In Defense of Candor

Senator John McCain, the media’s favorite Republican, died over the weekend from brain cancer. That is a sad event and condolences rightly go out to McCain’s family. Yet the media has also used the occasion of McCain’s passing to viciously attack President Trump, simply for a consistent opinion regarding McCain. This article addresses the valid reasons for President Trump’ opinion, and praises Trump’s decision to remain consistent in his behavior regarding McCain.

The matter starts with McCain’s history in the US Navy.

John McCain was found at fault for three aircraft accidents while serving as a Naval Aviator. He dropped his plane into Corpus Christi Bay in March 1960 when he failed to pay attention to his surroundings and used too low a power setting, according to the Naval Aviation Safety Center. McCain claimed in later blamed the crash on engine malfunction, but no such evidence was found.

In December 1961, McCain flew into electrical lines in Spain, causing a blackout. And in 1965 McCain crashed a T-2 trainer in Virginia.

Several Naval Aviators commented that it is very odd for a pilot to keep his wings after such a series of accidents. The fact that McCain’s father was Commander in Chief for the Pacific [edit] almost certainly explains how McCain was able to act so recklessly, yet stay active as a US Navy pilot.

These accidents were followed by an on-deck explosion of McCain’s plane in 1967, then McCain’s plane was shot down over North Vietnam.
This is not to disparage McCain’s courage while a prisoner in Vietnam. But it goes a way to explain why President Trump does not regard McCain as a legitimate ‘war hero’ overall. John McCain did what he wanted, even when it put other people at risk. This continued after John McCain came home and entered politics.

People today often ignore history, but John McCain was deeply involved in the ‘Keating Five’ scandal. Basically, McCain figured out he was in danger of indictment, so he leaked information about other politicians to save his own butt. A Phoenix newspaper in 1989 referred to John McCain as “the guiltiest, most culpable and reprehensible” of all the people involved in the scandal.

McCain’s habit of doing whatever he wanted, even when it hurt innocents, is evident in his involvement in Lois Lerner’s IRS plan to punish conservatives with persecution by audit and destroy them through abuse of power. McCain is on record as suggesting to Lerner through a staffer that she could destroy conservatives by “audit[ing] so many that it is financially ruinous” [edit]

John McCain and Staffers Involved in IRS Targeting Scandal

Senator McCain also personally delivered the Steel dossier – now known to be a pack of lies – to James Comey in order to attack President-elect Trump through false accusation.

John McCain’s bravery under extreme duress while a prisoner of war deserves great respect. But McCain clearly used his family name to stay out of trouble which would have ended ordinary pilot’s careers, manipulated public support to cast himself as a “maverick” by breaking promises made to Republican Party leaders and allying himself with Democrats when they were in power to advance his own financial and political fortunes. McCain saved himself from prosecution by ratting out other politicians, and shamelessly attacked President Trump in a malicious campaign of slander and derision even before Trump took office.

President Trump’s comments regarding John McCain, in that light, have been measured and in some ways even restrained. More to the point, in an age where politicians often make shamelessly hypocritical statements when an enemy passes, just to show they are ‘caring’ and ‘compassionate’, President Trump has remained consistent in his statements and maintained a standard of candor. Donald Trump has not been malicious against John McCain, but has remained consistent in his stated opinions and judgments, and President Trump refuses to sugar-coat his statements just to create a media-compliant attitude. That kind of candor is rare, and whether or not you agree with President Trump’s opinion of John McCain, his candor is refreshing, rare, and authentic.

I must admit I am not surprised that the media would not recognize candor anymore. It’s not something the New York Times or CNN uses these days, after all.

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