If I had a column in the Delft op Zondag

(Not the real)
Delft op Zondag


01 OCT 2017

DELFT - So much is going on here in Europe that it is hard to notice that the US is rejecting Repeal and Replace, again. Don't those folks have any hobbies? It is Mr. John McCain's vote that rips the rug out from under that idea. It was not always that way with Arizona's senator. But things have changed for him: aggressive brain tumor. That took some wind out of his sails.

People told they have a bad cancer have to choose if they will have treatments, if any are options. Mr. McCain will and continues to work in the US senate. He has nothing left to lose; he is voting his heart: says we must work together to solve hard problems. No more just ramming your flag down someone's throat just because you have the numbers to do that. McCain votes no.

Nothing Left to Lose

Texas is a wellspring of talent, especially music. One such from the last century came from Port Arthur, Janis Joplin. One of her most popular songs was 'Me and Bobby McG'. Her lyric I remember best: "Freedom's just another word for nothin' left to lose...". American senator John McCain is singing Joplin.


The woman behind the check-in desk was not having it. She pointed to a chair and told him he had to wait, like everyone else. Mr. McCain has 'just us senators', very good medical insurance. Even so, once a person enters med-world, their view of life shifts. He knows how he is going to die, just not exactly when.

For Mr. McCain, life is no longer something you just wake up to, it is no longer some day, whatever... As he always has shown, there is will to fight and will to make a difference. He is on death row, a dead man walking. Big news has already written his obituary, except for the last paragraph. He is writing that himself, every day, and showing himself as the man he has grown into out of the young one leaning against his fighter jet, so long ago.

Senator McCain has been an American 'icon' for as long as I can recall. To most, he is a hero from the US-Vietnam war, an example of courage. In his case, he was shot down, captured, tortured and survived.

Politics drew him in, and he ran for senator, won. Over time, he made it up the ladder to be on the Armed Services oversight committee. In a country that spends 600 billion on defense, that is important, influencial and respected.

As a solid, conservative Repulican, he has rarely strayed from the party line. It is probably in his nature to play with the team. Lately, that has thinned. He is not overly Christian, wants sensible immigration reform.

After his recent medical diagnosis, he sees health care in the US a little differently. I remember when I was sitting in a cancer waiting room: a doctor, now a patient, came in and wanted to cut the queue.

No more lists of things to do, each numbered and in order; no more deals to make. Instead, he is thinking about what he will do last, what will benefit his country and its citizens. Take care, John, and thank you.

G. Wiley / NLStrabo - © Copyright - All rights reserved - gwileynl@gmail.com
In memory of Herb Caen