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In Defense of Donald Trump’s Slam on John McCain


In Defense of Donald Trump’s Slam on John McCain

Ted Rall

John McCain is a prick. It’s true.

We have to acknowledge that out of the gate because media coverage of the controversy over Donald Trump’s slam on McCain omits the fact that McCain baited Trump. McCain started it.

McCain always starts it.


In this era with fools, sociopaths, and those possessed of much in the way of depraved indifference to human (and animal) life at the wheel, some pundits (writers, journalists, satirists, et al.) look for the thick cloud cover’s silver lining. This article fits that bill.

A comment like this reflects the national psyche’s version of ego-centrism:

"Trump said:

"I was not a big fan of the Vietnam War … I wasn’t a protester, but the Vietnam War was a disaster for our country. What did we get out of the Vietnam War other than death? We got nothing.”

At this point in the Empire’s chain of horrors, it’s more than overdue to ask instead: What did the Vietnamese get?

partial answer:

  1. Agent Orange polluting their jungles and crops and causing heightened Cancer rates
  2. Villages of amputee children courtesy of all the land mines (the same ones Princess Diana made it her short life mission to ban) left behind
  3. TPP and TIPP: invitations for the corporation czars like Monsanto to enter these resource paradises to exploit and plunder them

It’s time to ask about those done unto by the WAR MACHINE rather than all this endless idolatry projected at idiots who follow orders and think themselves immune to The First Commandment because other jack-asses wearing more elaborate uniforms (as “decorated war heroes”) tell them to do so!

It’s time for hu-MAN-ity to climb above this evolutionary cul-de-sac that focuses on KILLING as proof of heroism or “manhood.”


Donald Trump has bad things to say about John McCain? This is one of those strange moments when you can get a certain amount of pleasure watching the head of the (right wing) snake engulf its own tail. Trump is a terrible human being–just terrible. The man has no humility, no self understanding. He is one of those pathetic people who believes in his own importance and proclaims it as loudly as he can. If he did not have money to his name, no one would pay the slightest bit of attention. Trump will go through life thinking he is a demi god, and he isn’t even a half- decent human being. Oh well, it’s always been vanity fair down here on planet earth.

John McCain is another loathsome figure. McCain’s contribution to long-suffering humanity is his mad, insistent call for War, War and more War! This sociopathic ignoramus, this stupid, blind and bigoted American firster, has never seen a foreigner he did not want to bomb, enslave or kill. McCain has based his whole sorry life on his experiences in Vietnam. He thinks he did a good thing bombing the hell out of people who had done nothing to the United States. McCain says he was tortured by his captors. He’s lucky they didn’t string him up alive for killing defenseless women and children. I wonder how a Vietnamese bomber pilot would have fared if he had been shot down in, say, Alabama. I have a feeling that the natives might have done a little bit more than torture him. McCain has never expressed any remorse for the carnage that he and his kind inflicted upon Vietnam and other countries. Instead, we are supposed to call him a “hero.” A hero does something worthy of respect and emulation. What McCain did was simply despicable.

Trump is fool, but for once he is on the mark: why is McCain someone we should admire? I say a pox on both of them.


Senator McCain’s expired “Straight Talk Express” has been trumped by Trump’s. America has a newer model of hyped BS. Moving on, you know. Soldier McCain lost 5 planes, I think, before the last loss landed him in a North Vietnam prison.
Mr Trump is right in that this poor of a pilot is usually scrubbed but McCain’s father was a a Naval Admiral and the armed forces are nothing if not loyal.
Both characters have had huge success in their respective fields of politics and finance. And both are womanizers.
Both are, or were, interesting. I expect they will be around for a long time.


The funerals for Trump and McCain will be attended by those seeking to be relevant. The contents of the boxes will be irrelevant to the occasions.


Who needs to comment when you have said it so well?


I am so glad that “the Donald” gave Ted Rall something about which he could write positively. Positively speaking a broken clock (that would be Trump!) might be correct twice a say, but the problem is knowing exactly when his “correct time” occurs. The Donald therefore is unreliably reliable.
On the other hand, a wrongly set clock (that would be McCain!) is always wrong and as such is reliably unreliable. Therefore in any competition comparing the two, a very slight edge would have to go to McCain on this technicality.
Sorry Donald but “you’re fired” and you lose! The winner is The Manchurian Candidate, John McCain. Is this a great country or what?!!


I think the Huff Post has got it right: they’ve put Trump in the entertainment section. The question is why anybody takes McCain seriously.


He would be better off in the comic section.


how a Vietnamese bomber pilot would have fared if he had been shot down in, say, Alabama.<

I suspect he’d have gotten the same treatment in almost any state, besides Alabama. Since the very beginning of the founding of this nation, people of color - not to say a yellow man from the Orient - had been lynched for lesser offenses.

