Just months ago, John McCain returned to the Senate floor to speak after undergoing an operation for an aggressive form of brain cancer. He received a standing ovation for his powerful words.
McCain called on Senators to stand in unity to support social and economic change. He called on his colleagues to lead bipartisan efforts to strengthen America and to protect the dignity of all human beings.
As The Intercept points out, McCain noted that it was wrong to force through massive “social and economic change” without support across the aisle. McCain was referring to the Affordable Care Act. When McCain voted yesterday to give corporations a 20 percent tax rate, raise the deficit by around $1.4 billion, repeal integral pieces of Obamacare, and the numerous other damaging measures contained in the Senate tax bill, he displayed a level of hypocrisy that is usually reserved for his more extremist colleagues.
“We are the servants of a great nation, ‘a nation conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.’ More people have lived free and prosperous lives here than in any other nation. We have acquired unprecedented wealth and power because of our governing principles, and because our government defended those principles.”
“Free and prosperous” lives are possible in the United States and around the world if one is wealthy. If one is not, the lack of substantial social programs in the United States makes it almost impossible for citizens to climb out of poverty. Lack of financial means is a lack of power in today’s America. McCain is either out of touch or subscribes to the belief that poor people are at fault for being poor despite the fact that politicians repeatedly vote to stack the system against them.
“America has made a greater contribution than any other nation to an international order that has liberated more people from tyranny and poverty than ever before in history. We have been the greatest example, the greatest supporter and the greatest defender of that order.”
The Senate tax bill will absolutely devastate our remaining social programs as the debt ceiling rises and austerity measures are put in place for the “greater good.” All the while, families like the Trump’s could receive nearly $1 billion in tax cuts over the next decade. The Senate bill will leave an estimated 13 million Americans without health insurance. Access to higher education will become even more unaffordable, disenfranchising entire generations.
“What greater cause could we hope to serve than helping keep America the strong, aspiring, inspirational beacon of liberty and defender of the dignity of all human beings and their right to freedom and equal justice?”
In July, McCain voted against the Republican health care bill shortly after he made this inspiring speech. Yesterday, he proved to Americans across the country that his genuine interests lie in shallow political victory and in lifting up the rich to keep donors happy.
And as The Intercept notes, the bill will directly benefit McCain’s family – his wife, Cindy McCain sits on an estimated $100 million fortune from her ownership of Hensley Beverage. It will also increase inheritances for his children.
We may never be sure why McCain decided to go down in history as someone who voted in favor of this act of violence. But one thing remains certain: John McCain is not a champion. He’s a politician through and through.