In 2015, Donald Trump was asked about John McCain, the Arizona senator who spent five years as a POW in Vietnam. His reply included this sentiment: “He’s not a war hero. He’s a war hero because he was captured. I like people who weren’t captured, OK.”
In 2017, Donald Trump was criticized for not properly honoring Sgt. La David Johnson, one of four soldiers killed in an ambush near Niger on October 4. Earlier today Sarah Huckabee Sanders, his spokesperson, said this on behalf of the president: “[He] expressed the condolences of himself and the rest of the country and thanked the family for their service, commended them for having an American hero in their family.”
So … the question is this: Can a person view a POW as a non-hero, but a person killed a hero? Does getting captured, and tortured, make one less worthy than one who is killed?
Or are we simply led by a neanderthal?