I think, as some people say of Sanders, the Trump and McCain Show could be the Republican way of showing that there are different voices in that party as well and therefore voters should not give up on the GOP or, ultimately, the two-party system. So in a sense, Trump especially is the sheepherder of the GOP, just as Sanders is allegedly the Democrats’ sheepherder.


“On October 26, 1967, McCain was flying his twenty-third mission, part of a twenty-plane strike force against the Yen Phu thermal power plant in central Hanoi that previously had almost always been off-limits to U.S. raids due to the possibility of collateral damage.”

Yup, it’s a War Crime to bomb a non-military target in a civilian city (Hanoi) - something never mentioned in MSM while talking about Crazy Old McCain’s “heroism”. Not to mention the entire Invasion of Vietnam was an American War of Aggression. Remember, this was after the Nuremberg Trials.

After a few years, the lawyers (like Bush’s consigliere John Yoo who said torture is just fine, if you call it something else…) decided “hey, let’s just kill whoever we want - women, children, old men at the park - blow up dams and flood cities, whatever. They’re Gooks, anyway.”


In addition to your three bullets may I add #4 that many war profiteers became millionaires (back when a million was worth something) and joined the military industrial complex that vowed to never let a war (and its revenue stream) end again, spawning the 21st century strategy of eternal occupation and war.

Being a money man, Trump SHOULD know all of this.


" Why is McCain someone we should admire?"

Because the Amerikan public have been brainwashed to believe that people like McCain who was a cold blooded murderer of who knows how many innocent men, women and children in Vietnam, is to be admired as a hero, when nothing could be further from the truth. The truth is McCain is just another war criminal idolized by the Amerikan press as an admired war hero.

That just shows the power of the Fourth Reich press in Amerika!


John McCain was a POW not a hero. For whom did he attempt to give his life for? I know many service members who have died in our stupid wars who are not given their just due. What has Sen McCain, Sen Lindsay Graham or former Senator Lieberman done for our veterans. It was and is during their tenures that the Veterans were deserted as far as health care. At this time they must plead funds from the people.


In my first year in college, I decided to apply for admission to West Point along with my close high school friend who was attending another college. My friend was accepted. I had passed one test and all other processes with one more exam remaining. To my shock, I showed up for the exam at the local post office on the wrong day. I was subsequently disqualified for possible admission to West Point as next repeat test was one year later, but I was then too old. In 1965, my dear friend died a true hero’s death in Vietnam trying to save some of his entrapped men in a jungle fight. I then read two books on the history of Vietnam. As any rational person would have realized, I concluded we never could win such a war as the French before us and others had learned the hard way after the senseless slaughter of thousands. That’s when I was rudely first awakened to the reality that governments, including mine, do lie to their people about threats justifying war adventures. The Vietnam war culminated in the deaths of 58,000 U.S. servicemen and 2.4 million Vietnamese … all for nothing, all for an illegitimate, concocted cause. McCain graduated at the bottom of his class at West Point. As a macho fighter pilot, he was a flying ‘crazie’ having haphazardly destroyed a few fighter planes. Unfortunately, his mindless ‘gung ho’ military character has never left him. He always seeing foreign enemies everywhere and rattling the war-alert buttons. This psychotic, dangerous quirk of McCain and Trump’s charge of his unconcern for the deplorable medical treatment of veterans brings McCain’s ‘hero’ story back down to earth. The endemically self-absorbed Donald Trump has trumped on this occasion!


Perhaps it is time that the descriptive use of the word Hero be deleted from the military rhetoric and begin being used to describe some of the folks who are devoting their time to saving the planet rather than destroying it, people like Bill McKibbben or any of the others who are the real heroes working against the corporate denial teams. “Bomb, Bomb, Bomb Iran” rhetoric does not a hero make.


You are completely wrong about the VA, Ted. If you check studies by Rand and others you will find that, based on outcomes, the VA beats them all. I’m a veteran and I wouldn’t trade my VA health benefits for any of the for-profit assholes. Stop believing the regressive/privatizing non-veteran chicken-shit Republican party line about the VA!


Very interesting Jack. But is Trump not alluding per se to VA health benefit entitlements but to the VA’s deplorable execution of those benefit entitlement services for veterans? The latter seems to be implied in his derogatory remark: “Some of these people (veterans) wait for four or five days in a reception room, which is dirty and filthy and disgusting.”

Is this just some of his theatrical BS?


Thanks Jack. My VA experiences are also good. A lot of work for almost nothing. All of $8 this year as co-pay on an antibiotic prescription. Everything else, including other pills, BP monitor, labs, blood tests, etcetera, no charge. Very busy hospital and clean rooms (unlike Trump’s bloviating). Dental care at the nearby dental college is also good, although it costs each time, just less than other places. One place I pay each time and the other place I just come in and go. Basically the VA care shows me what a health care system could look like, as opposed to the typical health-insurance scam where the insurers insert themselves between me and my care.