Be more like McCainJUNG HYO-SIK
The author is a Washington correspondentof the JoongAng Ilbo.
In August, an unusual advertisement was published in The Washington Post. The full-page ad contained the names of more than 100 people, including Rosemary Alexander, an aide, Christian Perry, director of the 2008 presidential campaign camp, Chelsea Henderson, a volunteer for the 2000 presidential election campaign and more.
They all worked with John McCain, the late Arizona Senator and former Republican presidential candidate. They publicly announced their endorsement for Democratic candidate Joe Biden in the U.S. presidential election. It was not an easy decision for Republicans, but they chose Biden as the person to resolve the divided American politics. President Donald Trump’s name was nowhere to be seen. I thought they must hate him so much that they spent their own money to run a newspaper ad.
The Lincoln Project is an organization of members of the Republican Party backing anti-Trump television ads with their own money. Many of the founders worked with McCain. The sour relationship between McCain and Trump is well-known. On McCain, Trump said, “He’s not a war hero. He was a war hero because he was captured. I like people that weren’t captured.” Trump was not even invited to McCain’s funeral.
They had different political styles. In a townhall meeting with supporters during the 2008 presidential campaign, McCain was asked absurd questions not so different from today. After one man asked if he was afraid a Black man would become the president, McCain responded, “I have to tell you, he is a decent person and a person that you do not have to be scared as president of the United States.”
When a woman said Obama was an Arab, McCain took the microphone and said, “No ma’am, he’s a decent family man, citizen, that I just happen to have disagreements with on fundamental issues, and that’s what this campaign is all about.”
During Trump’s campaign rally, his supporters called on him to fire Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. Trump laughed and said, “Don’t tell anybody, but let me wait until a little bit after the election.” To the supporters who threatened a Biden campaign car with an armed vehicle, he gave a thumb up and called them “patriots.”
To Trump, McCain could be someone who lacked a desire to win and who became a prisoner. But in the presidential race, Trump lost his chance in Arizona early on. Since Eisenhower in 1952, the Republican Party has never lost the presidential election in Arizona except for once in 1996. McCain’s wife and those close to him are getting criticism and threats from Trump supporters. This may be the last chance for Trump to rebuke his supporters.