Recently, the issue of President Trump attacking the memory of the late Arizona senator John McCain has reared its ugly head once again. During the debates before the election, Trump said "He's a war hero because he was captured. I like people that weren't captured."
That was taken as a direct insult to the veteran McCain who spent 5 1/2 years in captivity in North Vietnam. People said Trump should not impugn the reputation of a veteran, especially one who suffered as a prisoner of war. That is a fair criticism, but Trump was responding to the elevation of McCain to a "Wartime Hero" status, and who had implicitly said he thought Donald Trump "fired up the crazies." I wrote about that at the time, because I was one of the 'crazies' McCain was impugning.
When considering the idea of running for President in 2012, Trump knew he would be up against McCain. It was at that point that they began to undermine each other's credibility.
We can all agree that Trump and McCain didn't like each other. They clashed on a lot of foreign and military policy, but especially over illegal immigration. McCain had a hard time distinguishing between legal and illegal immigrants. He was a symbol of the entrenched Washington beltway establishment that consistently ignored the impact of the flood of unvetted, undereducated, and essentially unskilled immigrants across the country.
For that McCain was praised by Democrats as a Maverick Republican. In Trump's view, that means he was disloyal. When McCain reneged on his campaign promises to repeal Obamacare and became the deciding vote to sink the Republican repeal package, he sealed his reputation as a political traitor to Trump.
Liberals loved him, Trump conservatives, "not so much."
McCain embodied the inertia Trump confronted on every issue, every newscast, and every legislative action. The Washington establishment and the mainstream media does whatever they can to impugn Trump, while simultaneously elevating his opposition to newly defined levels of respect and significance.
When during the 2016 Republican candidate debate, Trump was confronted with McCain's hero status, he repeated his assessment: "Does being captured make you a hero? I don't know, I am not sure."
We have to ask ourselves, are all vets heros? What about those that perished in service? Are all of them ranked by the same definition of hero? If so, then what about all of those that threw their body on a hand grenade to save their fellow soldiers? Where do they rank?
We often refer to doctors, nurses, first responders, police and firemen as heroes. Then, in the same breath, we say they are underappreciated. To me, under appreciating heroes is an oxymoron. Just because they are in a unique position to be heroic, that doesn't mean they are all heroes all of the time.
This is where the perversion of our language issue comes in again, because it seems the value of too many terms have been rendered meaningless. We can't bestow that 'hero' title to every statesman in history. No one would suggest that all past and present public servants are heroes. People throw around words with little or no concern for the effects of the dilution of their meaning.
That is why the military bestows medals of honor, to distinguish exceptional efforts and circumstances from the everyday, though unforgiving, occurrences of wartime service. No one can take the value of a medal away from the recipient. McCain was awarded the Navy Commendation Medal and a Bronze Star, which speak for themselves. That makes McCain a highly decorated military veteran.
My point is, there has to be some qualification of the term hero.
The standard Merriam dictionary definition is:
1 : A mythological or legendary figure often of divine descent
endowed with great strength or ability.
2 : An illustrious warrior.
3: A man admired for his achievements and noble qualities.
4 : One who shows great courage.
McCain definitely fits that generic description. But so does millions of people. Is that what we mean when we call someone a hero? Is the kid who hits a walkoff homerun in the College World Series really a hero?
We can't just bestow that rank upon everyone that served in the military or are emergency and police professionals or won a game with the swing of a bat. Whether a soldier spent years in solitary confinement or in a tank waiting for an IED to blow their legs off, they all went to hell and back for our country. If that makes all of our soldiers heroes I think it dilutes the tribute.
At a meeting of world leaders, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau called McCain an “American patriot and hero whose sacrifices for his country, and lifetime of public service, were an inspiration to millions.” McCain did serve his country. He did endure torture and imprisonment. He was relentless in his pursuit of political significance. He will be remembered as a unique historical figure in modern American history.
But he was no Neil Armstrong.
Upon closer analysis McCain pissed a lot of people off. He consistently voted against traditional Republican platforms. He pushed for liberal environmental federal standards, for comprehensive immigration reforms (viewed as amnesty by conservatives) and strongly criticized American anti-terrorism policies regarding interrogation and imprisonment at Guantanamo Bay. John Kerry considered offering him the Vice Presidential slot during his Presidential run.
McCain justified his rogue voting record as "doing what's right for America." He was definitely not a party loyalist. Republicans could not trust him to support their agenda. Maybe democrats would classify McCain as a hero, but the Trump Movement certainly wouldn't.
Trump was not suggesting that what McCain did was of no value, but getting accidently caught in enemy territory, then spending the entire war in a prison cell is incredibly brutal and the level of self discipline and commitment has to be enormous to survive. That is noble and deserving of our highest degree of recognition and gratitude.
What happened to John McCain was terrible and he did nothing to deserve it. He served his country and he deserves to be remembered as a leader and selfless contributor to our country and its legacy. But his service was most certainly not heroic.
When someone acts heroically, it is on purpose, not by accident.
A friend of mine wrote this recently. I loved it and without his permission I am sharing it with you. I hope he won't sue me...so for now he will remain anonymous.
...One characteristic of propaganda is the creation of associations. Images do this superbly, but words can do the same. If the propagandist can do so, he or she will create a link between his or her target and an established lightning rod for distaste. He or she will create an association which, if effective, will work towards defeating the enemy without a shot being fired; in other words, a defaming association can effectively argue against an opponent without any other arguments being made. "Oh, you're just one of them."
"The white MAGA male" is an example.
