In recent years, we seem to have delighted in finding and making public the human mistakes of our historical heroes. Is this one of the reasons we have come to be an angry people and pessimistic about government?

It is eagerly reported, and rightfully so, that past heroes of history, present leaders and potential leaders for today have had or have now feet of clay? Perhaps Sen. John McCain's death was timed by providence to teach us what we could be again?

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Will we have time to idealize him before the angry people start searching out his feet of clay? There will be those who will delight in trying to find and then report those things that will expose him as being "just like the rest."

Let's hope it does not happen again. Let's hope he continues to be the hero they say he is. We are left with very few leaders to look up to.

Democracy has always been partly a dream. We don't have many dreams anymore. Savor the moment of knowing a real hero. Maybe he will remain what we think he was.

Tell his story to your children and wish we had more like him in government service. Maybe your children will be one of them, but they need to know one first.

Tufte lives in Fargo