Although I’d willingly vote for him if he were the Republican candidate, I’ve never liked McCain as a politician. To me, his “iconoclasm” (which is how the Press has always labeled it), hasn’t been the sign of an independent mind but a lack of fixity of purpose. Having said that, though, I’ve always strongly admired McCain the man. What he went through in Vietnam doesn’t bear thinking about, and the fact that he returned and went on to a normal and highly successful life is a testament to his strength and resilience.
There’s one statement in the above paragraph that isn’t true. I said that what he went through in Vietnam “doesn’t bear thinking about.” In fact, it’s something we should think about, because it helps us understand that nature of freedom’s enemies, then and now; it helps us appreciate the strength of our American military, then and now; and it shines a light on McCain’s character. So, if you would in fact like to think about these things, I urge you to check out this article in Leatherneck, the Magazine of the Marines, describing life for American POWs (including McCain) in the infamous “Hanoi Hilton.” And as you’re reading it, do keep in mind how the Vietnam-era anti-War activists gave hope to the Vietnamese Communists and enabled them to maintain their continued attacks on their prisoners.
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