Senator Bob Dole has passed.
Dole was the GOP candidate in the first presidential election in which I could cast a vote, and so I spent no small amount of energy reading up on Dole, watching debates, etc... in an era where - personally - I was still understanding how my values, beliefs and personal predilections stacked up against the platform and policy of a candidate. And, Bob Dole and I might have not agreed on some things, but I came to understand him as a dedicated public servant, a brave veteran and a survivor of wounds that might have stopped others. Instead, he'd persevered and and pursued a remarkable career.
After the election, he was still as powerful a voice in public discourse as he'd been which led to his nomination. And I always understood why he held the stances he did (except for the pro-cigarettes thing, which... two years later, I don't think he would have leaned into that one).
Someone who was a tremendous force in American government and the direction of the country has passed, and he'll be assessed and written about for years to come, certainly. Hindsight is 20/20. But take note as a person who actually did things and wanted the country to be better, has passed.