John McCain’s vociferous attack on Donald Trump dodging the draft highlighted a rather towering double standard. In fact, he might have validated Trump’s actions.
The long-running, two-step snare march/saber comparison continues in earnest, as the 1950’s ideal America, John McCain, verbally bombed his 1980’s equivalent in Donald Trump. Now, in case you’ve missed it, and I certainly hope you have, McCain’s main gripe is the fact that the Don dodged the ‘Nam via a doctor’s note.
Which apparently is a very bad thing to do. McCain has taken extreme umbrage with this, most recently taking to ABC America, criticizing those who avoided the extremely important, and not-at-all questionable Vietnam War, stating, “I don’t consider him [Trump] so much a draft dodger as I feel that the system was so wrong that certain Americans could evade their responsibilities to serve the country.”
It’s worth mentioning that John McCain is himself a veteran of the armed forces, you may have heard him reference it. However, it’s also worth mentioning that McCain was shot down over North Vietnam in 1967, spending five years as a prisoner of war. Which, let’s be honest, is a fair validation of the option that Donald Trump took. Vis: Dodging the draft.
In the interview, McCain planted, “If we’re gonna ask every American to serve, every American should serve.”
What this reveals is a point completely obvious to the those not subject to the shrieking eagle, wolf whistles, and mom’s apple pie, in that the action of serving in America is more important than asking why you should. There should be one more question beyond the murky borders of the statement “Because ‘Murica.” The conflict that McCain fought in, Vietnam, is a rather great example of this. As part of the Air Force, McCain wore the colors of those who loosed the same amount of bombs the Greatest Generation did on Germany in World War II, part of Nixon/Kissinger’s plot to bomb “anything that flies on everything that moves,” all done as a last measure to end a bloody, seemingly endless conflict.
Flashforward to the post-2001 landscape, and while America eventually found Osama Bin Laden next door to a base in Pakistan, a long bloody jaunt that walked them via Afghanistan, via Iraq, via Syria, and coming in 2018, via Yemen. For what? one has to ask. The U.S. invaded Vietnam on the basis of the domino theory, surmising that communism would wash over Southeast Asia, if left unchecked (it didn’t), similarly, the latter invasion force entered those equally poor countries to crush evil wrong-doers, subsequently creating more evil-doers. I mean, beyond lining the pockets of those who benefit from the war economy, it’s not exactly raising a banner above an expended Mt. Suribachi, with the newly martyred John Wayne at your feet, is it?
As another Naval Pilot once espoused, “there’s no such thing as a good war, there are necessary wars,” in reference to WWII, but ever since his generation punched Nazis in the face to stop them freely walking the streets of America (lol), the same country has chased that particular dragon, looking to plant their flags on foreign soil and hoping it sticks.
So, I suppose the most galling crime here is proving Donald Trump right on something. Thank you for your service, Mr. McCain, but not everyone is cut out for war. Which might be a good thing. Maybe Donald was exercising his right to personal freedoms. He chose to subvert his own government’s lottery to force citizens to pick up a rifle. I mean, he made his choice, right? McCain chose to go, Donald chose not to.
Who is in the right?
Perhaps the final words should go to U.S. author Tim O’Brien, who walked both worlds of McCain and Trump, as he momentarily fled the draft, flaming all connections for the safety of Canada, before returning home and marching to Vietnam. In his fantastic semi-autobiographical book The Things They Carried, he wrote, “I survived, but it’s not a happy ending.”
Maybe what they need is a choice.
Maybe the U.S. should introduce free bone spurs for all military-age citizens in the next round of Obamacare debate. Leave it to the citizenry to march to the doctor’s office, if the trench doesn’t suit them.