If you didn’t already know, John McCain and Donald Trump are far from the best of friends. McCain has been a vocal critic of Trump, both during the presidential election and since Trump’s inauguration in January. Just last month, Trump was criticized for mocking McCain’s physical disability. As reported by the Independent, Trump had been mimicking the thumbs down movement made by John McCain when he voted down Trump’s attempts to repeal “Obamacare.”
This was not the first time that Trump had made an ill-judged attack on Senator McCain. As reported by the New York Post, Trump mocked the fact that McCain had spent more than five years in a North Vietnamese prisoner-of-war camp during the Vietnam war. McCain’s disability is a result of the injuries he sustained while serving his country. It is ironic that Trump, a man described as a “draft dodger” by the Telegraph, should mock the sacrifice made by a man who served and suffered as a result.
Last night Senator John McCain was awarded the Liberty Medal for a lifetime of service and sacrifice to his country. As reported by Time, McCain used the occasion to slam the “fractured politics and isolationism” that has become the new normal under President Donald Trump.
McCain did what Trump failed to do in the wake of the far-right demonstrations in Charlottesville. Only after a national outcry did Trump condemn the actions of far-right extremists, and even then, as reported by CNN, he went back to defend his original remarks. McCain may not have named Donald Trump in his speech, but it is pretty clear where his comments were aimed.
“To refuse the obligations of international leadership and our duty to remain ‘the last best hope of earth’ for the sake of some half-baked, spurious nationalism cooked up by people who would rather find scapegoats than solving problems is as unpatriotic as an attachment to any other tired dogma of the past that Americans consigned to the ash heap of history.”
Senator McCain has been a fierce critic of President Trump’s isolationist policies. The building of a border wall, his anti-immigration stance, his withdrawal from trade deals, his attempts to impose a travel ban from mainly Muslim countries, all isolationist policies that McCain has spoken out to oppose.
I'm grateful to @SenJohnMcCain for his lifetime of service to our country. Congratulations, John, on receiving this year's Liberty Medal.— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) October 16, 2017
As reported by the Huffington Post, McCain went on to say the U.S. is a land of ideals not of “blood and soil,” and that “we will not thrive in a world where our leadership and ideals are absent.”
It is perhaps telling that President Barack Obama tweeted a message of congratulations to John McCain while President Donald Trump remained unusually silent.
[Featured Image by Matt Rourke/AP Images]