Me, McCain, and our Shared Values


It feels pretty bonkers to wake up, pour myself a cup of coffee, sit down to an opinion piece by Senator John McCain, and feel better after reading it. But such are the times we live in.

McCain wrote yesterday in response to comments made by Secretary of State Rex Tillerson who essentially said that values are great if/when you can afford them.

Sweet Jesus.

Here’s McCain (you know, McCain, the famous former prisoner of war):

I consider myself a realist. I have certainly seen my share of the world as it really is and not how I wish it would be. What I’ve learned is that it is foolish to view realism and idealism as incompatible or to consider our power and wealth as encumbered by the demands of justice, morality and conscience.

The senator and I certainly have our differences, but as bananas as he can be (and probably would think I am), he’s not wrong. And he’s an important Republican who is talking sense. We’ve had too much division–and I may live to regret this, but–these are the conversation starters we need to lean into if we’re ever going to collaborate to effectively dig ourselves out of this hell hole.

I will say this to both the secretary and the senator: it is impossible to create value-neutral or value-less policy. Whatever we create is a reflection of what we believe and represents what we stand for. Secretary Tillerson cannot escape his own values even if he tries. All he can do is reveal to us where his heart truly lies. And for as long as we let him create and implement policy that has the very real potential to impact very real people in every corner of the world, it will reveal our hearts as well.

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