When presidential candidate Donald Trump questioned if Senator John McCain was a war hero, Republicans who use a patriotic discourse in favor of the military were shaken. However, if we look closely, the “respectful” stance towards veterans is as influenced by partisanship as any other view that serves the party’s political priorities.
As expected, Trump’s rivals were quick to defend McCain in the middle of an electoral campaign. It is far more convenient than defending immigrants. It also looks good wrapping oneself in the flag and proclaiming in a self-righteous tone that these statements are an insult to all veterans and that they disqualify Trump for the presidency. This strategy is nothing more than electoral opportunism but, if we had to take it seriously, it could be called out as hypocrisy.
The Republicans who are now hysterical because someone demeaned McCain’s military service are the same ones who destroyed other ex-soldiers in the past who also stood out for their role in Vietnam.
Otherwise, how would they explain the case of Senator McClelland, who was attacked during his reelection campaign in 2003 as a supposed supporter of Saddan Hussein and Osama bin Laden? No one disqualified his rival Saxby Chambliss when he called a veteran who lost his legs and an arm in Vietnam a traitor. The most important thing at that time was to win the Senate seat at any cost.
No one was outraged when Democratic ex-presidential candidate John Kerry was defamed, either. The numerous medals he received were no protection against the campaign of lies the Republicans built against him regarding his participation in the war.
Hypocrisy also showed its ugly face in Congress. Last year, the Comprehensive Veterans Health and Benefits and Military Retirement Pay Restoration Act was killed in the Senate after some Republicans opposed it citing its high cost, while others voted no because they were unable to attach to it a clause to apply sanctions to Iran. Priorities.
It is sad to see that the same people who speak loudly about patriotism are the ones who only respect veterans when it is convenient to them