Chapter 4

Politics in the 2010s

Excerpt One:
“You may recall, on the campaign trail, the woman in red at the McCain rally who accepted
the mic from John McCain to make a comment. To arouse the group of McCain supporters, she said
hesitantly, “I can’t trust Obama . . . I have read about him and . . . he’s”—she paused—“an Arab.”
Shaking his head in disagreement, McCain immediately retrieved the mic from the woman and started
to respond. McCain said, “No . . . No,” as boos from the audience in response to him shaking his head in
disagreement grew louder. As the few supporters in the crowd started to boo McCain more
aggressively, the woman in disbelief reacted to McCain with a question: “He’s not?”
McCain continued, “No! He’s a decent family man—citizen—who I just happen to have disagreements

Some of McCain’s audience could be heard continuing to boo McCain’s response. Unfazed, McCain
continued with his respect for candidate Obama. McCain’s comments and genuine support of then
candidate Obama was profound and shocking to many Republicans. Our country was becoming more
polarized. Many Republicans seemed hell-bent on a notion they could somehow demoralize candidate
Obama and link him to factions of Muslims like ISIS. Black and white American Republicans made very
bold and relentless attempts to somehow make the legitimate Black American candidate inferior to the
other white candidates in the race. They were sometimes overly aggressive in their mission to falsely
label Obama as an African citizen and not a citizen of the United States. Donald Trump led the way,
requesting that Obama present his birth certificate. The faction of US citizens who bought into these
falsehoods became infamously known as “birthers.” But McCain, a Republican, stood up. While others
disparaged Obama and his wife, Michelle, McCain had recognized Obama as his equal. As Republicans
made attempts to further link Obama to Muslims by making it known that his middle name was Hussein,
Mr. McCain put on a show of grace. As Donald Trump made a conscious choice to lead the way in
perpetuating questions about Obama’s citizenship, McCain had made a choice to legitimize Obama as a
viable candidate for the presidency of the United States, further proving the good in most US citizens.”

Excerpt 2

“While delivering his eulogy at McCain’s funeral services in late 2018, Obama suggested he
was grateful for McCain’s gesture of treating him with respect on the campaign trail. Obama stated,
“But I wasn’t surprised.”