McCain Rebukes 'Half-Baked' Nationalism
In speech, senator seems to take aim at movement that lifted Trump
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 17, 2017 7:07 AM CDT
Sen. John McCain shakes hands with Joe Biden, who is chair of the National Constitution Center's Board of Trustees.   (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

(Newser) – John McCain didn't mention President Trump by name, but a speech he gave on Monday sounded very much like a rebuke to what NPR calls the "Age of Trump." In particular, McCain warned against "half-baked, spurious nationalism" during his speech in Philadelphia, where he received the Liberty Medal from the National Constitution Center. The big line getting attention:

  • "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 also declared that "we live in a land of ideals, not blood and soil," the latter part referring to the Nazi slogan chanted by white supremacists during a march in Charlottesville, Va., notes USA Today. McCain was given the medal by former VP Joe Biden, who recounted the 81-year-old McCain's life, from being held as a POW in Vietnam for five years to his current fight with brain cancer. McCain, he said, inspired courage, reports Politico. "Everybody talks about these virtues, but this is what the guy did,” Biden added. "Duty. Duty. Duty. It’s the marrow running through the solid steel spine of this guy."

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