I googled John McCain last night and was appalled by the number of results which labeled him as “Hanoi John”, a traitor, a coward, a friend of the communists in Vietnam, ad nauseam, etc. They were no less distasteful than Trump’s loser quote during the campaign. I never totally agreed with the Senator’s political philosophy, but the man has qualities which should endear him in the annals of politics and should receive words of praise rather than disparagement and anger.
“During the Vietnam War, he was almost killed in the 1967 USS Forrestal fire. While McCain was on a bombing mission over Hanoi in October 1967, he was shot down, seriously injured, and captured by the North Vietnamese. He was a prisoner of war until 1973. McCain experienced episodes of torture and refused an out-of-sequence early repatriation offer. The wounds that he sustained during war have left him with lifelong physical disabilities.” JOHN MCCAIN
In spite of the tweeting twat’s assessment of McCain as “a loser, I like winners”, and subsequent infantile outbursts about the Senator’s betrayal of party agenda, John McCain is a surviving POW, a man who made service to country his lifetime endeavor, and Senator McCain is deserving of our respect and honor. I don’t care what your politics are, his courage and sacrifice cannot be deleted from American history.
In his remarks following Trump’s address to the BSA, Senator McCain stated:
“we are an important check on the powers of the executive. Our consent is necessary for the President to appoint jurists and powerful government officials and, in many respects, to conduct foreign policy. Whether or not we are of the same party, we are not the President’s subordinates. We are his equal!” the new yorker
With his nay vote on the health care bill, John McCain exercised his ability to cross party lines and vote his conscience. To the consternation of Trump and fellow Republican butt-kissers, Senators McCain, Susan Collins of Maine, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska have shown the American voter that there is a smidgen of integrity, ethics, and compromise in the Republican party.
The choices are yours in the upcoming elections of 2018 and 2020. As a veteran, I admit that I am biased when looking at a candidate’s service history. That directed my vote in 2016 when we had a choice of Hillary or Trump. Neither was off-the-chart acceptable but Hillary had a legitimate history of public service. While Trump was berating a verifiable war hero, his service record was nonexistent thanks to 4 deferments during his draft years. When questioned about his military deferments, draft-dodger Donald Trump once said that the danger he faced from getting sexually transmitted diseases was his own “personal Vietnam.” HOWARD STERN INTERVIEW
In 1997 with shock jock Howard Stern, Trump talked about how he had been “lucky” not to have contracted diseases when he was sleeping around:
“I’ve been so lucky in terms of that whole world. It is a dangerous world out there. It’s scary, like Vietnam. Sort of like the Vietnam-era. It is my personal Vietnam. I feel like a great and very brave soldier.”
Our political world today is disgusting. Heroes are ridiculed. Elected leaders who have the audacity to vote conscience are harangued. We were asleep at the helm when a segment of Americans brought Trump and his cadre of billionaires and white supremacists to power.
In retrospect, Trump was indisputably ill-equipped to serve with the men of courage and valor during the Vietnam era. He did not have the necessary integrity and sacrifice to serve others rather than himself. The facts of life on Earth force most of us to grow up. Apparently Trump has never faced those facts. According to the oath of the Boy Scouts of America,
On my honor, I will do my best
To do my duty to God and my country and to obey the Scout Law;
To help other people at all times;
To keep myself physically strong, mentally awake and morally straight.
whom he flamboyantly and repulsively addressed, he doesn’t even make it to the starting gate regarding the race for wisdom and maturity.
We can do better. We deserve better. The elections of 2018 and 2020 will give us an opportunity for redemption. Get to know your candidates and get out and vote.