Senator John McCain has used a speech in Australia to urge allies of the United States to stand by it in troubled times, while his country and the world come to grips with the controversial presidency of Donald Trump.
“My friends, I know many Australians have questions about President Trump. Frankly, so do many Americans,” the senior Republican told an audience at the State Library of NSW in Sydney.
“The new administration is just that: new. It is still finding its feet.
“America needs Australia and our other allies now more than ever. We need your strength. We need your steady leadership. We need your wise council. We need your patience and your understanding. We need your commitment to our common interests and ideals.
“We need you to have faith in America and in the enduring value of our alliance.”
The former presidential candidate and one of the most consistently forceful critics of Donald Trump from within his own Republican party conceded that the litany of scandal surrounding the Trump administration was taking its toll on the country.
“We are going through a rough period. We really are, and for me to tell you that we aren’t, politically, is not fair,” he said.
“But we’ve gone through other troubled times. I can remember the Watergate scandal and how it brought down a president. I’m not suggesting that’s going to happen to this president, but we are in a scandal and every few days another shoe drops from this centipede, and we’ve got to get through that.”
The senator from Arizona urged allies to remember that the United States and its government was greater than a president, suggesting that patience and trust in its system would pay off.
“Our foreign friends always tend to focus on the person in the White House. But America is far bigger than that,” he said.
“America is our courts of justice. America is our state and local governments. America is our Congress. I know that the pushing and shoving and checking and balancing of my country’s institutions may not be pretty, but this vast intricate and beautiful system called American democracy is doing exactly what it’s supposed to do.”
Concluding his remarks, Senator McCain pleaded with Australia to “stick with us”.
“We need your help, my friends. Now more than ever.”
TOP IMAGE: US Senator John McCain (By Kai Mörk via WikiCommons)