Precious Cargo

Refreshingly Bitter And Twisted Observations On Life's Passing Parade.

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Location: Valley Village, California, United States

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

John McCain Is Not a Hero and Physical Suffering Is No Entitlement to the Presidency

I'm sick and tired of hearing every discussion of John McCain prefaced by an obligatory tribute to his heroism and the suffering he endured as a prisoner of the North Vietnamese.

John McCain chose to follow his grandfather and father into the family business and become a naval aviator. He was not some reluctant draftee who throws himself on to a grenade to save his comrades. His aircraft was shot down while he was attacking North Vietnam.

He was captured by the North Vietnamese, who tortured him. He broke under torture, denouncing his country.

McCain's shootdown and suffering in captivity were the products of malign fate, not the result of a choice he made. He had no say in the matter.

He is not a hero and physical suffering is not proof of heroism nor does it entitle you to be president.

I was afflicted with juvenile rheumatoid arthritis at the age of eight, and it has robbed me of a productive adult life. I had a very close friend in junior high who was imprisoned in a wheelchair because of muscular dystrophy. He caught a cold one day, was hospitalized and ended up being asphyxiated by his own phlegm.

He wasn't a hero, I'm not one and neither is McCain, and our individual suffering doesn't entitle us to anything, except, perhaps, the pity of others.

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