Pause for a moment and try to recall the last time you heard politicians speak respectfully about a political foe or acknowledge their contributions. Quite possibly it was during the 2008 presidential campaign at a town hall meeting in a Minnesota high school, when a woman asked Sen. John McCain a question. “I can’t trust Obama,” she told McCain, “I have read about him, and he’s not, he’s not — he’s an Arab.” Her comment prompted McCain to immediately shake his head and take the microphone from her. “No ma’am,” McCain said. “He’s a decent family man, a citizen that I just happen to have disagreements with on fundamental issues, and that’s what this campaign is all about. He’s not (an Arab).”
Reflecting on the late Republican senator’s bipartisan spirit at that moment one is left with hope for a future day when civility is restored to its proper place in American culture and politics. It was not a moment forgotten by his political foe. A decade later, on Saturday, Sept. 1, 2018, as millions of Americans listened, former President Barack Obama delivered a moving eulogy in honor of Sen. McCain at Washington’s National Cathedral.