Former Sen. Bob Kerrey (D-NE), a Vietnam veteran, has called upon Donald Trump to show the country x-rays of his bone spurs (the supposed reason Trump avoided military service) following the president’s latest disparaging comments about the late John McCain.
The daughters of the doctor who diagnosed Trump with bone spurs in 1968 have already come out and said that the invented condition was diagnosed as a “favor.” Now, though, Kerrey wants more proof after Trump’s petty remarks about not being thanked for organizing McCain’s funeral and saying that he “wasn’t a fan of John McCain.”
“I know lots of people who avoided the draft, but this isn’t what he’s saying,” the vet told CNN’s Anderson Cooper. “He said, I physically couldn’t go. Mr. President, get your feet x-rayed, and let’s see those bone spurs.”
“Everything he’s saying is bad enough,” Kerrey continued, “But when [Trump] says ‘[McCain’s] not my kind of guy’ because he went to Vietnam, because he was flying combat missions and got shot down, was held as a prisoner? That’s not ‘your kind of guy’?”
Kerrey later added, “I think he sees all of us who went to Vietnam as fools. We were the suckers. We were the stupid ones. We were the ones who didn’t have the resources to be able get out of the draft. He had the resources and he get out of it. So show us your bone spurs.”
Honestly, as silly as some of this sounds (though we would be a fan of “show us your bone spurs” T-shirts), Kerrey’s right in calling for either the x-rays or Trump’s admission that he avoided the draft. His invocation of McCain—rightly hailed as a war hero but overrated as a politician—isn’t the central point here. Neither is the fact that while serving in Vietnam, Kerrey himself murdered innocent civilians. That is a war crime and an issue for another day, but in this particular instance, Kerrey merely serves as the messenger.
Our president’s dodging of the draft, while he now glorifies the military and pours money into our bloated defense budget, shows a fundamental hypocrisy at play. There are plenty of people who will never go to war, plenty who are pacifists, plenty who are terrified at the thought of killing another human being. There’s nothing wrong with that at all. There is something wrong with a man using cowardice and privilege to continually avoid responsibilities and consequences, and having that man lead our country.