Usually we think of eulogies as remembrances, goodbyes or of a passing, but all who spoke for McCain this past week spoke with inspiration and hope for the future, even a call for urgency as in this Hemingway quote from Obama’s eulogy;
Today is only one day in all the days that will ever be. But what will happen in all the other days that ever come can depend on what you do today.
I could find no better words to express my admiration to this man. But I would like to propose a plan to turn his principles and ideals into productive action for future generations to come. Like Senator McCain I am a conservative and a life-long Republicans, but mostly I admire his focus on bipartisanship and returning to “regular order.” When people tell me they are conservative today I have no idea what they believe but I do know what it meant to John McCain. We may find terms like “Tea Party”, “Freedom Caucus”, “Alt-right” and “Populist Movement” to be confusing or misleading enigmas, but we know exactly what the “McCain Legacy” means, because he showed us all.
My proposal is a simple one; perhaps some may think too simple, but hear me out. Imagine a faction or caucus within the Republican Party modeled around the McCain Legacy. A caucus can be an organized group of representatives who must then rally voters behind their cause or as in this case, a “peoples’ caucus”, regular voters who organize to rally candidates to move their agenda. You’re probably thinking, “Hasn’t this already been tried? Haven’t we always had moderate Republicans who have tried and failed to influence the direction of the Party?” And you would be right, but we’ve never had a model quite like John McCain to rally around. It’s hard to attack a legend. No doubt some Trump supporters will try. I certainly hope so as there can be no better way to elevate his legacy.
This is our chance to be that thorn in Trump’s side.
It’s also our chance to be more than just an irritation by bringing real reform and restoring civility to politics. Remember when Whitehouse aide, Kelly Sadler said of McCain;
“It doesn’t matter because he’s dying anyway”
Well, together we can make it matter. If we’re willing to do the work, the “Legacy Caucus” could stifle the polarizing forces that have so dominated American politics. I know you’re thinking I am talking to you as moderate Republicans. Certainly I am but the name McCain may be even more respected among Independents and Democrats; I’m talking to you too. To understand why, you just need to look at how polarization has changed the focus of politics, how we find ourselves voting against rather than for candidates, how it feels as though choices are all but made for us long before Election Day. Imagine for instance that your parents, both of whom have your best interests at heart, disagree about who you should marry, so they ask you have to pick one of their two choices. I’ll leave it to you if you want to compare political parties to kindhearted Mom and Dad, but either way you might want to think about getting involved in the decision-making process earlier while the field is still wide open. Remember candidates are chosen in the primaries and sometimes the best strategy is to eliminate the worst contender first. It’s not too early to prepare for 2020.
As a registered Republican, I want to unseat Trump and purge the Party of those who lack the courage to defend the tenets of democracy but I am joined by the 60% of Americans who now disapprove of Trump. The way to do this is to take these incumbents out in the next primary. It doesn’t matter how you plan to vote in the general election, register and vote in the Republican primary to put a candidate on the ticket who will honor the legacy of John McCain. As a Democrat you may ask, “Why would I help Republicans select better candidates?
Simply put, selecting a moderate Republican will likely discourage the Trump base from showing up in full force for the general election.
You win because you improve the odds of electing a Democrat. I win because you help selecting a moderate in the GOP primary.
Organizing is the place to start. Post your comments on Twitter at #McCainLegacy and #LegacyCaucus or contact me @Top_Sawyer.