In August 1936, naval officer John S. McCain Jr. and his wife Roberta, welcomed a son, John Sidney McCain III, into the world. McCain Jr. was the son of a naval officer and nephew of an Army General. McCain Jr. and McCain Sr. both had illustrious naval careers, attaining to the rank of four-star admirals.
McCain III, followed his family profession and graduated from the US Naval Academy in 1958, soon becoming a Navy pilot, flying off of aircraft carriers.
In many war films, there is footage of a huge fire on board an aircraft carrier. The footage was taken in 1967 aboard the USS Forrestal when a Zuni rocket was mistakenly discharged by an electrical problem. The rocket landed on the deck and exploded, setting off a chain of explosions and fires that killed 134 sailors and injured 161 more. Among the injured was McCain III, who was nearly killed, but survived and returned to active duty, flying missions in Vietnam.
In October 1967, McCain III was flying a bombing mission over Hanoi, North Vietnam when his plane was shot down and McCain was severely wounded. He was captured and spent the next five and half years in a North Vietnamese prisoner of war cell, cage and camp. He was tortured and his captors tried repeatedly to force him to denounce the United States and their war in Vietnam, but McCain III remained strong and loyal, never betraying his country.
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McCain III obtained his freedom in 1973 and eventually retired from the Navy in 1981 at the rank of captain. He was and still is, hailed as a war hero from his experience in Vietnam. He has always seemed loyal and patriotic to the United States, until recently.
In 1982, McCain III was elected to the US House of Representatives from Arizona. In 1986, he was elected to the US Senate, to fill the seat of retiring Sen. Barry Goldwater, who I had the privilege of serving on a committee with. McCain, now 80 years of age, continues to serve in the Senate.
Throughout most of his political career, McCain III has been a conservative, until recently. In the past couple of years, it seems that he is swinging more to the liberal side of many issues, which some wonder is due to his age.
Throughout Donald Trump’s presidential campaign, McCain regularly criticized Trump’s positions on many issues, including those positions where Trump called for better national security including building a border wall, closing the border if necessary to keep terrorists out of the nation and to deport many of the illegal aliens living in the United States. McCain’s harsh criticism of Trump led the candidate to question McCain’s loyalty and patriotism, which drew even more criticism against Trump.
One would expect a senior member of the Republican Party to align himself with the Party’s current leader – President Donald Trump, but that’s not the case, as reported by The Washington Post:
“During a speech at the Munich Security Conference in Germany, the Republican senator from Arizona delivered a pointed and striking point-by-point takedown of Trump’s worldview and brand of nationalism. McCain didn’t mention Trump’s name once, but he didn’t have to.”
“And even considering the two men’s up-and-down history and the terrible things Trump has said about McCain, it was a striking display from a senior leader of a party when it comes to a president of the same party.”
“In his speech, McCain suggested the Western world is uniquely imperiled this year — even more so than when Barack Obama was president — and proceeded to question whether it will even survive.”
“‘In recent years, this question would invite accusations of hyperbole and alarmism; not this year,’ McCain said. ‘If ever there were a time to treat this question with a deadly seriousness, it is now’.”
I recall one committee meeting years ago, when I was sitting near Goldwater when a Republican member of the committee sided on an issue with the Democrats. Goldwater pounded his fist on the table and called that particular Republican a traitor to his Party and suggested he change his affiliation or leave. The target of Goldwater’s wrath left the meeting and never returned. He was replaced with a more conservative patriotic and loyal Republican which made Goldwater and the rest of us very happy.
I wish someone would do the same with McCain. If he isn’t going to support the President of the United States and bash him the way he did to other nations, then it’s time for McCain to change his Party affiliation to Democrat and join the ranks of other traitors. At least he needs to learn when and where to level the type of criticism against the President that he did, and an international conference held in another country is definitely not the place.
I still consider myself a loyal and patriotic American and Arizonan, but I’m embarrassed and ashamed of Arizona’s senior Senator and wish he would retire and go away before he commits more acts that could question his patriotism and loyalty.