John McCain Defended His Rival Barack Obama When A Voter Asked A Racist Question In 2008

Following the August 25 death of Arizona Senator John McCain, whose storied life and decades of service as a member of Congress will be long remembered, moments that inspired respect in our intensely partisan era of politics have resurfaced. One such moment occurred in 2008 while McCain was running for President against then-Senator Barack Obama.


At a town hall meeting with constituents, a woman came to the microphone and said:

I can't trust Obama. I have read about him, and he's not, um, he's an Arab.

Cutting her off, McCain took the microphone and refuted her point:

No, ma'm. He's a decent family man [and] citizen that just I just happen to have disagreements with on fundamental issues, and that's what the campaign's all about. He's not [an Arab].

McCain's point was not a perfect one. Though he intended to come to Obama's defense, he allowed the constituent's baseline misunderstanding (that an Arab is less of a citizen, less of a family man, and not fit to be President) to go unquestioned by simply saying his opponent was none of those things. While it's true that Obama is not a Muslim, his religion or ethnic background should have made no difference when it came to his political convictions.



The moment is still notable for McCain's willingness to defend his opponent—something one could hardly imagine a certain Republican presidential nominee doing in 2016. During the course of his campaign, President Trump accused his opponent, Hillary Clinton, of multiple conspiracy theories, emboldening the most radical fringes of his base in a shameless effort to gain popularity.






Though it's never gained as much attention, another moment from the same Town Hall — perhaps even more inspiring — came when a constituent commented to McCain:

...and, uh, frankly we're scared. We're scared of an Obama presidency.

McCain responded:

First of all, I want to be President of the United States and I don't want Senator Obama to be. But I have to tell you, I have to tell you, he is a decent person and a person that you do not have to be scared as President of the United States.


In what now reads as ominous foreshadowing of the Republican party's modern tendencies, the crowd then booed their own nominee, shouting Obama is a "liar" and a "terrorist."

Knowing full well that he could work the crowd into a frenzy by conceding the truth of Obama's decency, McCain instead insisted:

I want to fight, and I will fight. But I will be respectful. I admire Sen. Obama and his accomplishments, and I will respect him.


Though Obama would go on to defeat McCain in the election, he would later describe the Arizona Senator as a man who was "willing to say things regardless of the politics."

Following the Senator's death, Obama released a statement saying:

Few of us have been tested the way John once was, or required to show the kind of courage that he did. But all of us can aspire to the courage to put the greater good above our own. At John's best, he showed us what that means. And for that, we are all in his debt.

H/T - Vox, The Guardian

People Who Accidentally Sent A Family Member A Nude Picture Describe The Aftermath
europeana/Unsplash

Why in this day and age are people still taking nudie pics without triple-checking the recipient?

Why take the gamble?

And half of the time we hit send, mistakes get made.

One minute you're feeling sexy, the next minute grandpa is having a stroke.

Be careful.

Keep reading...Show less
Woman holding up an Oxford English Dictionary
Photo by Houcine Ncib on Unsplash

There is so much to learn in the world, it's impossible for one person to know absolutely everything there is to know.

But there are certain things, like common phrases and idioms, that everyone seems to use that might be a little embarrassing to not understand until later in life.

Keep reading...Show less
Newborn baby crying
Photo by Katie Smith on Unsplash

While starting a family and having children is a goal that many people have, some do not realize that it's not easy, fun, and loving one-hundred percent of the time. Rather, it's expensive, exhausting, and hard, though it might be worth it in the end.

With this in mind, people shared what they felt were the hardest hurdles of their parenting.

Keep reading...Show less
A couple making out in the kitchen
We-Vibe Toys/Unsplash

Positive emotions are high among people in the blossoming phase of relationships.

Everything seems more romanticized for people in love due to the amorous joy in their hearts–which also influences their desire to frequently get it on under the sheets–or any other daring location in the heat of the moment.

But for those who've declared "'til death do us part," devoted couples may find that they are not always on the same wavelength sexually compared to when they first met.

Keep reading...Show less