By implying that John McCain was no war hero, Donald Trump may have intended to suggest that McCain somehow dishonored himself after he was captured. The fact that Mr. Trump took back the remark suggests that he has no evidence to back up that implication. The snide formulation he used to question McCain’s war hero reputation (“I like people who weren’t captured.”) was a slyly premeditated effort to avoid being tasked to provide such evidence. Instead, he took a callous dig at every American ever taken prisoner by our enemies in the course of keeping the oath they take to obey their superiors and defend the U.S. Constitution.
The respect America’s military personnel have for the oath they take may be the most important foundation of our national security. It is certainly critical to the preservation of the nation’s constitutional liberty. Is Mr. Trump so involved with the contrivances of his ambition for power that he failed to take account of this? If so he is not just unfit to be president of the United States, he is unfit to serve in any capacity that requires an allegiance to the Constitution so strong that no motive of personal ambition can sweep it aside. Isn’t Barack Obama’s tenure enough proof of the harm our nation suffers on account of such unbridled ambition? What sense would it make to elect another just like him?
Of course, many people dislike John McCain so much that they are tempted to overlook the collateral damage inflicted by Donald Trump’s attempt to insult him. I understand the temptation. McCain is among the most offensive members of the GOP’s quisling congressional leadership. They always seem ready to betray the conservative platform the Republican Party uses to defraud conservative voters at election time. Like many other Americans sincerely loyal to the Constitution, I wish that John McCain had kept to his oath as a U.S. Senator as faithfully as so many POWs have kept the oaths they took as military personnel.
If he and the other GOP quislings had thus fulfilled their oath of office, they would not have been willing to connive at Barack Obama’s continual disregard for the Constitution’s provisions; his repeated usurpations of Congressional power; and his studious contempt for the principles of God-endowed unalienable right, including liberty, in light of which the Constitution was framed and ratified. They would not have refused so stubbornly to impeach him for his high crimes and misdemeanors. And in the 2014 election, they would have faithfully taken the issue of his high crimes against the Constitution to the voters, in order to inform and mobilize the political will required to try him for his offenses.
When people in our military serve time as prisoners of war, honorably doing all they can to resist the enemy’s brutal or ingenious efforts to procure their collaboration, they deserve to be respected as heroes. Indeed, there is also much honor in it when, in the aftermath, they do not let the memory of that ordeal turn them against their duty, or against the nation that commanded them to endure it.
But there has been no honor, no loyalty, no faithful representation of the heart and good will of their constituents, in the way John McCain and other members of the GOP’s traduced and treacherous leadership have collaborated with Obama, implicated themselves in his usurpations of power, then rewarded him with even greater powers than he dared to reach for on his own. Had Donald Trump focused on McCain’s dishonorable conduct in that respect, he would have deserved praise and support instead of condemnation.
But that would have been inconsistent with the role he is playing in service to his elitist faction friends. Their agenda is better served by insulting the oath so many heroes honorably keep, than by calling attention to the oath McCain and his fellow elitist faction quislings routinely foresake. For by doing so they promote their faction’s agenda for the overthrow of our unalienable rights, including the rightful liberty our Constitution of self-government is supposed to embody and perpetuate. To them it is better that POWs be insulted, and our nation contentiously demoralized, than that this agenda become the focal point of the 2016 election. Too many Americans might be roused in time to reject the twin parties’ sham alternatives for the highest office in the land, including interchangeable partisans like Donald Trump.