The Elusive Wish

In her eloquent eulogy today to her father John McCain (who died on August 25), Meghan McCain was mostly correct in her assertion that the U.S. does not need to be made great again (as President Trump insists), because America has always been great. But she was not entirely correct.

I love the U.S. However, it is a difficult love, because the U.S. is as imperfect as the American war hero who was rightly held captive by a people who were wholly innocent of crimes against our nation, and thus undeserving victims of the U.S.’s aggression against them.

John McCain went on to do great things for his country, and became a friend of the Vietnamese. But his name will always be a metaphor of the exceedingly complex moral burden that must be borne by “the most powerful nation on earth.”

America is great in concept. But its ceaseless divisions, especially those now aggravated by our rogue president — and some 40% of Americans who worship him as fellow bigots and xenophobes — make America less than great in its daily applications.

Meghan McCain’s eulogy to her father was beautiful and spot on in its accurate testament to John McCain’s greatness. But in a week from now it will be recalled as just one more fragile wish for a nation where too many wishes get blown away with the wind.