John McCain, the celebrated senior senator from Arizona and a highly-regarded veteran of the Vietnam War, passed away in 2018 after a courageous battle with brain cancer. His heroic legacy that included serving the United States for over three decades in the U.S. Navy, fighting for civil rights and for what he believed was right, lives on in those he left behind. Now, McCain’s political heirs are continuing his fight against the isolationism increasingly associated with President Donald Trump’s vision of America.
McCain’s widow, Cindy McCain, and some of his children and colleagues have become staunch defenders of the legacy left behind by the late senator. Through op-ed pieces, campaigns, and initiatives, they have vowed to strive to preserve McCain’s legacy and fight to ensure that his memory and values live on.
Meghan McCain, one of McCain’s daughter, wrote an emotional op-ed piece for The Washington Post last year in which she declared her fight to preserve his beliefs and U.S. presence in world affairs. In her piece, Meghan proclaimed that her father’s lasting legacy would be to help “usher in a new era of American greatness” and a need to “set a moral example for the rest of the world”. She also wrote that his work “reasserting the importance of United States leadership in world affairs” and rejecting “isolationism” continue to live on in his memory.
Likewise, Cindy McCain continued to make it her mission to preserve the legacy her husband left behind. Shortly after his passing, she established The McCain Institute for International Leadership to honor and continue the senator’s beliefs and values. The institute has four foundational pillars which advocates for human rights, advances responsible leadership, uses legitimate economic and political systems to solve global problems, as well as strive for victory in international peace.
In the meantime, several of his colleagues in the Senate are also honoring McCain’s legacy through initiatives and campaigns. Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), for instance, created a bipartisan “McCain caucus” to continue what he says has become an important part of the senator’s legacy: “Let’s start understanding each other. Let’s start talking to each other. Let’s start having lunches with the other side.”
Further, the Initiative for Global Development, a non-profit organization, founded the John McCain Institute for International Leadership, to work in collaboration with the McCain Institute in an effort to carry on the senator’s efforts to battle “for human rights and dignity across the world.”
Indeed, the fight to preserve McCain’s legacy has become a formidable force in the U.S.; a true testament to the impact the statesman had on America and the world. We are still likely to witness the results of his impact and the fight against “Trumpian isolationism” for years to come.