Sen. John McCain, who died Saturday from brain cancer, wrote a farewell message that appears to offer thinly veiled criticism of President Donald Trump for fanning the flames of “tribal rivalries” and hiding “behind walls,” NBC News reported on Monday.
The message was read to the public Monday by close friend Rick Davis, who also was McCain’s national campaign manager for his 2008 and 2000 presidential campaigns. As he read the message in Phoenix, Davis repeatedly choked back emotion and took breaks for water.
McCain wrote that “we weaken our greatness when we confuse our patriotism with tribal rivalries that have sown resentment and hatred and violence in all corners of the globe.”
Referring to the nation’s best qualities, the Arizona senator wrote that “We weaken it when we hide behind walls, rather than tear them down, when we doubt the power of our ideas rather than trust them to be the great force for change they have always been.”
In his final statement, McCain also offered his gratitude to the people of America, his constituents in Arizona, his family and “to America.”
“To be connected to America’s causes – liberty, equal justice, respect for the dignity of all people – brings happiness more sublime than life’s fleeting pleasures. Our identities and sense of worth are not circumscribed, but enlarged by serving good causes bigger than ourselves. ‘Fellow Americans’ – that association has meant more to me than any other. I lived and died a proud American.”
The Arizona senator stressed in the statement that “we have always had so much more in common with each other than in disagreement” and that “If only we remember that, and give each other the benefit of the presumption that we all love our country, we will get through these challenging times. We will come through them stronger than before. We always do.”
He said this is true even though “We are 325 million opinionated, vociferous individuals. We argue and compete and sometimes even vilify each other in our raucous public debates.”
He urged Americans not to despair “of our present difficulties, but believe always in the promise and greatness of America, because nothing is inevitable here. Americans never quit. We never surrender. We never hide from history. We make history.”
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