Before John McCain entered the Senate in 1986, another Vietnam POW made the chamber - Jeremiah Denton of Alabama.
He only served one term, but provides an interesting contrast to McCain.
Denton’s cause was explicitly the preservation of Western Civilization. As he understood it, this was a civilization with deep, ancient, theological, philosophical, and cultural roots. This traditional order for which Denton fought and legislated, which scarcely exists anymore, is about much more than democracy, even much more than liberty.
McCain’s attachment was to a shallower, less developed political posture.It was a conflation of militaristic American patriotism with international ideological campaigns for installing democratic electoral systems anywhere and everywhere, even where plainly there exists no cultural environment in which true democracy or the rule of law might take root.