Sunday, August 26, 2018
For much of my life, but no longer, I was very active in politics and frequently volunteered in campaigns, including presidential campaigns.
When I was still little more than a boy, I was the second youngest delegate to the Republican National Convention in 1980, where I proudly cast my vote for the nomination of Ronald Reagan.
More recently, now old enough to be a member of the AARP, I was proud to caucus in Minnesota in 2016 for the presidential candidacy of Senator Marco Rubio (who didn’t fare so well nationally, but carried Minnesota by a large margin).
During my decades of political activism, I saw the Republican Party as the party of honor, optimism, freedom, and decency. For those same reasons, I am no longer a Republican. Without any political home, I have turned my attentions and devoted my passions more and more to family, students, and my wonderful prisoner clients in our pro bono Appellate Clinic. I admire those who remain in the political arena, but for me, this is the better course at present.
When I was politically active, of all the people I was lucky to meet and talk with at least briefly, Ronald Reagan and John McCain naturally stand out in my mind as legends and, especially in John McCain’s case, a true American hero.
President Reagan and Senator McCain stand as a reminder that there was a time, and not that long ago, when leaders put country first, maintained integrity, and never failed to uphold basic human decency.
John McCain wrote in his memoir, Faith of My Fathers: “Nothing in life is more liberating than to fight for a cause larger than yourself, something that encompasses you but is not defined by your existence alone.”
With Senator John McCain’s passing, we have suffered an unimaginable loss. I hope that our realization of loss might inspire us to seek something more, once again.