Last weekend, the U.S. lost one of its most storied public figures when Senator John McCain passed away. A politician popularly known as a “maverick” for his voting record that could stymie his fellow lawmakers (he infamously derailed the Republican effort to repeal the Affordable Healthcare Act in 2017) but also for his eloquence and the sense that he represented the last of his era. And then, of course, there are his legendary actions as a prisoner of war in Vietnam, so selfless and courageous you’d call it unrealistic if it happened in a movie.
But one late era activity well worth remembering was the sit down summit Senator McCain participated in with Pastor Rick Warren at Saddleback Church.
In an era of politics that feels much longer ago than it actually was, Warren hosted both McCain and then-Senator Barack Obama for lengthy, substantive conversations about their policies and beliefs. In these interviews, McCain comes across much like the man he’s remembered as being: sharp, opinionated, sincere and dedicated.
Maybe just as notable as McCain’s conduct here is how reasonable it all seems. You may have disagreed with him on his politics — almost everyone did, at one point or another. But it should not be asking too much for politicians to be as bright, decent and forthright as McCain was. In fact, it may be necessary.