Most Americans were upset Wednesday night when the news broke that Arizona Senator John McCain was facing a diagnosis of brain cancer. No matter their political leaning, people showed respect for the elder statesman and former prisoner of war. But to some on the extreme right, the longtime Republican is a traitor worthy of scorn, presumably because of his willingness to work with Democrats, as well as his criticism of Donald Trump.
Back in 2015 during a family values summit in Iowa, just a month after he’d announced his candidacy for the White House, Trump lashed out at McCain: “He’s not a war hero. He was a war hero because he was captured. I like people who weren’t captured.”
At the time, Trump was angry because McCain had complained that Trump “fired up the crazies” during an anti-immigration rally in Phoenix.
So in the mind of the crazies of the alt-right, McCain is the enemy. And then came the attacks.
“The last president for McCain will be Trump. There’s some godly justice right there,” wrote one user on the “Politically Incorrect” message board of social media network 4chan, a hothouse of right-wing memes.
“I’m pretty sure that God is punishing him,” wrote another 4chan user. “God made it pretty clear that he supports New Right now.”
“John McCain = a war mongering, never Trumper whom I dislike,” wrote a user on Gab, another social media network popular with the alt-right.
The attacks, for the most part, focused on McCain’s willingness to work with Democrats during his three decades in the Senate. Many of the attacks are simply too tasteless to mention here.
And then there are the tweets:
The vitriol against McCain seems especially striking given his record of military service, as well as his leadership of the Republican Party. And remember, Donald Trump was a draft dodger, getting five deferments due to bone spurs.
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