I do not remember a time when Senator McCain was not in Congress. Whether he was in the House, the Senate, or running for President, he was an institution in our government. The Press loved him when he fought with other Republicans, and hated him when he ran against Democrats. Others alternated between loving and hating him based on his votes, his speeches, and sometimes what side of the bed he crawled out of that morning.

I’ve long had mixed feelings about the man, but most of them are based on the fact that I do not like The Swamp that is Washington DC. I don’t want to see people there for thirty years. I don’t want people to die in office because there is no turnover. If two terms is good for President, why not for Congress? If we see a new President every four or eight years, why don’t we see new Congressmen every few years? Why is it always the same old faces over and over again until they die of old age or illness?

I respect McCain for wanting to make a difference. I respect the man who volunteered to fight when America called. I respect the man who refused to be sent home early because his father and grandfather were admirals. I respect the man who endured unimaginable torture at the hands of the North Vietnamese. And I respect the man who came home and chose to enter politics to make a difference. I truly do believe he did what he thought was best.

But I think he was as trapped by The Swamp that is DC just as badly as everyone else who stays there. Now he is free of that Swamp. He is free of the cancer that was ravaging his body and mind. He is free of a lifetime of injuries that affected his gait and stance and even his ability to comb his own hair.

He is free.

He is survived by a family who loved him and will remember him well. That is worthy of celebration I think. Celebration and remembrance. And understanding. Give them time to grieve and to bury their dead. Give them space. We owe them that.