diogenes has resumed the search for an honest man.

Larry Penner, Great Neck

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