The occasional, often ill-considered thoughts of a Roman Catholic permanent deacon who is ever grateful to God for his existence. Despite the strangeness we encounter in this life, all the suffering we witness and endure, being is good, so good I am sometimes unable to contain my joy. Deo gratias!

Monday, July 20, 2015

Dump Trump

I don't often get political on this blog. Occasionally, though, stuff happens that simply cannot be ignored. Donald Trump would be eminently ignorable were he not so addicted to the kind of outrageous behavior and statements that attract the media as flies are attracted to...well, whatever attracts flies. In defense of the media, Donald Trump does not make ignoring him easy. He is seemingly unable to disagree with someone without turning a reasonable difference of opinion into an opportunity to launch a personal attack. Case in point: Senator John S. McCain III.

I'd like to say what I really think about Donald Trump's comments on Senator McCain but it would be unfit for publication on this blog. That this narcissist, who actively avoided military service during the Viet Nam conflict, would dare to question McCain's heroism is unbelievable. Actually, that's wrong. Given Trump's past and his consistent record of bizarre and offensive statements, his comments are quite believable. 

As a man who seems to measure others solely in terms of their net worth, Trump would likely consider Mother Teresa a complete failure. I'm actually surprised he hasn't praised the sales and marketing heroics of El Chapo, the billionaire Mexican drug lord and mass murderer who recently tunneled his way to freedom. Of course, El Chapo is a Mexican and we all know what Trump thinks about our southern neighbors. But should we expect anything less from someone who recently claimed to be a Christian who had never asked God for forgiveness? One can only speculate why. Perhaps he thinks that between equals there's no need for repentance.

I have never met Donald Trump and probably never will. I did, however, once meet John McCain, many years ago, long before he was a senator. He had only recently returned from Hanoi where he had spent over five years as a POW. Our brief conversation centered on his father, Admiral John S. McCain, Jr.. On several occasions the admiral, then Commander-in-Chief Pacific (CINCPAC), had been a passenger in my Navy helicopter. It was during this time that his son was a POW in Hanoi. I was a mere Lieutenant, but on these flights the admiral would chat with me and my co-pilot, asking our opinions on all sorts of Navy-related issues. I had tremendous respect for Admiral McCain and I know his son appreciated my saying so.

When the younger McCain was shot down over North Viet Nam, he suffered several severe injuries and was grossly maltreated by his communst captors. Because his father was a high-ranking naval officer (a four-star admiral), McCain was offered an early release of sorts. He refused to accept the offer and willingly remained a POW, accepting instead years of starvation, torture and solitary confinement. (To read McCain's own story of his imprisonment, click here.) Donald Trump, of course, considers this less than heroic. One struggles to identify heroism of any sort in the life of this son of fortune who seems unable to form a sentence in which he is not the subject. One hopes his supporters will eventually recognize the man for what he truly is, bringing his candidacy to a speedy conclusion.

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