In a speech on Oct. 16, Republican Sen. John McCain of Arizona spoke out against the values of President Donald Trump and his administration.
Without naming names, McCain denounced "spurious nationalism," which he declared to be "unpatriotic," reports the Los Angeles Times.
McCain's speech was in acceptance of the 2017 Liberty Medal at the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia.
He targeted the "America first" nationalism that Trump's former adviser, Steve Bannon, instilled into Trump's campaign and the White House, the Daily Mail notes.
"To fear the world we have organized and led for three-quarters of a century, to abandon the ideals we have advanced around the globe, to refuse the obligations of international leadership and our duty to remain 'the last best hope of Earth' for the sake of some half-baked, spurious nationalism cooked up by people who would rather find scapegoats than solve problems is as unpatriotic as an attachment to any other tired dogma of the past that Americans consigned to the ash heap of history," McCain said.
"We live in a land made of ideals, not blood and soil," he added, referring to the slogan popularized by the Nazis and adopted by the modern alt-right. The Nazis used it to "invoke patriotic identification with native national identity," and later became a "key component of Adolf Hitler's 'Lebensraum' program, seeking to expand territories occupied by Germans, that was a major factor in the Holocaust," according to the Southern Poverty Law Center.
Speaking of the "land made of ideals," McCain continued: "We have done great good in the world. That leadership has had its costs, but we have become incomparably powerful and wealthy as we did. We have a moral obligation to continue in our just cause, and we would bring more than shame on ourselves if we don't. We will not thrive in a world where our leadership and ideals are absent. We wouldn't deserve to."
He also praised bipartisanship, referring specifically to his friendship with former Vice President Joe Biden, a Democrat.
"We often argued, sometimes passionately," McCain said of himself and Biden. "But we believed in each other's patriotism and the sincerity of each other's convictions. We believed in the institution we were privileged to serve in."
McCain joined the Navy in 1958, and went on to serve 22 years. In 1967, his plane was shot down over Hanoi, Vietnam, and he spent years in a Vietnamese prison war camp.
Earlier this year, he was diagnosed with brain cancer.