Katy Burns: John McCain, hero

  • John McCain is escorted by Lt. Cmdr. Jay Coupe Jr., public relations officer, to Hanoi’s Gia Lam Airport on March 14, 1973, after the POW was released. AP file

Monitor columnist
Monday, May 14, 2018

Make no mistake: John McCain is an American hero. Period.

During his five-plus years in a North Vietnamese prison of war camp, what he endured at the hands of his captors – constant harassment punctuated by periods of violent torture, including having his bones deliberately broken and left unset – was extreme even by prisoner-of-war norms, and it left him scarred and in pain for the rest of his life.

He then went on to live his life in service to our country, including in the Senate, where he made profound, important contributions to his fellow Americans’ lives. On his deathbed, he denounced Trump’s nominee to head the CIA because in a previous role there she had overseen torture sessions for prisoners.

And this prompted a callow, shallow White House apparatchik – who probably wasn’t alive when McCain was suffering in Vietnam – to quip laughingly to her compatriots that “it doesn’t matter, he’s dying anyway.”

But that was nothing compared with the torrent of abuse that drenched right-wing websites. And notice I said “right wing,” not conservative or Republican, websites.

Just a few comments as written in the swamp of right-wing bilge that finds its way to my email box every morning: “a small, small, petty little man”; “when he finally DOES Croak, I’ll get royally sloshed, CELEBRATING!”; “hire some Russian pros to take a whiz on his grave”; “a classless American traitor”; “I’d almost be willing to go, just so I can spit on his grave”; “a bitter old man, no war hero or elder statesman”; “whining old fool, already here way too long”; “die already, good riddance.”

Or how about “Traitor McCain just needs to do us all a favor and DIE”? Or “don’t take so damn long muckain” or “good riddance to this fake fraud and phony” or “see ya, traitor McCreep”? He’s “a bitter old man filled with hate for our country,” typed one political savant, while another accused him of “selling out America since 1967.” Another didn’t waste words: “So die already.”

And they go on ... and on
... and on ...

I don’t know what rock these subhumans crawled out from under or what swamp gives them shelter, but whatever the answer is, these creatures are profoundly un-American and should be scorned and shunned by decent people.

John McCain may well have many faults, but he is – without any doubt – a genuine American patriot and hero.