Of all the tributes, condemnations, and nuanced takes after the death of Senator John McCain, the one thing we seem to all agree on is that he was very much a man of consequence. The “Man in the Arena” section of Roosevelt’s speech at the Sorbonne in 1910 is one I visit from time-to-time in private conversation to defend public figures who I disagree with but who I see being guided by an honest effort to do what they think is right. That pretty much also sums up my opinion of John McCain pretty well.

Yes, I respected and admired him. Yes, I think he’s responsible for a lot of the break down in what we see in our country today. I hold both of those thoughts and many more at the same time. I don’t think we should completely dismiss the goodness in his legacy nor do I think we should rush to sanctify him. One of my primary goals with this comic has been introduce the gray of reality into a history that is too easily seen in black-and-white. John McCain is no different and I’ve actually been pleasantly surprised with the number of people who have been able to address the good, the bad, and the in-between of a human being and not an idol.

I don’t think every person deserves this kind of analysis, and I do think some people are just terrible with bad motivations, but McCain was in the arena and that deserves some respect more than the “cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”