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October 25, 2021

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He was my hero for many reasons, but most of all for foiling Trump in AZ. Yes, a lot of people contributed to that effort, but Cindy McCain and Grant Woods put their shoulders to the wheel in a big way. I joked at the election that I could hear the ghost of John McCain laughing, but what I really heard was Grant and Cindy doing what they knew he would want them to do and what he would do if he were still alive.

No "May" about it. His memory IS a blessing.

I was honored to meet this great man once. I begged him to run for senate, governor or president. He would have been great at any of them. We really have lost one of the best.

“I should have worked harder to live up to the standards I set for myself, if for no other reason than to protect my reputation. But I didn’t get the job done this time, and I regret greatly that I let my client down.”

We all fail in one thing or another. What was once great about politics and social reality overall, is that we could balance that perspective so wrong turns didn't always result in career decapitation or public humiliation. Today's zealotry, both on the right and left, is a reminder how screwy our lives get when we forget this. The puritanical strain today is not only cruel to ourselves, it's virtually insane. Anyone who could apologize like Grant Woods is a reminder what we're losing in the current climate. Democracy cannot survive when we hate so profligately that we compulsively make mountains out of every molehill.

35 years ago, Ev Mecham showed what happens when the siren song of purity bulldozes reality-based politics. In retrospect, we can see how he anticipated our present-day madness. Yet politics used to work. Think of conservatives like Bob Usdane, Jim Skelly or Burton Barr. On the other side, Democrats were sensible and pragmatic. There were no grand schemes to reinvent society so no one's feelings ever get hurt. Now it's a shambles and the best we can hope for is maybe a political division so stark that nothing good or bad ever gets done. That said, democracy is now whistling past its own graveyard.

The cockeyed optimist in me was enlivened by your column, Jon. Thank you.

Redhead

I've quit posting here, still read with interest. This one got me off the snide. I once wrote a poem, "If Only". Your tribute to Grant brought an addition to my long lost thoughts: If only there were 100 US Senators like Grant Woods; If Only there were 435 House of Representative members of Grant Woods ilk, this country would have no problems; none. RIP Grant, you done good.

It's a shame the items you stated aren't 100% accurate.

100%
Perfectionism is a common factor in mental disorders.
Grant Woods was certainly not perfect. And there are those that would disagree with this column and its opinions.
Now that Woods has left seems best to try and be as kind and generous as humanly possible to all species on this Star we call Earth.
One among galaxies of never ending wonders.

Robert Robb has a heart-felt -- and nonpolitical -- appreciation on AzCentral:

https://www.azcentral.com/viewpoints/robertrobb/

Grant Woods' greatest political accomplishment was realizing that the Republican Party was rapidly slipping into a seemingly irreversible form of madness and getting out while sounding the alarm.

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