Donald Trump’s recent disparaging remarks directed at Senator John McCain have set off a political firestorm in Arizona and across the country. When Mr. Trump, a businessman with no military experience, criticized Senator McCain by saying “He’s a war hero because he was captured. I like people that weren’t captured,” many felt he was not only belittling the military record of Senator McCain, but the heroism of prisoners of war generally.
Arizona political strategist Sean Noble argues in a recent piece that Trump’s flippant remarks have very sorry implications for the veterans of our past and his candidacy is a threat to the veterans of our future. Of Trump’s preference for those not captured, Noble writes:
Trump could have been talking about Jeremiah Denton, who used a televised Vietnamese propaganda press conference to confirm to the US that he and other American prisoners were being tortured by blinking, in Morse Code, T-O-R-T-U-R-E repeatedly. Trumps comments could be applied to Louis Zamperini, the Olympian-turned-bombardier who refused to allow the brutal treatment by his Japanese captors to break him, demonstrating to all the resolve and strength of the American spirit.
We know all of these men, because they were captured. But it is their heroism, their dignity, and their perpetual dedication to our nation, in the face of terrifying, excruciating conditions that we honor when we call them heroes. Mr. Trump’s failure to understand this disqualifies him to serve as Commander-in-Chief.
If more voters see Donald Trump’s comments as Noble described them, his fall will be faster than his rise. Trump has tried to walk back his comments, but the rigor and discipline required of modern political campaigns could be an impossibly high bar for the bombastic shoot from the hip candidate. With the certainty of more gaffes to come, his time in the race may be limited. In Noble’s view, it’s already up.