I certainly don’t think that John McCain is beyond criticism, as a pretty voluminous amount of my writing work will attest. But what I will say about John McCain is that a guy who was captured, tortured, and held as a prisoner of war by one of America’s enemies is entitled to respect for his military service.
If you want to criticize McCain’s policies, his personality, or his more or less constant self-aggrandizement, that’s all fair game; but making fun of the guy for getting captured is a bridge too far for decent people. It isn’t, though, for Trump or his supporters, which is why Trump more or less opened his campaign by mocking McCain’s experience in Vietnam (while he personally was dodging venereal diseases, which he considered his “own personal Vietnam”).
This morning, Trump was asked in a radio interview if he regretted having mocked McCain’s war record. Now that Trump has sewn up the GOP nomination and McCain is (however grudgingly) backing him, this might be a time for at least a little bit of self reflection from Trump. However, self reflection is not really Trump’s forte. In fact, he said he did not regret it at all, because…. his poll numbers went up.
This is just one of the many aspects of Trump that makes him completely unfit to be President of the United States – he finds validation and condemnation of literally everything in polls (or at least, the polls that are favorable to him). He’s a better nominee for President because of Scott Walker’s polling in Wisconsin. Making fun of McCain’s war service was great because his polls went up. So on and so on. (Meanwhile, he makes no inference from polling as to whether he would be a better President than Hillary, of course).
Never in his life has Trump openly reflected on doing the right or wrong thing regardless of what the polls might say about it. And it seems that we have historically considered that to be a somewhat important qualification to be a good President. I guess that doesn’t apply anymore, though.
It’s equally depressing that Trump is such a crappy human being that he can’t even muster a “Maybe I shouldn’t have said that, it was said in the heat of the moment” at this point in the campaign. Nope. It helped his polls, ergo it is good. This guy is on a mission to destroy the Republican party, and he’s succeeding.