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