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Donald Trump: The unlikely pall bearer for John McCain’s message

Written By | Sep 2, 2018
John McCain

COLORADO SPRINGS:  The Washington Cathedral, America’s church seated over that shining city on a hill, hosted another passing today. That of a true American hero, John McCain. Flowers were arranged, choirs sang, and mourners were from every part of the government, Republican, Democrat, and Decline to State.

Past presidents fill the front pew. President Trump sent his daughter, Ivanka Trump and her husband Jared Kushner, to quietly convey a semblance of his respect.  Respect for a man who did not deserve a particularly harsh remark delivered in the heat of political battle in 2015.

Donald Trump’s political gaffe of 2015

People fail to remember that John McCain was a part of the political class that was demeaning Trump as not having a “chance” in politics.  On the day that Trump uttered those ill-fated words, “I like war heroes that are not captured”, we have to remember that McCain had long been attacking Trump and the McCain’s words “crazies” that followed him.

The death of John McCain: What America loses with his passing

Gazing down on official Washington this fall morning, God himself may have been the only entity truly able to see the missing man who uttered those ill-fated words, the unfortunate target of those regrettable words lying in state, and the men and women who may have forgotten the Biblical directions,

“Judge not lest ye be judged,” and “Let he who is without sin cast the first stone.”
Washington, today, is all about blame and harsh judgments.

The distortion of truth is to such an extent in this chaste enclave of power-holders, it has left the official city on little kitty cat paws. What’s left is vitriol, venom, along with a total lack of self-awareness. Many have been on the track to power so long, they now lack the capacity to even recognize the truth, even as it passes before their eyes.

Former presidents pontificated this morning, and, lurking within their pious words, was the not so well hidden judgment of Donald Trump. Collectively saying in essence,

“We have gathered in a cathedral with choirs, flags and a grieving widow, and in so doing,
to pay homage to our own purity to judge and condemn.”

No longer the province of God, these disappointing political remnants of our Founding Fathers today know only slogans and self-serving platitudes.

The truth can take a hike.

The real fighting John McCain on display

The personality of the deceased John McCain was on full display at his funeral. He was by turns loyal, obstinate, and a fearsome enemy. McCain was the man in that Vietnam prison cage, fighting, always fighting. He met his match in our non-military, non-war hero, Donald Trump.

But each man shared a vociferous steadfastness. Each man could, and did, speak his truth, and the devil takes the hindmost.

There is more that unites us than divides us – Mauricio Macri

Each man, let us not forget, loved America.  One is now dead, while the other has chosen to disrupt the corrupt centers of American power. One man defended his country at risk of life and limb. The other took no interest in government power. He instead passed his years worshipping the dollar bill, America’s capitalistic symbol of success.  No Kennedy School of Government for Donald Trump. No righteous self-importance either.

Sen. John McCain, The Restless Wave, an angry farewell to Trump’s America

Trump, as John McCain was, is of, by, and for the common man. Trump, as John McCain, practices self-effacement and a refusal to accept anything less than excellence. Sometimes, depending on his position at the time, John McCain was lauded by the left. Other times, he was damned for his defense of conservative policies.

Seeing the corruption that has unwittingly and over time enveloped our national government, Donald Trump stepped forward. And Trump has chosen his enemies and his friends carefully. He has no regard for whose ox he gores so long as that ox has out-lived his sell-by date due to malfeasant deeds from the privilege of power.

Strong men cannot be anything but what they are: Strongmen.

Such men, including John McCain and Donald Trump, do not suffer fools lightly. Such men eschew business as usual in favor of winning and the truth. Both men are harder on themselves than they ever are on others. Both men are complex creatures. One served America his entire life. The other has only lately come to the task.

But while opposites attract, like-minded people often repel each other. These two mavericks could never have a meeting of minds.  They were both apex predators. Donald Trump, being the younger by a decade, and in the office that McCain could never attain, is left standing.

And the most lasting shame is that in death, McCain could not be the counselor and uniter others eulogize him as. Instead he added further divides in his well-planned homage to himself.

What each man shares is the urge to right wrongs, see truth, and revere this great nation.

It is enough.







Karen Hagestad Cacy

Karen Hagestad Cacy, of Colorado Springs, is a former Washington speechwriter and transportation lobbyist. Raised in Portland, Oregon, she holds a BA degree in Russian and Middle East Studies from Portland State University (and American University in Cairo.) Her four novels are available on She is also the author of two plays.