Anyone who has ever read the newspaper or watched television should know Donald Trump — despite his ability to make millions — is generally a buffoon who loves hearing himself speak.
The attack on Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., in which Trump questions the long-time senator’s heroism, seems to do nothing insofar as advancing the race for the Republican nomination for president. With the exception of raising the geographically-inspired debate on immigration, one must wonder what in the hell does McCain have to do with this presidential race?
This is not to say genuine questions might be raised in the discussion of McCain and his past. During the period of time, as well as after, in which McCain was imprisoned in Vietnam he broke the military’s Code of Conduct. That Code, introduced by President Eisenhower in 1955, acts as a guide of obligations and responsibilities of U.S. service members who are in “harm’s way:”
U.S. Military Code of Conduct
I am an American, fighting in the forces which guard my country and our way of life. I am prepared to give my life in their defense.
Those tenets are not military law but rather a code of ethics that would no doubt cause fellow troops to cast aspersions if an American service member strays too far from these six guidelines.
During the five and a half years McCain was a prisoner of war he would break this code due to reasons including physical torture. Though names were redacted, this paper McCain wrote during study at the National War College in Washington, D.C. in 1974 after repatriation. Some of the reasons for straying from the Code as well as praise for the same are spelled out in his paper.
Some World War II veterans held Vietnam vets in contempt. The reasons run from breaches of the Code of Conduct to one-year tours. Some of those resentments are still harbored by those surviving WWII vets. Likewise Vietnam vets sometime resent the government that sent them to war and seemingly forgot about them afterwards.
Perhaps “some” is not a grammatically-correct or an inaccurate measure of participants. But no doubt, the word serves as a true measure when it comes to veterans, of any era, and what feelings they may harbor.
Last week I wrote a local TV news reporter and complained about a story she did. The local reaction piece was on what veterans felt about arming recruiters and other “soft” military facilities in the wake of the Chattanooga shootings that resulted in four dead Marines and a dead Navy logistics specialist. The two veterans in the news piece were a retired sergeant major and retired captain who just happened to meet each morning for coffee. Being retired from the military and from Southeast Texas, it was no big surprise to hear they believed the soft targets required hardening — with guns.
My complaint was there were two lifers who have met for years each morning for coffee. Does it seem that some veterans might disagree? Or the same for some civilians?
Perhaps the one redeeming quality of Trump and his McCain bashing is to show the American public that military veterans are not homogeneous. Most should already have that figured out, but not in this old world will the logical become the norm.