Tags: john mccain | liberty | medal | speech | half | baked | nationalism

McCain Slams 'Half-Baked Nationalism' in Receiving Liberty Medal from Joe Biden

CNN via Twitter

Monday, 16 October 2017 09:15 PM

Sen. John McCain on Monday slammed what he described as "spurious, half-baked nationalism" rising in the United States and elsewhere.

Many took the remarks as veiled jabs at President Donald Trump and one of his former key White House advisers, Breitbart publisher Steve Bannon.

McCain made the remarks as he accepted the National Constitution Center's Liberty Medal in Philadelphia. Former Vice President Joe Biden presented McCain with the medal.

"To fear the world we have organized and led for three-quarters of a century, to abandon the ideals we have advanced around the globe, to refuse the obligations of international leadership and our duty to remain 'the last best hope of earth' for the sake of some half-baked, spurious nationalism cooked up by people who would rather find scapegoats than solve problems is as unpatriotic as an attachment to any other tired dogma of the past that Americans consigned to the ash heap of history," McCain said.

McCain's words were interrupted by loud cheers and applause.

"We live in a land made of ideals, not blood and soil," he continued. "We are the custodians of those ideals at home, and their champion abroad. We have done great good in the world. That leadership has had its costs, but we have become incomparably powerful and wealthy as we did. We have a moral obligation to continue in our just cause, and we would bring more than shame on ourselves if we don't. We will not thrive in a world where our leadership and ideals are absent. We wouldn't deserve to."

The six-term Republican senator from Arizona was awarded the medal for his "lifetime of sacrifice and service" to the country. McCain said the country has a moral obligation to spread the values of the Constitution, and he's humbled to join the ranks of past winners, who include the Dalai Lama, Rep. John Lewis, D-Georgia, former Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton and Pakistani human rights activist Malala Yousafzai, The Hill noted.

McCain joined the Navy in 1958 and rose to the rank of captain during his 22 years of service. In 1967, McCain's plane was shot down over Hanoi, Vietnam, during a bombing mission, and he was imprisoned in the notorious "Hanoi Hilton" prisoner of war camp until his release in 1973.

He recently revealed he's fighting brain cancer.

Biden, who served for years in the Senate with McCain, called him an inspiration to himself and to his son Beau, who went from a career in the military to politics. Beau Biden died from brain cancer in 2015.

"What you don’t really understand is how much courage you give the rest of us. It really matters," Biden told McCain. "Everybody talks about these virtues, but this is what the guy did. Duty. Duty. Duty. It's the marrow running through the solid steel spine of this guy."

Former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz introduced McCain, calling him "a founding father of our time," Politico reported.

"There are some who question what this nation has become, our commitment to our founding values," Schultz said. "Perhaps they do not know where to look," he added, saying the answer is McCain.


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U.S. Sen. John McCain has received the Liberty Medal and says the world still looks toward American leadership.But in sometimes biting remarks, he slammed what he described as "spurious, half-baked nationalism" rising in the United States and elsewhere. Many took the...
john mccain, liberty, medal, speech, half, baked, nationalism, trump
Monday, 16 October 2017 09:15 PM
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