Niagara Gazette

Columns

June 16, 2013

SINGER: Two who are right for the job

(Continued)

Niagara Gazette — Whatever else one may say about Senator McCain (he’s too wishy-washy or moderate on this or that issue, he has a temper, etc.), the man is undeniably forthright, and has undeniable courage. Speaking of courage, his resume in Vietnam pulls rank on almost all of us, and he could easily have rested on laurels and not continued at his age to care as much as he does about sufferings that might be mitigated in this brutal world of ours. His latest questions about female recruitment into the army show yet again that he isn’t afraid to make waves, elude the weight of conventional wisdom and political correctness, and think outside the box.

These two public figures — Kerry and McCain — were of course marked as well by the insanely protracted exigencies of presidential campaigns. And both are authentic members of an old, and now vanishing American elite. They both look and act the part with earned plausibility.

Both are graying, mature warhorses, and on the surface, each has seen better days. However, both are still in the game, thankfully so, and still trying with intelligence, discipline, flair, and a certain bravery to make a positive difference by their service. Of course they are far from identical — McCain so much identified with the Arizona he represents, while Kerry seems much more Eastern and cosmopolitan. I know as well that certain veterans would distinguish them carefully simply concerning their war records.

But they are right for their current roles, and among the best now available in such demanding positions. In addition to Hillary, might I be making invidious comparisons here to such as New York Senator Charles Schumer? I don’t see why I should. As the Beatles once said, “we’re all doing what we can,” and in that regard both Secretary of State Kerry and Senator McCain are doing plenty.

B. B. Singer has taught at several colleges in the area, including Niagara University.

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