Let's say you feel the solution to the world’s ills are to tax and share. And, perhaps, you don't like white males, something needs to be done about "those people," and one solution is to open the border and turn the white male into an powerless minority. You also see Donald Trump as an embarrassing icon of intolerance, bigotry, racism, misogyny, and stupidity, an opinion you feel most people share. Well, make an association. A reporter writing an article which appeared in Times magazine implied that there are people doing just that. With no intention of making an attack himself - he was only alluding to the association others are making - he stated in an article on a confrontation in D.C., "It's one more case of white, MAGA males behaving like white MAGA males." So, you see, people who want to close the border, fight China's business and trade policies, and oppose socialism and communism didn't vote for the president because he was the only one promising to rectify these issues; they voted for the president because they are like him. Publish well-timed photos of white males looking angry or smug, as was the case in the D.C. confrontation, and the association is complete. That is propaganda, and if it is effective, one does not have to consider and argue against a point of view; one simply has to pull out the appropriate card and announce, "You don't want to be that person, do you? Do you?"
“If you can’t win by fighting fair, fight foul. Or have a third party do your fighting.”
The international media is biased towards socialism and a one world government. We have been told this by many insiders, including a recent interview with Lara Logan, former CBS international affairs reporter and Sixty Minutes correspondent.
Of course she is being trashed for her comments by the same media that falsely claims to be unbiased. The media ganging up on her sounds like Vito Genovese claiming all of his businesses were legitimate.
The recent fake made-for-media attack engineered by FOX TV star Jussie Smollett illustrates how the story was widely misreported and never retracted. The whole event has been exposed as a manufactured piece of journalistic fraud. Smollett set out to paint his paid attackers as Ku Klux Klanners screaming "this is MAGA Country!"
It has become increasingly difficult to separate truth from fiction in the news since a majority of journalists worldwide are "absurdly left-leaning" as Lara Logan flatly stated. They have a vested interest in propping up an ideology that they embrace, and they control of a powerful weapon to damage their opponents; the news media.
Since the election of Donald Trump, all pretense of fairness and restraint has been abandoned by the 'mainstream' media. They see themselves as social justice warriors. It is no longer enough to attack the legislative agenda of the political right, it is now SOP to slander red state voters and businesses that have shown an affinity for conservative causes.
The newest assault on America's principles is the movement to eliminate the Electoral College. To revert to a Direct Democracy, where elections are determined by popular vote. In a Progressive Utopia all conflict would be resolved by majority rule.
That may sound inviting, but over time it devolves into Mob Rule.
In some ways we are already approaching Mob Rule as modern media has become a platform for vetting the popularity of issues. Every controversy is polled; do you agree with "what he said" or "what she said?"
As we learned during the Brett Kavanaugh confirmation hearings, it didn't matter whether Christine Balsley-Ford's accusations were true or not, what mattered was the severity of her allegations and the gender of the accuser.
"Every person who refuses to loudly and openly reject Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination is telling every generation of Americans that an alleged abuser's career is more valuable than a survivor's humanity. And the highest court in our land is no place for an alleged sexual offender to sit." - Alyssa Milano
The constitutional principle of presumption of innocence was cast aside because the accuser was a believable female. They said she "should be believed" because in the past too many women were denied justice by a system that was dominated by men. Radical feminists said evidence of a sexual crime is no more or less important than the allegation itself. Besides, Democrats claimed polls showed most Americans thought Balsley-Ford was telling the truth. Polls provided by the media themselves.
They wanted more than awareness, they wanted revenge. Progressives stood arm-in-arm, pointing to Marxist theory that the ends justifies the means.
The obvious question is how is it that a majority of on-air talent, of successful actors, of syndicated writers, and the vast majority of academics all speak with similar cadence, using redundant rhetoric about the "universally accepted" platitudes of "democratic socialism" and a new, "evolved" interpretation of constitutional rights?
The answer is Baby Boomers have wallowed in the economic perks of the Allied victory over fascism in World War II and the subsequent collapse of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics and the Berlin Wall. They were too busy building fortunes to notice the migration of disenfranchised Marxists to college campuses around the world, where their communist dogma could be distributed under the guise of academic freedom and the intellectual pursuit of social justice. The heirs of the Greatest Generation defaulted on the difficult and demanding chore of raising and disciplining their children and vetting their educators They pampered them and gave them too much veto power, showered them with positive reinforcement and false achievement. They inflated their egos and told them they were never wrong, eventually sending them off to be indoctrinated by fake academic patriots who filled their heads with anti-American hatred and Neo-communist propaganda. They were told they were more 'progressive' than their parents and supplied required-reading textbooks by radical leftists like Howard Zinn and Hillary Clinton's favorite docent Saul Alinsky. Boomers put their kids in re-education indoctrination centers for four years and most of them were good students. Now they are leaders in their field of endeavor and to a large degree, Marxists.
For too many millenials, it's as if 100 years of communist crimes against humanity, and the genocide of 65 million human beings by authoritarian Communist regimes, never happened. That stuff was not taught to them. The vast majority of millenials have never witnessed genocide, and many think Mao Tse Tung and Che Guevara were icons of social justice.
They believe they are the most intelligent generation in history, and they have no patience for contrition. They are children of the internet sharing revolution, so it makes sense to them that society should be organized in the same way as Pinterest or Instagram.
The truth is a Progressive Mob of academics has successfully weaponized the American educational system too. And now, a "third party" of social justice warriors has come home to roost in newsrooms, schoolrooms, legislatures and film studios across the land.