Dan Rather is undoubtedly one of the best journalists of all time. Thankfully, his life and career have allowed people through several generations to see and hear what quality, fact-based reporting looks and sounds like when presented with paramount professionalism. Few modern members of the press can reach the bar that Rather and those like him, have set.
With that in mind, it’s no surprise that Rather would take time to reflect on Sen. John McCain’s (R-AZ) recently announced illness. Taking to Facebook to share his thoughts, Rather was succinct, but sincere. Among other things he said:
‘I hope we never get to a point where our partisanship saps us of our humanity. Regardless of where you fall on the political spectrum, the news about John McCain’s illness is a sad day for this country. I hope you pause, reflect, and pray for John. He is a man who has selfless service to this nation. He is a patriot.’
All of those things are true about McCain, who, during a 1967 Vietnam air mission, had his plane shot down. Both of McCain’s arms and one leg were broken as a result of the crash, and he was ultimately captured. As heroic as all of that is, it’s not was truly sets McCain apart as a real patriot and selfless man.
Because his father was a high-ranking officer in the U.S. Navy, McCain’s captors repeatedly gave McCain the chance to be released. He declined. Citing the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ), McCain opted to stay captive because he knew that the North Vietnamese would use McCain’s release in an attempt to gain the upper hand. He remained captive for five and a half years, with years of that time spent in solitary confinement.
Rather’s words go without saying for people with common sense. However, America’s so-called commander-in-chief must be lacking in the common sense department. His past disgraceful comments about McCain aside, when given another opportunity to show that he has a heart by issuing a compassionate statement, Trump again took the low road.
Not as concerned about McCain as he is with having one less vote for his horrible health care plan, Trump said:
‘And I can tell you, we hope John McCain gets better very soon. Because we miss him. He is a crusty voice in Washington. Plus, we need his vote.’
“Crusty voice. . .plus, we need his vote?” Were those remarks supposed to be funny, or some lame way for Trump to prove what most people already know? He doesn’t care about anyone but himself.
This isn’t the first time Dan Rather has modeled the level of decorum and etiquette that Donald Trump should be leading with. In February, when Trump was doing the most to suppress the media’s right to report on Trump’s alleged involvement with Russia, Rather issued a strong statement that made it very clear that he wasn’t a fan of the manner in which Trump was handling things.
Just like with his statement about Trump and Russia, Dan Rather is once again right. However you feel about McCain’s political record, the man is among the few who knows what it is to be captured during war and faced with the harsh treatment of life as a prisoner of war. It’s only right that the nation pause to send positive vibes and well-wishes to McCain and his family.
Rather’s full statement may be read below:
Featured Image via Getty/Theo Wargo/Staff