John McCain is apparently not happy with Donald Trump’s presumptive nomination as the Republican presidential candidate, but he is gritting his teeth and begrudgingly backing him. McCain’s dissatisfaction has two causes: John McCain was a prisoner of war in Vietnam, and Trump belittled McCain’s travails with the remark, “I like people who weren’t captured.” The second problem is that McCain is hoping to be reelected senior senator from Arizona despite this year despite being 79 years old. If enough Arizona Republicans stay home rather than go to the polls to support Trump, that could affect candidates farther down the ticket including McCain.
Arizona normally votes Republican, although Bill Clinton did carry the state. This year it could go for Trump. The Arizona population is generally poorly educated, and that works in Trump’s favor. Trump support doesn’t necessarily translate into votes for John McCain, however.
Despite his increasingly right-wing views–John McCain was known as the “maverick” until his presidential bid, when he veered sharply right–McCain still does not agree with the more paranoid members of his party on some subjects. For example, he has repeatedly expressed views in favor of immigration reform, while many of his fellow Republicans seem to feel that we are being overrun by hordes of the unwashed. Unlike many Republicans, John McCain respects Hispanics.
Arizona has a large Hispanic population, and John McCain is unlikely to get elected unless he can appeal to a sizable portion of them. Despite McCain’s favorable stance regarding immigration reform, his backing of Trump could hurt him among Hispanic voters. Trump’s racist comments have alienated more than 80 percent of those who identify as Hispanic, and that alienation could rub off on anyone who supports Trump.
Nonetheless, McCain is trying to put lipstick on a pig. (Trump’s porcine face might look better with a little lipstick on it.) He has stated that Republicans have apparently decided on Trump as their candidate, so all Republicans should support him. In this respect he disagrees with fellow Arizona senator Jeff Flake, who has been very critical of Donald Trump. Jeff Flake is not up for reelection this year, however.
In my opinion, John McCain should retire. I used to vote for him, but his increasingly erratic opinions indicate to me that he is getting too old for the job. Arizona needs some fresh blood in that office with new opinions. John McCain has not expressed a new idea in at least a decade.