John Mccain: Military and Moral Influences Term Paper

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John McCain: Military and Moral Influences That Changed Him Both as a Man and a Politician

John McCain is one of the most influential political figures in America. Taking into account the coming presidential campaign, it can be said that he is one of the most important contenders in the race for the White House. However, his early childhood and his young adulthood were determinant for the evolution of his life. At the same time, his family background played a crucial role in the shaping of his beliefs, moral standards, and values he comes to advocate today.

The extent of his popularity and political success has not been that obvious in the past due to the continuous struggle and political disagreement with another important Republican figure, George W. Bush. For that matter, the dispute that arose throughout the years, but especially during the last decade have pointed out on the one hand the value of John McCain as an individual and on the other hand, his political potential. In regard to the latter, a prediction on the 2004 presidential elected pointed out the fact that "if McCain were to run for president as a Republican in the primaries in 2004, he could damage Bush's candidacy beyond repair, much as Ted Kennedy destroyed a sitting president, Jimmy Carter, in 1980. If McCain were to run as a Democrat (or even as an Independent), he could win." It is therefore obvious his political as well as his human integrity. However, these can be said to represent the result of a sum of factors and influences that determined his life and political career.

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Probably the first and the most important influence he received was that of his family. In general, the family represents the environment which provides the individual with the first and the most essential traits of one's character. In John McCain's case, this statement is beyond any doubt. His military career and his future live would stand as a comprehensive proof of his father and his grandfather's values and norms, one they sought to promote in their own careers and family lives.

Term Paper on John Mccain: Military and Moral Influences That Assignment

He came from a family that had been traditionally engaged in the United States armed forces, who instilled in McCain's beliefs the idea of supreme courage manifested in the fight for one's country. In this sense, "his father, John S. "Junior" McCain, and grandfather, John S. McCain, Sr., were famous four-star Admirals in the U.S. Navy. His father commanded U.S. forces in Europe before becoming commander of American forces fighting in Vietnam. His grandfather commanded naval aviation at the Battle of Okinawa in 1945. Both men became highly influential in U.S. Navy operations." From this point-of-view, it can be said that the presence of both these male figures have guided him in the choice of his future career.

His grandfather was one of the most respected characters of the Navy during the Second World War. In this sense, he was well-known for both his great qualities as a leader in battle, as a man of courage, as well as for his colorful temper and unique character. However, his military record in the Academy was one that would not impress any critic. In this sense, his academic scores were below average, as "John's grandfather, Slew McCain, graduated a lackluster 79th out of 116 from the Naval Academy. Like his son and grandson, both of whom ranked even lower, Slew McCain would prove that a second-rate record at Annapolis did not foreclose success in the Navy." Indeed, the similarity to his son and grandson are remarkable as neither of them had been considered to poses great potential in the light of the academic performances. However, the same similarity points out the fact that all three men proved to be remarkable military people, with a great sense of devotion and regard for the country and for the principles of the American democracy.

From the perspective of a general description, "John McCain's grandfather was a gaunt, hawk-faced man known as Slew by his fellow officers and affectionately as Popeye by the sailors who served under him. McCain Sr. played the horses, drank bourbon and water, and rolled his own cigarettes with one hand. More significant, he was one of the navy's greatest commanders, and led the strongest aircraft carrier force of the Third Fleet in key battles during World War II." As a proof of his special character, the reports at the time of the defeat of the Japanese stated that the Admiral had decided to celebrate in his own particular style, "he went from group to group [on the Missouri]," greeting old acquaintances, and announced he was at work on the concoction of three new drinks, the 'Judy,' the 'Grill,' and the 'Zeke,' each named after a Japanese plane. 'Each time you drink one you can say, "Splash one Judy" or "Splash one Zeke, " ' he explained."

In the light of these achievements and fully impressed by the posture of his grandfather, the youngest son of John S. Junior McCain is said to have known from the very beginning the direction his life would choose, that in the service of his country.

The military career played an essential role in the lives of all three men from the very beginning of their lives. John McCain's grandfather had been the only one not being born in a military related area. John S. Junior McCain was born "in Council Bluffs because his father, during an extended tour of duty on the San Diego, was sailing around the southern tip of South America, and Katherine had traveled to Iowa to stay with a sister who had moved there." Similarly, John McCain's birthplace was also related to one of his own father's missions, taking into account the fact that "on August 19, 1936, having been designated a naval aviator Slew was appointed Commander of Aircraft Squadrons and Attending Craft at the Coco Solo Air Base in the Panama Canal Zone. Jack happened to be stationed there." Those had been the premises for the birth of John McCain who "in keeping with the McCain family tradition, (he) was named John Sidney McCain III. Jack's son, too, would be given a nickname, just as Jack and Slew had been before him. This John Sidney McCain would be known as "Johnny." Therefore, it can be concluded that the McCain family was greatly influenced by the military careers they followed, starting from their birthplace that was determined by their assigned military missions, to the way in which tradition played a significant part in their lives.

Similar to his past, John McCain's father was also a man for whom the career was an essential part. Often he would be stationed in different parts of the world which made his contacts with his family and son limited. This state of facts were a proof for McCain of the sacrifices one makes for his country and what the honor of the military and of the service for the country meant. Although he had been aware of the emotional deprivation the service provoked in the family of a military, having had the example of his grandfather who, even when he was with his family, he was engaged in military affairs, this reality made him cherish the duty for the country and gave him a glimpse of the high moral value the service offered to a strong character. However, this sense of emotional distance was sensed at the level of the children but in particular for John. Thus, the relationship was one based on honor and mutual respect, a particular king of affection, not always associated with the general meaning of fatherly love. This idea was obvious and it marked his childhood and early adulthood transforming him in the type of person that would find refuge in other parts of his activities. Hence, "father and son did not hunt or fish together, go to the movies, museums, or ballgames. [John's mother] Roberta said she doesn't remember Jack ever disciplining John. "Jack was really kind of removed from things in a way," she said. John spoke of pride, honor, and integrity when discussing his father, but rarely love, as if their relationship was one of respect, but not real affection."

The distant relationship made him weak and strong at the same time. On the one hand, it deprived him of the regular American family that disappeared after a thorough analysis of their family relationship. At the same time, however, it also strengthened his ability to adapt and be independent at the same time. This was the result of the "resentment" he felt in the relationship with his father. In this sense, there records of him admitting that "I didn't spend as much time with him as maybe I would have if he'd been more committed to being around me," John said on one occasion."

The road McCain would later embark on, despite the military tradition of his family, was not one he had set in… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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