FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

McCain’s Passion Play

Am I the only one to think that John McCain trivializes both his sacrifice as a POW and the determination of a wide range of specially challenged Americans to lead productive lives? I’m referring to McCain’s repetition of his POW status as a wild card to trump any failing that is otherwise difficult to explain.

Was there any more pathetic display of his willingness to cheapen his sacrifice than McCain’s recent performances with Jay Leno and Katie Couric? He couldn’t remember how many houses he owns because he once had “no house, no kitchen table, no chair.” One might think not having a house as a prisoner might make one more acutely aware of exactly how many houses one owned—but not John McCain.

Now we’re told McCain is computer illiterate because – you guessed it — he was a POW and his tortured arms can’t work a keyboard. Tell that to the millions of profoundly disabled Americans who master cyberspace with their teeth, who navigate in wheelchairs with their chins or a single functioning finger, or who communicate with synthesizers. They struggle every day to prove how normal they are. Their lives are campaigns against prejudice and stereotypes and fear. They fight through their disabilities. They adapt to a world that too often turns its eyes away from them.They strive not for privilege or for pampering or for priority. Instead, they seek only opportunity. Their impediments are challenges, not excuses. Their obstacles are surmounted every day. Their opportunities are seized with grit and determination.

People overcome blindness, deafness and physical limitation every day. Army and VA hospitals are replete with traumatic amputees – veterans McCain didn’t think deserved increased benefits — whose heroism didn’t end with their injuries. They continue to achieve, to overcome and to succeed in the face of obstacles that would overwhelm most people and apparently including John McCain.

More than one in five handicapped Americans earn college degrees. They do so by adapting to the learning environment not by whining about its difficulties. They set a goal. They work toward achieving that goal. And they can take full credit when they overcome their disability and earn their triumph. They don’t demand accommodation, nor do they use their disability as an excuse. It’s a reality they live with on the road to earning and achieving “normalcy” in their lives. In the early days of John McCain’s career, there was little mention of his disability, even though we all knew about his torture. McCain’s ability to overcome that disability was a notable achievement. That achievement is diminished now that he uses it as an excuse.

No one expects that John McCain would be an avid weight lifter in light of his disabilities. No one expects him to be a marathoner or a tennis player. But we ought to expect that his mental acuity is agile enough to master the basics of the greatest technological advancement of the 20th century.

There might be a reasonable explanation for McCain not knowing how many houses he owns. There might be a similar explanation for his computer illiteracy. But being a POW four decades ago is not it.

STEVEN T. BANKO III served in Vietnam, where he was awarded two Silver Stars, four Bronze Stars, the Air Medal and Four Purple Hearts. He has long been active in veterans’ affairs and is a frequent contributor to Buffalo Report.

 

Your Ad Here
 

 

 

 

More articles by:
Weekend Edition
September 21, 2018
Friday - Sunday
Alexandra Isfahani-Hammond
Hurricane Florence and 9.7 Million Pigs
Andrew Levine
Israel’s Anti-Semitism Smear Campaign
Paul Street
Laquan McDonald is Being Tried for His Own Racist Murder
Brad Evans
What Does It Mean to Celebrate International Peace Day?
Nick Pemberton
With or Without Kavanaugh, The United States Is Anti-Choice
Jim Kavanagh
“Taxpayer Money” Threatens Medicare-for-All (And Every Other Social Program)
Jonathan Cook
Palestine: The Testbed for Trump’s Plan to Tear up the Rules-Based International Order
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: the Chickenhawks Have Finally Come Back Home to Roost!
David Rosen
As the Capitalist World Turns: From Empire to Imperialism to Globalization?
Jonah Raskin
Green Capitalism Rears Its Head at Global Climate Action Summit
James Munson
On Climate, the Centrists are the Deplorables
Robert Hunziker
Is Paris 2015 Already Underwater?
Arshad Khan
Will Their Ever be Justice for Rohingya Muslims?
Jill Richardson
Why Women Don’t Report Sexual Assault
Dave Clennon
A Victory for Historical Accuracy and the Peace Movement: Not One Emmy for Ken Burns and “The Vietnam War”
W. T. Whitney
US Harasses Cuba Amid Mysterious Circumstances
Nathan Kalman-Lamb
Things That Make Sports Fans Uncomfortable
George Capaccio
Iran: “Snapping Back” Sanctions and the Threat of War
Kenneth Surin
Brexit is Coming, But Which Will It Be?
Louis Proyect
Moore’s “Fahrenheit 11/9”: Entertaining Film, Crappy Politics
Ramzy Baroud
Why Israel Demolishes: Khan Al-Ahmar as Representation of Greater Genocide
Ben Dangl
The Zapatistas’ Dignified Rage: Revolutionary Theories and Anticapitalist Dreams of Subcommandante Marcos
Ron Jacobs
Faith, Madness, or Death
Bill Glahn
Crime Comes Knocking
Terry Heaton
Pat Robertson’s Hurricane “Miracle”
Dave Lindorff
In Montgomery County PA, It’s Often a Jury of White People
Louis Yako
From Citizens to Customers: the Corporate Customer Service Culture in America 
William Boardman
The Shame of Dianne Feinstein, the Courage of Christine Blasey Ford 
Ernie Niemi
Logging and Climate Change: Oregon is Appalachia and Timber is Our Coal
Jessicah Pierre
Nike Says “Believe in Something,” But Can It Sacrifice Something, Too?
Paul Fitzgerald - Elizabeth Gould
Weaponized Dreams? The Curious Case of Robert Moss
Olivia Alperstein
An Environmental 9/11: the EPA’s Gutting of Methane Regulations
Ted Rall
Why Christine Ford vs. Brett Kavanaugh is a Train Wreck You Can’t Look Away From
Lauren Regan
The Day the Valves Turned: Defending the Pipeline Protesters
Ralph Nader
Questions, Questions Where are the Answers?
Binoy Kampmark
Deplatforming Germaine Greer
Raouf Halaby
It Should Not Be A He Said She Said Verdict
Robert Koehler
The Accusation That Wouldn’t Go Away
Jim Hightower
Amazon is Making Workers Tweet About How Great It is to Work There
Robby Sherwin
Rabbi, Rabbi, Where For Art Thou Rabbi?
Vern Loomis
Has Something Evil This Way Come?
Steve Baggarly
Disarm Trident Walk Ends in Georgia
Graham Peebles
Priorities of the Time: Peace
Michael Doliner
The Department of Demonization
David Yearsley
Bollocks to Brexit: the Plumber Sings
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail