I honestly don’t know if John McCain associated himself with the word “maverick” or if it was the Press, or some other person or group. But what I do know is that whenever John McCain is discussed on TV News, or Talk Shows, radio or television, his supporters (which I think at this point is limited to”Fox News”) refer to him as a “maverick”. I decided to dig a little bit deeper into what “maverick” really means.
In the southwestern United States (including, obviously, Arizona from which John McCain hails one of two U.S. Senators) the word “maverick” means an unbranded range animal (especially a stray calf) that belongs to the first person who puts a brand on it (American Heritage Dictionary). Or, in other words “a bullock or heifer that has not been branded, and is unclaimed or wild” (according to Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary).
An alternative definition (from Dictionary.com) when referring to politicians is “a politician, who takes an independent stand apart from his or her associates”.
Well, John McCain servers the public (his constituency) just as all of the other U.S. Senators and U.S. Representatives in the Legislative branch of the government. It is their collective duty to have open, robust discussions; entertaining ideas and solutions from a broad range of perspectives and then making decisions, as a collective unit, about how to move forward. In our two party system, there is obvious disagreement among the Legislators of the Land. But, they must operate a a cohesive group, even with all of the disagreements, to pass any legislation. Therefore, they are all his associates. So how could McCain be a political maverick when any one of his supposed independent views is certainly in line with at least one other Senator or Congressperson, whether Republican, Democrat, or unaffiliated. You can’t be a maverick when other people agree with you, even if the people agreeing are not the ones you want to agree with you.
So what we have left is an “unbranded range animal … that belongs to the first person who puts a brand on it”. So in the State from which John McCain hails, a maverick is defined as somone who has not been officially affiliated with any one person or group, but is available to the first bidder, or highest bidder.
I”m just saying….