I can't muster any sadness over the death of Sen. John McCain (R-Arizona), with whom I had so many profound disagreements, and who gave us Sarah Palin, who I would argue paved the way for the president version of Donald Trump.
However, in thinking about who he was and what he did, it is impossible not to see the clear differences between an ideological foe and a pile of steaming garbage, the latter of which Trump is, the former of which McCain was.
I had an interaction with McCain.
Back during the run-up to the 2008 election, McCain and his wife Cindy were on The View (which, years later, would go on to hire his daughter Meghan). I was walking home on W. 42nd Street when a procession of cars began passing me, and I realize it had to be the McCains. Their car stopped at a light and I had a perfect view into the backseat, containing the McCains. I got his attention by waving my hand and he looked at me and waved back. Knowing he saw me, a voter, I took the opportunity to give him a big thumbs-down. He grinned harder and waved back harder.
It was enormously satisfying to be able to communicate directly to someone I did not want anywhere near the White House my disapproval.
However, it was just a thumbs-down, and that is the difference between McCain and Trump, because I can't imagine what gesture I'd give Trump, but it would much less reserved.
P.S. Obama and George W. Bush will eulogize McCain; Trump won't even be invited to the funeral.
P.P.S. Among his survivors is his 106-year-old mother.