McCain’s in­tegrity proved con­trast to ‘draft-dodg­ing’ Trump

Birmingham Post - - FEATURE -

in­tegrity and bi­par­ti­san spirit made him a truly great politi­cian.

In this age of “al­ter­na­tive facts,” lies and dis­hon­esty, he pro­vided stark re­lief.

His con­duct came in deep con­trast to Amer­ica’s draft-dodg­ing Pres­i­dent, who pre­vi­ously crit­i­cised the Ari­zona se­na­tor for be­ing a pris­oner of war.

Through­out the last few years of McCain’s life, Trump had con­stantly at­tacked the former naval pi­lot who re­fused, where all other Repub­li­cans ca­pit­u­lated, to bow down.

Their feud dated back to when the bil­lion­aire an­nounced he was run­ning for the White House and called Mex­i­can im­mi­grants “rapists” and drug run­ners dur­ing a speech.

McCain dis­tanced him­self from the com­ments say­ing in an in­ter­view he dis­agreed with the re­marks while oth­ers re­mained em­bar­rass­ingly silent.

Trump fired back by call­ing his party mem­ber “in­com­pe­tent” a month later dur­ing a July 2015 rally at the Phoenix Con­ven­tion Cen­tre.

Their clash es­ca­lated fur­ther when the former US Ap­pren­tice host at­tacked McCain’s mil­i­tary record and crit­i­cised the war hero for get­ting cap­tured by the en­emy dur­ing the Viet­nam War.

“He’s a war hero be­cause he was cap­tured,” Trump told a cam­paign crowd. “I like peo­ple who weren’t cap­tured.”

This came from some­one who sought and re­ceived five draft de­fer­ments and fa­mously told shock jock Howard Stern that avoid­ing sex­u­ally trans­mit­ted dis­eases was his “per­sonal Viet­nam”.

The feel­ings of dis­like were mu­tual.

McCain com­plained Trump “fired up the cra­zies” while a month be­fore the 2016 elec­tion he with­drew his sup­port for the ego­ma­niac af­ter Trump was caught on tape speak­ing in lewd fash­ion about how to sex­u­ally as­sault women.

He was one of the few Repub­li­cans who stood for prin­ci­ple, not the Pres­i­dent.

Fa­mously his re­sponse dur­ing the 2008 pres­i­den­tial cam­paign to some­one who said about then-Se­na­tor Barack Obama that they did not trust him as “he’s an Arab”, McCain’s re­sponse said ev­ery­thing you needed to know about his in­tegrity.

“No, ma’am. He’s a de­cent fam­ily man, cit­i­zen, that I just hap­pen to have dis­agree­ments with on fun­da­men­tal is­sues, and that’s what the cam­paign’s about,” he replied.

Such ex­am­ples show the dif­fer­ence be­tween this as­tute man that Amer­ica has lost and its cur­rent Pres­i­dent, who, dur­ing his cam­paign, led au­di­ences in “lock her up” chants about his op­po­nent.

Even as McCain was dy­ing, Trump re­fused to ut­ter his name.

Ear­lier this month when sign­ing the de­fence pol­icy bill named af­ter the se­na­tor he re­fused to pay trib­ute.

He sunk even lower, when af­ter his death on Satur­day, Trump sul­lied McCain’s mem­ory fur­ther with his own dose of moral turpi­tude as he or­dered the Amer­i­can flag to full mast – a mere 24 hours of be­ing flown at half in mem­ory of McCain.

It took a bar­rage of re­buke by Trump’s crit­ics – in­clud­ing the Amer­i­can Le­gion – in­ter­pret­ing the fleet­ing trib­ute as a sign of the Pres­i­dent’s perpetual pet­ti­ness for it to be low­ered back down. Whether you agreed with McCain pol­i­tics or not, Amer­ica is a darker place for his pass­ing.

Amer­ica is hurt as his death leaves a void that will not be filled by those in Congress.

It is also hurt by the fact that the country voted in a man into the White House who is not fit to lick McCain’s boots.

McCain’s courage, in­tegrity and bi­par­ti­san spirit made him a truly great politi­cian

> John McCain

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.