Opinion and Comment
Trump’s Cowardice vs McCain’s Heroism
By David L. Shadrick
Please be warned of the following issues I harbor so you can remove my personal bias’ from the narrative. I’m a Veteran living in transitional housing. I work helping the homeless through legislation and litigation. My focus is on the 85% of the homeless population who have a diagnosed mental illness. I’m extremely annoyed a non-vet has the cojones to attack a vet, especially after his passing.
The Vietnam War
John McCain’s heroism during the Vietnam War is well recorded. Simply speaking, there were four major choices young men faced when their draft number came up. Some of the men decided to go to Vietnam and serve their country. Others moved to Canada, leaving behind their lives in protest. Some took their chances in court and risked going to prison. Finally there were those that received a deferment of some kind.
Serving Your Country Versus Deferment
Because this article is focused on Trump’s comments about Senator John McCain’s heroism, I’ll be brief. I’m only looking at serving your country or choosing a deferment. While many people believe that Trump’s deferment was obtained illegally, I will not be addressing that issue. It is also irrelevant to the issue at hand.
Off To War
An Annapolis grad and aviator, John McCain came from a long line of naval officers. McCain decided to serve his country and suffered one of the worst fates a service person can endure. It is important to note here that the North Vietnamese had given McCain a get out of jail free card. McCain’s father was an Admiral and because of that rank, the younger McCain was offered a flight home. When he refused to leave his comrades he was literally subjected to five years of non-stop torture. Just being able to survive this kind of torment, much less being able to thrive after it, is a tribute to McCain’s personal character and heroism.
Meanwhile, President Trump received a medical deferment, the only choice that didn’t involve a sacrifice. I have no problem with someone using this method to avoid serving in a war they didn’t support. But I believe strongly that it disqualifies such a person criticizing someone who went; someone like John McCain.
Inappropriate and Disgraceful
Concentrating on Trump’s comments about McCain’s heroism isn’t the point of this article. There is no doubt that his continuing comments are inappropriate and disgraceful. Trump says he “doesn’t like heroes who get captured.” I don’t f*cking like civilians who think staying home was just as good as going to Vietnam. Or, challenging the validity of Senator John McCain’s heroism.
Even Trump Supporters
As I mentioned before, I currently live in transitional housing. I share an apartment building with about a hundred other veterans. Let me assure you all of them are angry about Trump’s attacks on John McCain. John McCain’s heroism is not Trump’s to question. One of my friends is an ardent Trump supporter who always defends Trump, no matter what the position. I announced to my friend that I was writing an article for www.calamitypolitics.com condemning Trump for his attacks on McCain. He agreed that such a response had to be written.
No matter what your political affiliations very few support attacks on a dead people, certainly not a man of Senator McCain’s stature. Hey, the man is dead and can’t punch back. Let him rest in peace. It leaves his still grieving widow and children to defend his legacy. Shameful, that the family had to fight back to have McCain’s heroism protected. It just highlights Trump’s fundamental weakness of character. A spineless man who fights imaginary wars is what we have in the White House.
Backlash over the attacks on McCain’s heroism were swift and harsh. While one would expect that the Democrats would issue a harsh response to Trump’s remarks, the condemnation from the right was swift and harsh as well. Strange, Lindsey Graham, one of McCain’s closest friends during his lifetime, exchanged a condemnation of Trump for an evening of champagne and cronyism at Mar-a-lago.
To quote the Business Insider
Here are some responses from prominent Republicans taken from an article by the Business Insider. (Full story here https://www.businessinsider.com/gop-senators-slam-trump-tirade-against-john-mccain-2019-3.
“Sen. Mitt Romney of Utah, the 2012 Republican presidential nominee who is often critical of the president, condemned Trump’s comments on Twitter.
‘I can’t understand why the President would, once again, disparage a man as exemplary as my friend John McCain: heroic, courageous, patriotic, honorable, self-effacing, self-sacrificing, empathetic, and driven by duty to family, country, and God,’ he wrote.
Republican Sen. Johnny Isakson of Georgia, who rarely criticizes Trump and avoids big headlines in the press, also spoke out against the president for his repeated attacks on McCain. Isakson, who chairs the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee, told The Bulwark, a conservative opinion website, that he intends to excoriate Trump in the same manner he did shortly after McCain’s death when the White House did not properly lower their flags to half-staff.
‘I want to do what I said that day on the floor of the senate,’ he said. ‘I just want to lay it on the line, that the country deserves better, the McCain family deserves better, I don’t care if he’s president of United States, owns all the real estate in New York, or is building the greatest immigration system in the world. Nothing is more important than the integrity of the country and those who fought and risked their lives for all of us.’
During an interview with Georgia Public Broadcasting’s “Political Rewind” later on Wednesday, Isakson called Trump’s comments ‘deplorable’. He suggested that type of comment did considerable damage to the way military veterans are treated.
‘It’s deplorable what he said,’ Isakson said. ‘It will be deplorable seven months from now if he says it again, and I will continue to speak out because there’s one thing that we got to do. You may not like immigration, you may not like this, that, maybe a Republican, maybe a Democrat. We’re all Americans.’
‘There aren’t Democrat casualties and Republican casualties on the battlefield. There are American casualties,’ he added. ‘And we should never reduce the service people give to this country, including the offering of their own life, even in political fodder in Washington, DC, or anywhere else for that matter.’
– The Business Insider, March 20, 2019
Write The White House
Please take note of this disgraceful behavior from President Trump and speak up. Just because you agree with his policies 99% of the time, please realize this time is the 1% of the time you need to disagree. Write or e-mail the White House and demand an apology for his attacks on McCain’s heroism.