The Hero Trump Will Never Be

JACOB DENNINGER: Donald Trump has stopped his attacks on the late Senator John McCain, at least for now. However, a question remains: why Trump would attack such a widely respected man who passed away several months ago?

I have a theory. Donald Trump is most happy at rallies where thousands of fans are chanting his name. He loves adoration. What I believe Trump hates about John McCain actually has nothing to do with an Obamacare vote or a dossier. I think what Trump can’t stand is that McCain is a beloved American hero, something that, deep down, Trump knows he will never be.

John McCain spent his entire adult life in service to his country, first in the Navy, then in the House of Representatives and the Senate. He put his country before himself and his political party.

When John McCain was a Navy pilot in the Vietnam war, he was shot down, captured, and tortured as a prisoner of war. But despite all the suffering he was going through, McCain refused the special treatment of an early release, made possible because his father and grandfather were high-ranking admirals. This principled sacrifice to put his fellow servicemen before himself in such a trying time encapsulates McCain’s integrity and courage.

In the Senate, McCain was considered a maverick for the simple reason that in an increasingly polarized Washington, he was one of the only politicians willing to break with his party and work across the aisle to get things done to benefit of the American people. He understood that despite the political disagreements he may have had with his fellow senators, they were all on the same American team.

And McCain was not afraid to stand up to his party to do what he believed was right. For example, he stood up against the use of torture against prisoners in Iraq, believing that the United States, standing for great principles and freedoms, should never sink to the level of his own captors in Vietnam.

John McCain risked his life for his country. He embodied civility, honor, integrity, and courage. And he believed in something greater than himself, something called America. That was why he was so widely admired.

Trump, on the other hand, lied to avoid serving in the very same war in which McCain served so courageously. He displays none of McCain civility, honor, integrity, or courage. He believes in nothing besides himself.

Trump knows he will never be that hero McCain was, and so even from beyond the grave, McCain threatens Donald Trump’s fragile ego. And because he feels threatened, the President of the United States lashes out at a dead American hero on Twitter.

Jacob Denninger is a Freshman in the College and prospective government major from Massachusetts.

Max Magid