A little over a year ago, July 19, 2015, Donald Trump spoke of one of his fellow Republicans, Senator and former presidential candidate, and former five-year prisoner of war John McCain: “He’s not a war hero.” Later, responding to a ferocious counter-blast, he backed off to the point of saying, “He’s a war hero because he was captured. I like people who weren’t captured.”
McCain, remember, became a prisoner of the North Vietnamese in 1967 after his plane was shot down; he was not freed until 1973. He was terribly injured in the plane crash and was tortured by his captors, but refused an offer to return home, insisting that he would not go home if his comrades did not.
Trump’s comments deserved all the heavy criticism they got at the time, which many people speculated would end Trump’s career. (The fact that Trump dodged service in Vietnam, although having attended a military school, by using a series of deferments, does not help.) On its own it speaks to a lack of concern and loyalty to the troops he is hoping to lead.
McCain himself seemed to shrug it off, but his granddaughter responded this way: “Trump’s statement, in my view, is unforgivable, and speaks to the kind of man he is: a coward who has never faced danger in his life, an insecure brat who shirked duty for comfort, and a man who is wholly unfit to serve as commander-in-chief.”
All of that is true, but a close look suggests it still represents only part of a problem even larger: Trump appears to express no concern or regard for anyone he doesn’t class among life’s “winners.”
Anyone in trouble, anyone who has had a reversal, anyone needing the help of the government – or of the president – is easily dismissed as a loser who deserves what they get. In the quote “I like people who weren’t captured,” substitute the words “weren’t captured” for almost anything else unfortunate that could happen to a person. Those – most of us – are life’s “losers,” in Trump’s book, and unworthy of serious consideration, much less help.
Imagine how much help a prisoner of war would get under President Trump. Now extend that point out to most of the rest of us. –rsShare on Facebook