Op-Ed:Trump's Antics Don't Help The GOP


Just when we thought Donald Trump couldn’t get any more outrageous, the front-runner for the Republican nomination attacked Sen. John McCain’s military experience and record.

It all began with McCain saying that he was disappointed that Trump had “fired up the crazies” in Phoenix the previous week. McCain was referring to the crude remarks Trump made about illegal immigrants and the plentiful applause he received from a very willing audience.

Then last Saturday in Iowa at the Family Leadership Summit, he was asked in front of a packed audience if he thought McCain was a war hero.  But first, Trump called McCain a “dummy” for saying that those people in attendance in Ames, Iowa were “crazies.”

After that, Trump said he didn’t like McCain because McCain had lost the 2008 election to President Obama. Well-known moderator Frank Lutz said, “He’s a war hero.”

Trump responded, “he’s not a war hero.” Luntz again reiterated, “He’s a war hero because he was captured. I like people that weren’t captured, ok? I hate to tell you.”

Trump’s comments have created a firestorm in the media. Trump has been asked several times whether he’ll apologize to McCain, and repeatedly, his answer is no.

Let’s compare where Trump and McCain were in the late 60s. In 1968, Trump was 21, enjoying his rich life, thanks to his father, a real estate investor. Trump was about to graduate from the Wharton School of Business at University of Pennsylvania, an Ivy League school.

McCain was stuck in a Hanoi, Vietnam prison after his plane crashed. He was starving, he was regularly tortured, and Vietnamese doctors performed numerous surgeries (if one call them that) to try and repair McCain’s broken bones.

Just when his bones were settling, Vietnamese guards would come in for interrogation, and when McCain refused to answer a question, the prison guards would again fracture the same bones that were recovering.

For McCain, the decision to join the Navy was easy. His father and grandfather had both been admirals.

McCain joined the Navy in 1958 and Trump’s father sent him away to the New York Military Academy because of disciplinary problems. As for his time at Uof Penn, Trump received at least four military deferments. He said his draft lottery number was too nigh to be considered.

While McCain endured five years of captivity at the hands of the Vietnamese, Trump was busy enjoying himself at exclusive New York clubs such as Le’ Club and Studio 54. Trump arrived at the clubs in one of his father’s limousines.

Trump’s comments about McCain’s military record are over the top, and Trump should apologize to McCain, at the very least. But we know that  Trump’s ego is too big to allow him to apologize.

Furthermore, the mere fact that McCain did serve honorably in the military cannot be disputed, dissected or debated. 

Trump could have enlisted in the military if he really wanted to serve his country during the Vietnam War, but Trump was too busy enjoying the good life and his father’s money.

While it is true that Trump has had economic success, one could argue that it was given to him. Would he have succeeded without his father’s help? Maybe, but unlikely.
The Des Moines Register, a newspaper not known for being liberal, has written an editorial, asking that Trump disqualify for the 2016 presidential race. Now, this would be the honorable thing for Trump to do, but he won’t.  Trump’s narcissism makes it impossible for him to quit the race.


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