Now Reading
Mathis: Blake Masters lacks 'Honor, Courage, Commitment' needed in U.S. senator from Arizona

Guest opinion

Mathis: Blake Masters lacks 'Honor, Courage, Commitment' needed in U.S. senator from Arizona

  • Republican Senate candidate Blake Masters at an August campaign event at the University of Arizona.
    Paul Ingram/TucsonSentinel.comRepublican Senate candidate Blake Masters at an August campaign event at the University of Arizona.

Michael G. Mathis is a retired rear admiral in the U.S. Navy and former Raytheon executive who resides in Tucson.

The core values of the Navy and the Marine Corps are Honor, Courage, and Commitment — values that are personified and reflected in the exemplary lives of Arizonans John McCain and Mark Kelly.

So, who will Arizona voters support: Mark Kelly — whose life reflects the values by which he and the late Sen. John McCain lived their lives — or a Silicon Valley-financed newcomer to politics like Blake Masters?

Let's take a closer look at those core values of McCain, Kelly, and other members and veterans of the U.S. military.

Mark Kelly and John McCain's naval officer predecessor and the founder of the U.S. Navy, John Paul Jones, wrote in 1777: "I would lay down my life for America, but I cannot trifle with my honor."

Honor is a value that most Americans understand implicitly. Sen. McCain was a graduate of the Naval Academy in 1958. On a visit to the Academy in October 2017, McCain told the Brigade of Midshipmen: "I would discover that a sense of honor had been imparted to me here that would speak to me in the darkest hours. And so I come back, again and again, to the place where I learned to dread dishonor."

Those who served in the military, like McCain and Kelly, internalized honor and would never "trifle" with it.

Who knows what the values are of Masters and Peter Thiel, the Silicon Valley billionaire who is the main financial backer of Masters?

It was a sense of honor and his dread of dishonor that gave John McCain the courage to stand up to his North Vietnamese captors, although even he ultimately cracked under relentless torture and signed a "confession" that was dictated by his captors.

His weight dropped to 105 pounds, and he attempted suicide twice. When his captors discovered that his father was the commander of American forces in the Pacific, they offered to release him, but McCain refused because he felt that if he accepted the enemy's offer, he would lose his honor and give the enemy a propaganda coup.

That truly courageous decision resulted in McCain spending another five and a half years as a prisoner of war.

In contrast, how much courage would it have taken for Blake Masters to call out the lies of Donald Trump, who continues to falsely claim that he won the 2020 election?

Answer: not much.

John McCain was not just an honorable, courageous person; he was also a person committed to the ideals and values of this country.

When he returned from prison in North Vietnam, he could have chosen to live an idyllic life in his beloved Arizona, and who could have blamed him had he made that choice. Instead, McCain, like Mark Kelly, chose to enter the contentious, conflictual world of electoral politics. He also chose to stand up for those ideals in which he believed even if those beliefs sometimes differed from those of his own political party.

Former Marine General and Secretary of Defense James Mattis publicly criticized President Trump: "Donald Trump is the first president in my lifetime who does not try to unite the American people—does not even pretend to try. Instead, he tries to divide us. We are witnessing the consequences of three years of this deliberate effort. We are witnessing the consequences of three years without mature leadership."

Blake Masters strongly supports the former president.

Secretary Mattis was joined in his criticism by former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, former Navy Admiral Mike Mullen. Following the forceful clearing of Lafayette Square to allow the president to have a widely criticized photo op outside St. John's Church in Washington, D.C., Mullen wrote: "Whatever Trump's goal in conducting his visit, he laid bare his disdain for the rights of peaceful protest in this country, gave succor to the leaders of other countries who take comfort in our domestic strife, and risked further politicizing the men and women of our armed forces. There was little good in the stunt."

Blake Maters strongly supports the former president and has never condemned the stunt.

Sen. Mark Kelly, Sen. McCain, Secretary Mattis and Admiral Mullen are the embodiments of the core values of the naval service: Honor, Courage, and Commitment. Blake Master's statements and actions as a candidate for the U. S. Senate in Arizona sadly besmirch those values, and Arizona voters have a choice: whose values will they support?

— 30 —

Top headlines

Best in Internet Exploder