I’m of two minds on this. On one hand, it’s a hideous thing for McCain to have said. It’s something that I really don’t want to ever hear from someone who’s trying to be president.
On the other hand…from a strictly human perspective…I mean, homebody was in a POW camp being tortured by the Vietnamese for five years. Every Vietnamese person he saw (except for that one dude he talks about in speeches who loosened his chains, which may or may not be bullshit) was physically torturing him. I don’t really expect his view to be fair and balanced, you know?
And I think the author’s statement that “a lot of people have personal trauma in their lives doled out to them by bad guys of every stripe, be they white or black or gay or Jewish or female” is a bit of a non sequitur. Yes, bad shit happens to people. For most people, that bad shit does not consist of being bayoneted through the testicles, locked in a hole in the ground and tortured for half a decade — tortured so badly that, for the rest of your life, you can’t actually raise your arms above shoulder height. That tends to warp someone’s perspective.
I’m not saying McCain is right here. He’s not. Judging an entire ethnic group based on the actions of a few is wrong. And he should have been able to deal with his hatred over the last, what, forty years?
I’m just saying that his situation and experience is rather unique, and that I personally don’t feel as if I can judge him as a human being for his views. He went through a hell that most members of modern civilization — even most military personnel — cannot understand.
Doesn’t mean I’ll vote for him, of course.