Cindy McCain: My husband was a man of civility. Americans can still learn from him.

My late husband, John McCain, loved a good fight for a good cause, and he had more than a few spirited encounters with colleagues on both sides of the aisle. He believed it was right and necessary to argue about differences on issues and in governing philosophies. And, as he often remarked, a fight not joined is a fight not enjoyed.

But John never sacrificed civility. He liked and respected most of his colleagues, however heated their debates could be. He was known for his bipartisan friendships. He made friends easily, and he was good company. But that isn’t the only reason many of his colleagues and many Americans miss him. I think he’s missed most because he understood that a country like ours, a government system like ours — with its checks and balances and its protections for the rights of the minority — doesn’t permit one side to have everything its way on the great questions of the day.

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