Tuesday, September 4, 2018

John McCain's Final Vote

Everyone orchestrates their own funeral. You have to make arrangements. Will you be buried or cremated? The will is essentially a means by which one has a say in what’ll happen after one’s demise. But it’s rare that people want or care to have true agency in human affairs when they're gone. And this is what was so extraordinary about John McCain’s funeral in which the orchestration of speakers and events (his inviting former rivals like Obama to speak and his exclusion of Trump from the invitation list) was actually a political act. In the planning of his own funeral, McCain cast the ultimate absentee ballot. When you think about it, what's extraordinary is the extent to which he cared. While the average person wants to make sure his or her affairs are in order and that children, wives, parents and even favored charities are taken care of, few people give a hoot what the world is going to be like after they’re gone. In fact, the reality that you'll no longer be on earth at some point can temper your behavior while your still alive. Indeed, there are times in the course of life that this awareness can have a liberating effect on the way that people deal with those around them. Someday you’re not going to be here to tell them what to do. So why bother now? Whether or not McCain ever enjoyed the freedom deriving from such a realization while he was still on earth, he exhibited a preternatural desire to be a voting citizen in the life to come.

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