U.S. President Donald Trump recently signed into law what he referred to as the National Defense Authorization Act, proudly proclaiming that it provided the greatest increase in benefits to America's military members in more than a decade. In his remarks at the signing, the President praised those members of Congress who supported the Bill, all except the one man whose leadership actually steered the legislation through Congress and for whom the Bill is named.
The new law is officially called the John S McCain National Defense Authorization Act in honour of long time senator, and Viet Nam War Hero John McCain. But Trump's hatred for McCain is so strong he could not even mention his name at the signing of his signature piece of legislation. It was an unforgivable snub of a man who has given so much for his country by a president who has given nothing.
Many have suggested that Trumps dislike for McCain arises from the fact that McCain represents everything that Trump is not and will never be.
McCain represents honour, integrity, service to country, valour, and honesty. Trump just the opposite.
While Trump escaped military service claiming the pain of a “bone spur” McCain suffered years of torture in a Vietnamese POW camp, suffering injuries which have never healed.
The McCain name is synonymous with naval service. Both his father and grandfather rose to the rank of Admiral and served more than eighty years combined in the navy. The Senator himself spent almost thirty years in uniform and son, John S McCain IV is currently in service.
The Trumps however have avoided military service for generations. The President`s grandfather was deported from Bavaria for not completing his compulsory military service. His father never served, and neither of the President's sons has served either.
McCain has offered no comment to the President`s crass snub. He has too much class for that.
Frank Likely is a retired Anglican minister who lives in Springhill.