The Funeral of John McCain: He was a lot of things, mostly a loser

It was a hot day and I was talking to some friends about all the other things we’d rather talk about than John McCain. As I said, I was trying to keep my manners and let the guy die in peace. I don’t want to hurt anybody’s feelings, especially his family, but the news just went on and on over the guy until on Friday, right before the Labor Day weekend of 2018 I was reminded by one of my friends of McCain’s famous fire on the U.S.S Forrestal which killed 134 sailors. Word has it that the reason the Zuni rocket was accidentally launched on the deck which caused the fire was because McCain was hot dogging his fighter jet with a “wet start” which triggered the electrical anomaly that caused all the trouble. I had been willing to give McCain the benefit of the doubt of all the wreckage and death caused that day but after hearing all the gibberish all week about what a great man he was it started to piss me off. John McCain wasn’t a great man in my book. He may have been a good husband and father later in life, but as a kid he was a young punk who would have gotten into a lot of trouble over that fire if his grandfather and father were not four-star admirals in the Navy. When my friends reminded me of these details it all slid into place for me the entirety of McCain’s life. McCain was a loser diminished with guilt over that fateful day that he never got over. Sure, his father had the incident covered up and came up with a good story about the reason the Zuni rocket launched in the first place igniting the deck of the aircraft carrier drenched with rocket fuel. McCain was a cocky young pilot who otherwise would have never been in a plane if not for his family connections and his fellow seaman resented him as a punky kid who couldn’t stop showing off in his airplanes trying desperately to make his own mark in the world from under his father’s shadow.

If you do just a little investigation and apply some logic to McCain’s circumstances, the fire broke out on the U.S.S. Forrestal on July 29th 1967. McCain had to carry the guilt of that incident with him and his role in it to a very embarrassing lecture from his father that if left unchecked could have ruined the McCain family name, so young John had to get back out to the military theater to prove to his father that he wasn’t just a stupid show-off kid. He quickly was reassigned to the U.S.S. Orinskany, which he volunteered for as that carrier was involved in Operation Rolling Thunder. But again, as observers would have it, McCain was not following orders properly and was flying his A-4E Skyhawk too low allowing him to be shot down by the communist North Vietnamese just four months after the embarrassing killer deck fire on the U.S.S. Forrestal on October 26th 1967. When Donald Trump much later would state that he “like people that weren’t captured” this is the kind of nonsense he was talking about. McCain had something to prove to his father for embarrassing him during his time on the U.S.S. Forrestal and he overdid it trying to be a big shot with a bombing run flying too low in the process which not only once again put himself and his very expensive plane at risk, but the entire Navy because John’s father had become commander of the entire Vietnamese theater shortly after his son was captured after the downing of the A-4E Skyhawk.

John McCain ran for president a couple of times and much of this has been exposed before. Donald Trump at that point was funding presidential candidates so he knew some of the inside stories on the kind of garbage that could be tossed back at McCain’s military record where John had wrecked three planes before the U.S.S. Forrestal incident. McCain was a mess and an embarrassing one at that and it had led him to putting the whole war at risk because his father was in charge of the entire Vietnamese Naval operation as a POW due to his own recklessness. In all honesty McCain should have never been near a plane after the U.S.S. Forrestal incident especially so soon. Just four months later, there was really no way to know who was at fault for what as the investigation was still in its infancy. But McCain was the son of a powerful father and grandfather and he needed to redeem himself. While many other pilots flew low on their bombing runs in Vietnam, they clearly were better pilots than John McCain. It could easily be argued that McCain got shot down because he was trying too hard to redeem himself for his past mistakes.

McCain was tortured and kept in a state of severe injury for many years. Starting in August of 1968 he was tortured every two hours until the Vietnamese had managed to get a confession out of him, which was even more embarrassing. All told McCain was a captive for five and a half years. McCain entered the war as a hot dog young kid trying to be his own man shining from under his father’s massive military shadow. He ended the war a shell of a man beaten and tortured, largely due to his own recklessness, and had been that son of an admiral who had been beaten to the point that he had given an embarrassing confession against the war effort. John McCain would have served America best by staying home and never enlisting, because the cost of his military service was extremely expensive and costly in human life.

Yet during his funeral proceedings over the Labor Day weekend of his death, all we heard about was all the sacrifices John McCain had made over his life and how wonderful he was. Hey, John McCain wasn’t that great. I held my nose to vote for him in 2008, but that was only because he was calling himself a Republican. He was embarrassing to me. I always thought of him as a phony, and Trump did to. He was in an even better position to feel that way as a donor than I was. John McCain should have never been on that bombing run with his history of mishaps because the risk of him being captured was just too great. He wasn’t a hero, he was an idiot.

Then to see the disgust of the type of old world people who were at his funeral belittling Donald Trump was just too much for me. The funeral of John McCain was not just the end of his life, but the end of the kind of government that people like me hate. And I don’t say that lightly. Watching George Bush pass notes to Michelle Obama during the ceremony and being lectured to by Obama himself with Meghan McCain was just too much. I get that she’s a grieving daughter who wants to see only the good things about her dad. But that doesn’t mean that the rest of us have to embrace that illusion as well. The problems of our times were on full display at that McCain funeral, of which Trump wasn’t invited. I don’t blame Donald Trump one bit for going to his golf resort to spend the weekend while these big government types embraced each other with the passing of John McCain. In their world competency is measured by sacrifice, so the more that is given up, the better the heroism. But in Trump’s world of performance, the same world that my friends and I were speaking to each other from, it’s what you do and create that matters.

McCain didn’t like Trump because his only redeeming quality in life for all the people he let down, especially in his early years was this notion of performance. John McCain himself was never interested in performance, otherwise he would have never been shot down, and been around so many accidents in his life due to his reckless nature. McCain was a walking disaster and he found among the advocates of big government friends who were just as incompetent as he was. Imagine those contemplations of political philosophy that Barack Obama talked about where the two men would discuss their political differences for hours in the Oval Office. One man a big socialist liberal the other a liberal pretending to be a conservative—both well to the left of center and believing themselves to be radical polar opposites of ideology. No, more died at that funeral than just John McCain and I’m glad for it. What was put to rest during those proceedings was that old notion that people are heroes just for enlisting in military service where you get awards just because your dad was a great man. In the world outside of that funeral a world where performance is the key to respect was re-emerging, and that is really what McCain didn’t like about Donald Trump. In McCain’s world, he could only be a respected hero if everyone closed their eyes and forgot what an idiot he was during his entire life, a person who was only well-intentioned because the guilt of his failures sucked away all that was alive and well within him. And because of people like John McCain conservative ideas and the government as a whole became much more liberal and dangerous. And now that he’s gone, its one less loser to have to overcome to fix everything the way it should be. McCain should have never been a POW. He should have never been on the U.S.S. Orinskan. He should have never run for president and he shouldn’t have ever been in the Senate for a late-night vote on Obamacare. John McCain was a loser who sought public service to hide his many faults behind the accepted incompetence of bureaucratic stewardship. It was there on Capitol Hill where he finally found that nobody would judge him for being an idiot, because the rest of them were just as stupid. Yet it was the alligators, the snakes, and the blood sucking mosquitos who largely populated John McCain’s funeral, the occupants of the swamp that we elected Donald Trump to drain. And with the death of John McCain, it’s just one less alligator that we have to skin and turn into a boot.

Rich Hoffman

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