I’d like to offer a point of clarity regarding the presidential race.
If you served your country in the armed services, you have proven yourself a person of honor for that act of service. If, during your service, you are captured and tortured for five years as a POW and you refuse to be released because your fellow POWs won’t be, you have proven yourself a person of honor for that selfless act – an act of heroism.
From AZ Central:
John McCain sat on a stool in Hanoi, his teeth broken, his body battered from a savage beating, his arms tied behind him in torture ropes.
A guard entered the room.
“Are you ready to confess your crimes?” he asked.
“No,” McCain replied.
Every two hours, one guard would hold McCain while two others beat him. They kept it up for four days…
In June 1968, McCain was taken to an interrogation room, where “The Cat” awaited him. He was joined by another man, “The Rabbit,” who spoke very good English.
The Cat spent two hours in seemingly aimless conversation, telling McCain about how he had run French prison camps in the early 1950s. He said that he had released some prisoners early and that they had thanked him later. He also mentioned that Norris Overly had gone home “with honor.”
All of a sudden, The Cat blurted out: “Do you want to go home?”
McCain told him he’d have to think about it. He’d been hit by a bout of dysentery and was in poor shape. He was losing weight.
But McCain knew the real reason the North Vietnamese wanted to release him. Adm. Jack McCain, his father, was an important U.S. military figure. In July he would assume command of all U.S. forces in the Pacific. McCain’s release would help the North Vietnamese propaganda machine.
McCain realized that the Code of Conduct gave him no choice. Alvarez, who was being held elsewhere, was supposed to be the first man released.
“I just knew it wasn’t the right thing to do,” he said. “I knew that they wouldn’t have offered it to me if I hadn’t been the son of an admiral.
“I just didn’t think it was the honorable thing to do.”
Three days later…
“Our senior officer wants to know your final answer,” The Rabbit said.
“My final answer is the same,” McCain said. “It’s no.”
“That is your final answer?”
“That is my final answer.”
Can any of us believe what John McCain did was not honorable? Donald Trump, I ask you: Even in front of a crowd of cheering supporters, do you think you did the right thing by saying (referring to McCain’s 2008 presidential run), “I like candidates who don’t get captured”?
But are we Americans not capable of discerning between actions during service and actions upon discharge? Upon release from any of the US armed services, if you conduct yourself in a poor manner, how does that reflect on you? For example, if you steal from your fellow Americans, beat your wife or children, or sell drugs, you have compromised your honor to the point that you have little or none. John McCain did not steal from his fellow Americans, beat his wife or children, or sell drugs, but he has been a destructive, Establishment legislator and a terrible Republican who shows – unless it’s election season — precious little respect for his constituents. He has no business being reelected.
It is possible to be a war hero and a stand up civilian, a war hero and an honorable legislator. It is also possible to be a war hero and a subsequent jerk.