John McCain is not well. This is not breaking news, obviously. But, the neuro-blastoma that has set-in, appears to not be responding to treatment (it basically never does), and the elder-statesman is making plans for his final arrangements. According to the New York Times, McCain’s friends have told Donald Trump that he is not welcome at the funeral.
Imagine that, a man who has served in the Senate for over 30 years will soon pass, a man who was both a war hero, and a nominee for president from the Republican party, and yet the Republican President will not be at the funeral, at the request of the deceased.
Actually, it is not hard to imagine, because our nation lost another treasure recently, wife and mother of presidents, Barbara Bush, a woman even Democrats could love (and fear). Mrs. Bush apparently made the same request. So, this is not difficult to “imagine,” given we have been through it already.
I asked at the time what it means, when events of such import, events when we are “one” country, one “family” (to be really corny), when the somber events that bring us together more than any other, require that our nation’s “leader” not attend, lest he ruin the togetherness?
Of course Trump’s presence would ruin the funeral of a man like McCain. It took a president like Trump, someone who got deferments out of Vietnam due to a “bone spur,” (a bone spur that never hindered Trump athletically, if we are to believe Trump’s own descriptions of his athletic prowess), it took a man like Trump to note of McCain that he preferred war heroes that did not get taken prisoner, or did not get shot down, whatever the exact term might have been – I don’t recall. Whatever it was, it was base, “Trumpian” in its “previously inconceivable” level of cynicism and self-regard. If Trump appeared at the funeral, it would overshadow much of the good that John McCain did throughout his life, including being the last Republican politician that I can recall, to take a microphone from a raving lunatic Hannity-watching voter and tell her that “No, maam, Obama is not a monster,” that Obama was a fine American whom he happened to just disagree with. Statesmanlike.
One wonders, Trump does not seem to “fight” being excluded from what amount to “State Funerals” (no, neither Barbara Bush, nor ultimately John McCain’s funeral qualify as “official state funerals, but you understand), one wonders if Trump realizes that he is not immortal, either, and that some day, he, too – will pass. One wonders if Trump ever thinks about whether anyone will want to attend his funeral and pay “last respects,” or will he have offended and lied to so many people by that point that all but family will simply say “good riddance,” from home?