Trump just now on John McCain: "He's a war hero because he was captured. I like people who weren't captured."
— Karen Travers (@karentravers) July 18, 2015
Trump made these remarks today at the Family Leadership Summit in Ames, Iowa. You know, the state that makes Republicans behave very badly.
While Donald Trump could take issue with John McCain where policy is concerned, he prefers to take issue with John McCain personally. This seems to be Trump’s method of dealing with the opposition going into this election cycle.
But then, when you are ill-informed, if not outright ignorant on the issues, vague is good. Vague is very good. Vague doesn’t explain itself. Vague is very totalitarian in its fiats and pronouncements.
Donald Trump doesn’t really have a platform beyond how great Donald Trump is and what idiots everyone else are. He can’t explain issues he probably doesn’t understand. To date, at least, he hasn’t tried.
It is easier by far to just to insult the people who hold positions he opposes rather than try to articulate, and fail, at developing positions of his own. This is the last seven years of Republican opposition to Obama turned against the Republicans themselves, by one of their own.
And as we have noticed, they do not like it much. Particularly since Trump seems to be more skilled at it than the men and women who taught him this sort of theater works.
It is a fact that John McCain got shot down. It is a fact that he did not perform heroic deeds of daring-do in the air, like a Manfred von Richthofen, or an Eddy Rickenbacker, or Pappy Boyington. But he did survive five years of hellish conditions in a North Vietnamese prison camp, the “Hanoi Hilton.”
He did serve his country.
Unlike Donald Trump. While McCain was serving his country, risking his life in a war, Donald Trump was receiving deferments (in 1964, 1965, 1966, and 1968) to stay out of that war. Not, as Trump once claimed, because he had high lottery numbers.
As Louisiana Governor “Bobby” Jindal pointed out,
After Donald Trump spends six years in a POW camp, he can weigh in on John McCain's service
— Gov. Bobby Jindal (@BobbyJindal) July 18, 2015
McCain’s daughter, Meghan, tweeted her reaction:
I can't believe what I am reading this morning. Horrified. Disgusted. There are no words.
— Meghan McCain (@MeghanMcCain) July 18, 2015
Other victims of Trump’s ad hominem attacks, Rick Perry and Jeb Bush, have come to McCain’s defense. Rick Perry said Trump’s words are disgraceful (and Perry ought to know something about disgraceful), tweeting that,
— Rick Perry (@GovernorPerry) July 18, 2015
Jeb Bush tweeted in response,
Enough with the slanderous attacks. @SenJohnMcCain and all our veterans – particularly POWs have earned our respect and admiration.
— Jeb Bush (@JebBush) July 18, 2015
Scott Walker, who has previously avoided criticizing Trump, also defended McCain and called on Trump to apologize, but Ted Cruz refused to do so, weaseling out of it by claiming, reports The Washington Post,
I recognize that folks in the press love to see Republican-on-Republican violence, so you want me to say something bad about Donald Trump or bad about John McCain or bad about anyone else. I’m not going to do it. John McCain is a friend of mine. I respect and admire him and he’s an American hero. And Donald Trump is a friend of mine.
It does not matter how good a pilot McCain was, or how or why he was shot down. What matters is that he was there, and Trump was not.
Thank what you will of John McCain, or even of Rick Perry and Jeb Bush. If there is a man on the planet who does not have the right to question McCain’s war deeds, it is Donald Trump.
Hrafnkell Haraldsson, a social liberal with leanings toward centrist politics has degrees in history and philosophy. His interests include, besides history and philosophy, human rights issues, freedom of choice, religion, and the precarious dichotomy of freedom of speech and intolerance. He brings a slightly different perspective to his writing, being that he is neither a follower of an Abrahamic faith nor an atheist but a polytheist, a modern-day Heathen who follows the customs and traditions of his Norse ancestors. He maintains his own blog, A Heathen’s Day, which deals with Heathen and Pagan matters, and Mos Maiorum Foundation www.mosmaiorum.org, dedicated to ethnic religion. He has also contributed to NewsJunkiePost, GodsOwnParty and Pagan+Politics.