#BeBest, President Trump.
First lady Melania Trump launched her “Be Best” campaign earlier this month. Her admirable aim is to foster “positive social, emotional and physical habits” in children and help them to “avoid negative social media interaction.”
By Thursday of the same week, the president’s administration — in shameful and deplorable disrespect of Sen. John McCain, an American military hero and statesman who has served his country with valor — had given a big “whatever” to the first lady’s good will, degrading the standards of political discourse in our country and stooping to new lows in our unwritten code of conduct toward one another.
On display were not the values of honor and respect we hold near and dear and pass along to our children so that they might make them their own.
On that Thursday, White House aide Kelly Sadler mocked the health of Sen. McCain, the Arizona senator and Vietnam veteran who is fighting glioblastoma, an aggressive form of brain cancer.
“He’s dying anyway,” Sadler said when referring to McCain’s opposition to the appointment of Gina Haspel, the president’s pick to lead the CIA.
Sadler joked about the senator’s illness in front of about two dozen communications staffers during a closed-door meeting, The Hill first reported.
McCain and Trump have had political squabbles before. This latest? McCain issued a statement Wednesday urging his colleagues to stand against Haspel, noting “her involvement in the so-called enhanced interrogation program” after 9/11. “Her refusal to acknowledge torture’s immorality is disqualifying.”
McCain comes to the debate with some noted experience. For the uninformed, McCain was held and tortured as a prisoner for five and a half years during the Vietnam War. A Navy pilot, he had been shot out of the sky on his 23rd mission and suffered fractures in his right leg and both arms when his plane crashed. During his imprisonment, he received minimal care.
As senator, he has campaigned against harsh interrogation techniques.
“John McCain is a genuine hero — a man of valor whose sacrifices for his country are immeasurable,” said our former vice president, Joe Biden. “As he fights for his life, he deserves better — so much better.”
Indeed, he does. But don’t hold your breath expecting anything of the sort from this White House. To admonish one of its own would undermine the boorish behavior the president himself exhibits all too often. Under normal circumstances — and we are 180 degrees from normal — Sadler would have been fired on the spot and an apology sent to Sen. McCain if not all members of the U.S. armed forces along with millions of veterans. In the United States we know, our service men and women are held in highest regard because they risk all to protect our freedoms, our Constitution.
For all of those — and there are multitudes out there — who have criticized NFL players for kneeling during the playing of the National Anthem, we would suggest you check the image in the mirror when staying silent about how this White House and this president consistently criticize those who honorably serve our country — whether they fight on the front lines or in our institutions of justice.
We are still waiting to hear denunciations from our own congressional representatives and senators — all of them.
And if you are among those who bemoan the behavior of our youth who — as we often hear — spend too much time on their cellphones, look no further than to the occupant of 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.
Teach your children well, and they must know that we honor and hold in reverence the likes of Sen. McCain.
What happened — and what didn’t happen — is despicable.
Even our kids know better.