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Sen. McCain’s place in history is secure
August 11, 2017

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To the editor:

Many hide in fear and irresponsibility, turning their faces away. Others stride the world like giants, fearless, responsible, moral.

John McCain could not be broken by the North Vietnamese and he would not be broken by the irresponsible Right Wing of the Republican Party. He knew that with his brain cancer this might be the last time he spoke in the Senate. He had been often wrong, often right. This time he felt certain. A defining speech, a defining and defying vote, it had to be perfect, the timing exquisite.

First, he gave a speech in the Senate on why the Republicans in that body should return to the democratic, collaboratively bipartisan conduct that gave it the name, "the greatest debating body on the face of the Earth."

Second, he had to vote yes on allowing discussion to start. Democrats. Independents and most of all social media howled in anger excoriating him.

He was quiet.

He knew where he was going. For McCain it is like health care, a matter of life vs. death.

Third, after meeting quietly with a number senators from both sides, he timed his vote. Rising, he drew the attention of the vote counter, strode forward and unlike certain much smaller, colleagues in the House, loudly said "NO !' An audible gasp swept the chamber. The bill that would condemn tens of millions to no health care and thousands to death was dead itself.

A hero, McCain now knows his place in history is secure.

There is more cruelty and ugliness coming. The question is, what do we do? Do we turn our faces away or do we act responsibly? Do we constantly excuse representatives who take two steps forward and four back?

Do we-and you-stand up and say "No."?

Richard Dudley

Glens Falls

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