The Republicans may have managed to get their presidential candidate elected, but the party has become increasingly fractured in the process. President elect Donald Trump has managed to alienate many of the conservative members of the party due to his lack of experience, fraudulent business tactics, friendship with Putin, and sexual assault scandals. After his election, several Republican senators are vowing to do everything they can to stop Trump’s policies from becoming a reality.
Senator John McCain from Arizona, one of the key figures in the Republican party, has been very vocal in his stance against Trump. Though McCain originally supported Trump, he withdrew his endorsement after realizing just how problematic Trump’s policies were. McCain has become one of the figureheads of Republican opposition to Trump after his publicized disagreements with Trump.
Trump managed to alienate quite a few supporters when he chose to mock McCain for being captured during the Vietnam war. Since McCain is a decorated war hero who withstood enemy torture for five years, most supporters of the troops were shocked by Trump’s mockery of McCain’s service. McCain may still be loyal to the principles of the Republican party, but he is encouraging Republicans everywhere to fight back if Trump attempts to enact morally problematic policies or regulations.
One of the big areas where McCain disagrees with Trump is on his stance of torture. Though President Bush endorsed torture under the guise of “enhanced interrogation methods,” it was made illegal under President Obama’s time in office. Trump and his extremely problematic vice president have both suggested that they would start torturing United States prisoners again.
After his years of torture and captivity, McCain has become adamantly against torture of anyone. He claims that it is ineffective, since prisoners will say anything to avoid torture, and it also goes against the Christian beliefs that most Republicans claim to follow. At a Halifax International Security Forum, McCain made it clear that he would do everything possible to keep Trump from bringing back torture.
In a heated statement, McCain said, “I don’t give a damn what the president wants to do. We will not waterboard. We will not torture people.” McCain also claimed “If they started waterboarding, I swear to you that we’d have them in court in a New York minute…there’s no judge in America that wouldn’t say they’re in violation of the law because it’s specifically, in law, now prohibited.”
Since McCain is a senator and a well-respected member of the Republican party, his statements carry a lot of weight. At the forum, his speech was met with enthusiastic applause from the audience. It is clear that McCain is managing to fire up the Republicans who are against Trump. He is showing that it is patriotic to stand up for what is right instead of falling in line with anything endorsed by your political party. In the next few months, we may see more and more Republicans following McCain’s line of thinking.