As the larger than life Arizona senator John McCain is laid to rest yesterday, some things about him stood out. And it’s not because of the eloquent eulogies of his daughter and two former presidents.
The one I remember most is his 2008 response to a question in a town hall meeting when he was running against Barack Obama. I showed this video to my communications class at the community college last week. Not because it happened to be the week of the funeral, but to analyze the ‘Transactional model‘ of communications. The audience, can and will talk back to the speaker, so it’s important to plan for it. Do watch the clip below, and notice how McCain responds instinctively.
One of my students pointed out to the reaction of a lady in the audience on the top left of the screen – a reflection of our reaction too, as a television audience.
McCain spread a culture of decency and integrity as if a counter to our disillusionment with government and those who represent some of its branches.
Recall that 1968 song, Abraham, Martin and John? Abraham Lincoln, Martin Luther King and John F. Kennedy embodied something that larger than themselves, as John McCain did for our times. One of the much repeated quotes of his was about standing up for “a cause greater than our self interest.”