Like most well-balanced people, I have a healthy fascination with the rituals of death. I love cemeteries — like Brooklyn’s Green-Wood, Savannah’s Bona Venture, London’s Abney Road Park, or Hollywood Forever in Los Angeles — all places you’re more likely to find me when visiting over whatever shit modern art museum is being advertised on the subway. Since 16 years old, I’ve maintained an evolving music playlist for my own funeral, which I still can’t decide if those attending should wail over my casket at gunpoint, North Korea style, or order a bunch of strippers and booze and prop up my corpse in a photobooth for selfies.
Either way, one thing is certain, anyone in life with whom I’d quarreled, who betrayed me, anyone I swore I would never forgive for their sins against me, all my enemies and all my embarrassing associations alike, are more than welcome, in fact, encouraged, to attend my funeral. I don’t mind if they come to gloat. But most likely, if they are halfway decent human beings, they’d find themselves reflecting on whatever frivolity drove us apart, examining their own mortality and choices and, I would hope, leaving with a sense of peace.
Because, really, what do I care? I won’t even be there. This is why I find it so despicable to read about the vindictiveness, and the ego, of someone like the late Arizona Senator John McCain spending some of his final moments on earth dictating who is not allowed to attend a party he won’t even be at. Earlier this summer, he banned President Trump from his funeral (quite presumptive to assume Trump even wanted an invitation) but, as People magazine reported yesterday, and since has been confirmed by multiple news outlets, McCain reached a new low in snubbing Sarah Palin from his funeral. The story broke on the ten year anniversary of when McCain announced Palin would be his Vice Presidential running mate on Aug. 29, 2008. Forget hating McCain, the Democratic Party’s new poster boy, for single-handedly crushing the Republican dream of repealing ObamaCare, along with his many other sins against the people who made him their choice for Presidential contender in 2008, I dislike him more for being a petty, ungrateful old bitch I wouldn’t want to be in the same room with for two minutes.
Despite President Trump’s open mockery of and squabbling with McCain, Palin remained loyal to McCain in public. In 2017, when McCain reportedly said he regretted choosing Palin as his running mate over Connecticut Sen. Joe Lieberman, Palin said the news felt like a “gut punch,” a punch she refused to return. After McCain died on Saturday, Palin said, “Today we lost an American original. Sen. John McCain was a maverick and a fighter, never afraid to stand for his beliefs. John never took the easy path in life — and through sacrifice and suffering he inspired others to serve something greater than self … John McCain was my friend. I will remember the good times. My family and I send prayers for Cindy and the McCain family.”
And Palin kept it classy when she was informed that she wouldn’t be invited. A source close to the Palin family told People, “Out of respect for Sen. McCain and his family we have nothing to add at this point. The Palin family will always cherish their friendship with the McCains and hold those memories dear.”
After the 2008 election Palin and McCain went down different paths, with Palin become a hero of the Tea Party movement, a movement McCain later said was filled with “wacko birds.” By explicitly refusing to invite Palin to his funeral, McCain, called “a quiet man of faith” by the media, and a lifelong Episcopalian, apparently was dragged into the hereafter clutching with gnarled hooves onto his earthly failures and disputes, presenting to Saint Peter a soul coffee-stained with bitterness. Can anyone imagine anything less Christian? But this, of course, is the state of our nation since Nov. 9, 2016, when, after the game was played and one team lost, we couldn’t bring ourselves to shake hands on the field. When the greatest game of all is over, this bloodsport called life, I feel sorry for the rotten soul still pouting in the arena long after the lights are off.
While it would be beneath the President to show up at McCain’s funeral, he should certainly tweet some highly obnoxious things riddled with typos that day in order to steal all the fawning media coverage from McCain’s last hurrah. Palin, on the other hand, should definitely show up, looking fabulous and dignified, proclaiming to the assholes in the McCain camp: He meant something to me, and I have a right to be here.
As for McCain, I didn’t feel the need to attack him after his death. I was, however, enjoying a good laugh as the myopic leftwing media turned him into a saint, hoping their crocodile tears might somehow convince Conservatives to run back to those simpler days before Trump, when they always lost. Mostly, I didn’t feel the need to attack McCain because he was gone, game over, and now I never have to think of him again. Or, in a nod to a famous line from our Commander-in-Chief regarding the late McCain, I like people who aren’t dead.
Chadwick Moore is a journalist, political commentator, and editor-in-chief of DANGEROUS, currently working on his first book. He tweets at @Chadwick_Moore.