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John McCain

U.S. Senator from Arizona, war hero, candidate for the Republican nominiation for president in 2000


When we quit seeing ourselves as part of something greater than our self-interest then civic love gives way to the temptations of selfishness, bigotry and hate. Unless we restore the people's sovereignty over government, renew their pride in public service, reform our public institutions to meet the challenges of a new day and reinvigorate our national purpose then America's best days will be behind us.

Aug. 1, 2000 - from a speech delivered to the Republican National Convention nominating George W. Bush for president
Cynicism is suffocating the idealism of many Americans, especially among our young. And with cause, for they have lost pride in their government. Too often those who hold a public trust have failed to set the necessary example. Too often, partisanship seems all consuming. Differences are defined with derision. Too often, we seem to put our personal interests before the national interest, leaving the people's business unattended while we posture, poll and spin. When the people believe that government no longer embodies our founding ideals, then basic civil consensus will deteriorate as people seek substitutes for the unifying values of patriotism. National pride will not endure the people's contempt for government. And national pride is as indispensable to the happiness of Americans as is our self-respect.

Aug. 1, 2000 - from a speech delivered to the Republican National Convention nominating George W. Bush for president
To achieve the necessary changes to the practices and institutions of our democracy we need to be a little less content. We need to get riled up a bit, and stand up for the values that made America great.

Aug. 1, 2000 - from a speech delivered to the Republican National Convention nominating George W. Bush for president
No nation complacent in its greatness will long sustain it.

Aug. 1, 2000 - from a speech delivered to the Republican National Convention nominating George W. Bush for president
[Democracy] We who have found shelter beneath the great oak must care for it in our time with as much devotion as had the patriots who preceded us.

Aug. 1, 2000 - from a speech delivered to the Republican National Convention nominating George W. Bush for president