Maverick at Twilight
John McCain’s warning to his party and farewell to his countrymen.
Idealism is in short supply in Donald Trump’s America. Domestically, few political leaders are interested in tackling long-term challenges. In foreign policy, realism and neo-Jacksonianism are en vogue as politicians choose to shirk rather than embrace America’s international commitments.
But as Senator John McCain reminds us in The Restless Wave: Good Times, Just Causes, Great Fights, and Other Appreciations, his new book with longtime writing partner Mark Salter, it’s America’s ideals that “distinguish our history from the history of other nations.” From our origins as struggling, disjointed colonies to today’s “big, boisterous, brawling, intemperate, striving, daring, beautiful, bountiful, brave, magnificent country,” generations of Americans have fought at home and abroad for our fundamental freedoms. It was our forebears’ idealism in pursuit of causes greater than themselves, not nativism or cold calculating realism, that brought America to the pinnacle of global power.