Say what you will about the way Donald Trump questioned John McCain’s war hero status, but at least he came right out and said it for all the world to hear. The sentiment he expressed may have been offensive and uncalled for, but you can’t take the man’s courage away from him. He said it, he stood behind it, and he accepted the criticism.
There is room in the First Amendment to provide for those who would criticize the troops. It is not un-American to have grave reservations about this nation’s activities abroad, especially when those activities cost thousands of men, women, and children their lives. It is not even un-American to have a problem with those who serve. It’s an unfortunate, illogical position to take, but there’s no law against being a frothing liberal. No law against being a pacifist. No law, in fact, against being as offensive and hateful as you want to be.
But that doesn’t make you a good person, which is a mistake many of these fiercely anti-military goons has made. It doesn’t give you the moral high ground. It doesn’t make you smarter, more caring, or better than those who believe war has its place. You can oppose this country’s military endeavors without engaging in disrespectful behavior, believe it or not.
One coward who never learned that lesson apparently lives in or near Queensbury, New York. This disrespectful dork left a scathing note on the windshield of a decorated Marine veteran while the latter was shopping in a grocery store. The note read:
I see you have a Purple Heart sticker and Iraq veteran sticker. It’s too bad that you were only wounded, the world would be better if you were killed. All of you Islamaphobes vets deserve to die!
The Marine, who asked the press not to identify him, told local reporters that he laughed it off. Of course he did. This guy has seen danger the likes of which the vast majority of Americans will never know. A person like that isn’t going to let some pissant liberal ruin his day.
Others in the community, however, were more than happy to tell reporters how disgusted they were. Steven Stockdale of the local sheriff’s department said, “It takes a lot more courage to strap on an 80 pound pack and go to the Middle East and fight for your country than it does to scribble on a note and leave it cowardly behind on somebody’s windshield.”
Well said. And as the raging success of American Sniper proved, millions of his fellow countrymen believe the same. This country, regardless of who is in the White House, has a deep and enduring respect for war veterans and active troops. We may not always agree that the war itself is just, but we can separate the politics from the humanity. We can remember that, if it weren’t for men brave enough to go into battle, this country would not exist.
On the other hand, if we had no idiots leaving shameful screeds on windshields, the country would be just fine.