Sunday, February 19, 2017

John McCain just systematically dismantled Donald Trump’s entire worldview

Washintong Post

John McCain is increasingly mad as hell about President Trump. And on Friday, he went after Trump — hard.
During a speech at the Munich Security Conference in Germany, the Republican senator from Arizona delivered a pointed and striking point-by-point takedown of Trump's worldview and brand of nationalism. McCain didn't mention Trump's name once, but he didn't have to.
And even considering the two men's up-and-down history and the terrible things Trump has said about McCain, it was a striking display from a senior leader of a party when it comes to a president of the same party.
In his speech, McCain suggested the Western world is uniquely imperiled this year — even more so than when Barack Obama was president — and proceeded to question whether it will even survive.
“In recent years, this question would invite accusations of hyperbole and alarmism; not this year,” McCain said. “If ever there were a time to treat this question with a deadly seriousness, it is now.”
In case there was any doubt that this was about Trump. Here's what followed:
  • "[The founders of the Munich conference] would be alarmed by an increasing turn away from universal values and toward old ties of blood and race and sectarianism.”
  • “They would be alarmed by the hardening resentment we see towards immigrants and refugees and minority groups -- especially Muslims.”
  • “They would be alarmed by the growing inability -- and even unwillingness -- to separate truth from lies.”
  • "They would be alarmed that more and more of our fellow citizens seem to be flirting with authoritarianism and romanticizing it as our moral equivalent."
That's Trump, Trump, Trump and Trump.

McCain continued: “But what would alarm them most, I think, is a sense that many of our peoples, including in my own country, are giving up on the West, that they see it as a bad deal that we may be better off without, and that while Western nations still have the power to maintain our world order, it's unclear whether we have the will.”
Trump has repeatedly suggested a desire to pull out of or scale back on international involvement and agreements. His slogan is “America first,” after all. And it's not just on free trade: It's also when it comes to things like NATO, the transatlantic military alliance that Trump has suggested the United States is getting a bad deal on and has flirted with not enforcing.
Then McCain invoked some of those close to Trump and emphasized that his message won't square with theirs:
I know there is profound concern across Europe and the world that America is laying down the mantle of global leadership. I can only speak for myself, but I do not believe that that is the message you will hear from all of the American leaders who cared enough to travel here to Munich this weekend. That's not the message you heard today from Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis. That is not the message you will hear from Vice President Mike Pence. That's not the message you will hear from Secretary of Homeland Security John Kelly. And that is certainly not the message you will hear tomorrow from our bipartisan congressional delegation.
McCain then concluded with another direct shot at Trump.
“I refuse to accept that our values are morally equivalent to those of our adversaries,” he said. “I am a proud, unapologetic believer in the West, and I believe we must always, always stand up for it. For if we do not, who will? [...]


  1. I despise the concept of moral relativism but America is simply the least worst of a bad bunch. I'd rather live in fear of the CIA than the KGB or whatever China's equivalent is called.

  2. I am a Trump supporter. But unfortunately, I must be honest and admit that he has not been doing things very well. I mostly agree with his ideas about things, but I disagree with the ways he presents those ideas much of the time, and the ways he implements them. It's like a bull in a china shop. I think that a lot of the accusations against him are untrue, but it's his own behavior that invites them. It's fascinating that he made it so far with the ways he goes about things. His successes have left him unchallenged. Most people learn from their failures, but he hasn't failed. Or when he didn't fail, those failures were relatively minor, in his total bigger picture. He is failing now. I wonder if he realizes it. If he does realize it, can he, at 70, learn such new fundamental skills? Or can he at least compensate for his shortcomings, somehow? I hope so. These changes are due and over due. I don't know how much longer his presidency can endure without some fundamental change.

  3. I agree. This is similar to Halberstam's book the "Best and the Brightest" describing Kennedy's cabinet and how they got involved in the losing war in Vietman and couldn't pull out. His thesis is that Kennedy surrounded himself with men who had never really experienced failure in their lives and that when things didn't work out they didn't stop to consider that they were mistaken but assumed that they hadn't tried hard enough or that the enemy just needed more punishment This is also described by the Chofetz Chaim in his explanation of Yeshaya
    Yeshaya I
    4. Ah, sinful nation, a people laden with iniquity, a seed of evildoers, children who are corrupters; they have forsaken the Lord, they have provoked the Holy One of Israel to anger, they have turned backwards.
    5. Where should you still be stricken that you revolt again? Every head is sick, and every heart is faint.
    6. From the sole of the foot to the head there is no soundness in it; but wounds, and bruises, and sores; they have not been pressed, nor bound up, nor softened with oil.
    7. Your country is desolate, your cities are burned with fire; as for your land, strangers devour it in your presence, and it is desolate, as if overthrown by strangers.

    The Chofetz Chaim states that G-d is sending a message through punishment and yet no one does teshuva. He said it is like a horse pulling a wagon. The driver hits the horse and he goes faster. Instead of concerning himself with the cause of the pain he just continues what he is doing but does it more and faster.

  4. Rand Paul says that America is lucky that John McCain, the destroyer of the Forrestal, is not in charge. Anything this loony maverick says is suspect

  5. And similarly it is unlucky that Trump is in charge!

  6. It's even more lucky that Trump is in charge and not Hillary.


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