Think back to World War II, before Republicans became anti-Uncle Sam and anti-US-government. Back then it was patriotic to refuse favoritism because your father was a top military commander, as McCain did.
And no buffoons ridiculed you if you were in a plane that got shot down over enemy territory. And if you showed defiance and even humor, despite being tortured, yes, you were a war hero.
So what is with the 20% or so Republicans that think they are patriots but stick with draft-dodger Trump when he ridicules war-hero McCain? No, the Tea Party is not patriotic. Waving the flag, whether the US or the anti-US confederate flag, is not enough. Not even close.
So where was Trump while McCain was in Vietnam?
Trump claimed the McCain was only a war hero because he was captured. “He’s not a war hero. Come on! He’s a war hero because he was captured? I like people who weren’t captured, okay?” he said.
Trump couldn’t have been captured because he wasn’t there, thanks to four student deferments and a dubious medical one. Then he got a lucky draft lottery number and was able to go to work making lots of money — while McCain was in a prison camp in Vietnam.
McCain showed real honor by refusing favoritism while imprisoned (early release) because his father was a top military commander. He didn’t seize privilege he hadn’t earned – something Trump can’t comprehend. (The New Yorker)
And to double down on his insult, Trump lied about McCain’s support of veterans, referring to the VA Hospitals scandal. Trump accused McCain and Bernie Sanders saying their legislation “to cover up the VA scandal, made sure no one has been punished, charged, jailed, fined or held responsible.”
The fact is that eight VA employees have been punished, although that’s not as many as McCain would like.
Patriotism is about supporting your country and those who defend it, not mindlessly attacking ideas and people for your own advancement and ego. Trump and his right-wing supporters consider themselves “patriots”, but the values they espouse – intolerance, ridicule, hatred – are decidedly un-American. Nevertheless, Republicans increasingly support him. He’s now at the top of the field with 24% of registered GOP voters. Makes the Grand Old Party look less than grand.