There was once an honorable man named John McCain.
That honorable man became a soldier. He went to war. He got captured and became a prisoner of war. During that time he showed true courage and bravery.
When he came home, he was still an honorable man. Now, he made mistakes in his personal life—particularly in his first marriage—but there was still plenty of honor in him.
That man got elected to Congress—first the House, then the Senate. And for most of that time, he was honorable—standing up for his beliefs, sometimes having to stand against his own party.
Eight years ago John McCain, that honorable man, ran for President. But he ended up running against some exceptionally dishonorable people; people who dragged him through the mud and–using underhanded smears–cost him the Presidency.
After his defeat, this honorable man realized something. He realized that he couldn’t become President if he stayed honorable. So John McCain made a choice—he decided that being President was more important than being honorable. So John McCain put becoming President first and put everything else second.
Now, a lot of John McCain’s supporters will say he’s still honorable. But you know what? It’s not honorable to stand with the worst President in America’s history, even as his policies are hurting millions of your fellow countrymen. It’s not honorable change your positions to appeal to the radical fringes of your political party. It’s not honorable to hire the same team of people who dragged you through the mud last campaign to run your current campaign.
It’s not honorable to help the privileged–the wealthy and the corporations–while hurting the middle class. It’s not honorable to keep American troops in the middle of a war we should never have fought and that we shouldn’t lose another life fighting. It’s not honorable to spend $10 billion of the people’s money a month to fund a war the people themselves oppose.
It’s not honorable for a candidate to attack his opponent for being inexperienced, then turn around and pick a less experienced running mate. It’s not honorable to pick a radical ideologue as your running mate just to please your political base. It’s not honorable to lie about your opponent, to lie about his record, to stand by while your running mate lies about her record time and time again, even after those lies have been disproved.
Most of all, with all the challenges our country faces, it’s not honorable to waste America’s time by distracting us with trivial nonsense. It’s more than not honorable—it’s dishonorable. It’s unworthy of our democracy.
During an interview not too long ago, John McCain was asked to define honor. He couldn’t. That’s because John McCain has lost his honor. John McCain put being President first and everything else second—and the shameful, dishonest, deplorable campaign we’re seeing right now is proof that he has put honor in the backseat.