No. Even though Tories thought so, he was not.

I ask this question facetiously, in response to the two or three commenters here who keep posting negative articles about John McCain and calling him a “war criminal.”

McCain served his country with honor. He spent five years in brutal captivity and rejected the chance for an early release because he didn’t want favorable treatment. He said he would not leave until his fellow captives were also freed.

I did not share his political views. If I were a Senator, I would have voted differently than he did. I oppose his views on almost every issue.

But from what I hear, Senator McCain had friends on both sides of the aisle. He represents an era when people could disagree but still be friends.

The great British political philosopher Walter Bagehot wrote many years ago that one of the great features of a democracy was that there are good people on different sides. If your side lost the election, you knew you could try again next time. You knew that the victor would not jail you and other members of the losing party. There would be no show trial and execution of the losing candidate. There would be no chants of “Lock her/him up” because the other side did not support the winner.

The fate of the Republic was secure because we shared a consensus of democratic values and love of country that were more important than a single election. There would always be another election, another chance.

In that sense, McCain was an exemplar of the democratic values that he fought for and suffered for.

Even though I did not agree with his politics, even though I hate war, I have the greatest respect for John McCain. He was a great American. In the current climate, his voice and his spirit will be missed.