Sen. John McCain delivered a condemnation of “spurious nationalism” on Monday night in Philadelphia, using his acceptance speech for the National Constitution Center’s Liberty Medal to issue a call to American ideals.
The Arizona Republican, his voice wavering at points after a program celebrating his life and service in the military and Congress — former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz at one point called him “a founding father of our time” — joked about the path his own life has taken in a country that allowed a man who finished at the bottom of his class to become his party’s presidential nominee.
“I see now that I was part of something important that drew me along in its wake, even when I was diverted,” he said at one point.
But despite the lighter moments and spirit of thanks, his speech was one of warning, and seemed very much directed at the leadership approach of President Donald Trump and his supporters.
“To fear the world we have organized and led for three-quarters of a century, to abandon the ideals we have advanced around the globe, to refuse the obligations of international leadership and our duty to remain ‘the last best hope of earth’ for the sake of some half-baked, spurious nationalism cooked up by people who would rather find scapegoats than solve problems,” McCain said, “is as unpatriotic as an attachment to any other tired dogma of the past that Americans consigned to the ash heap of history.”
America is about what America stands for, McCain said.
“We live in a land made of ideals, not blood and soil,” he said. “We have a moral obligation to continue in our just cause, and we would bring more than shame on ourselves if we don’t. We will not thrive in a world where our leadership and ideals are absent. We wouldn’t deserve to.”
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SOURCE: Politico, Edward-Isaac Dovere