One doesn’t typically get to use, fairly anyway, words like “insane” about a presidential candidate, but Donald Trump has made that characterization possible with his comments about John McCain.
The latter was the 2008 Republican nominee for president. We suspect there are not many Americans who do not know of McCain’s suffering as a prisoner of war in the notorious Hanoi Hilton, of his strength and commitment to his country under the most trying circumstances.
Yet here is Trump, off his gourd: “He is a war hero because he was captured,” Trump said, cutting off an interviewer. “I like people that weren’t captured, OK? I hate to tell you. He is a war hero because he was captured. OK, you can have — I believe perhaps he is a war hero.”
That statement at an Iowa appearance is the sort of thing that has been widely, although not widely enough, criticized in the large field of Republican candidates. Since then, Trump has refused to back down from this raving.
We question the sanity of anyone who will find five years in Vietnamese prisoner of war camps as unworthy of respect.
Trump needs a doctor, not a political consultant.
In Louisiana lately, we’ve seen up close how the ravings of The Donald can have unforeseen effects.
After Trump suggested that many Mexican immigrants were rapists and drug dealers, NBC and Univision pulled coverage of the Miss USA pageant, owned by a Trump company. Baton Rouge and the state government were financial boosters of the pageant, because of its positive coverage of the host city and state last year.
Trump’s big mouth caused that to be a bad investment.
What is more important than money is honor, and the slur of McCain’s service is a dishonorable act for which Trump — again, insanely — believes he deserves credit as a truth-teller in the crowd of politicians in the 2016 race.
We question why anyone in the GOP race will not find in Trump not just a loose cannon but a dangerously disturbed individual who doesn’t deserve a place on a debate platform, or the illusion of respectability that is conferred when organizers of campaign events invite him to appear.
Enough is enough. John McCain’s strength of character as a young man is not in question. But we wonder why any element of the GOP, down to local organizers of events in Iowa or New Hampshire or elsewhere, would not have the strength of character to tell a crazy man to get lost.