JIM CREES: And then there's Trump

You can try to ignore Donald Trump ... you can try ... but ...

While Trump actually and shockingly seems to be doing exceptionally well in polls of Republican voters, he at the same time gets more and more obnoxious. What is stunning is how little his snarky talk seems to affect potential GOP voters.

Even the most dedicated Republicans seem a touch confused as to how they are supposed to respond to Trump’s ridiculous blustering.

Over the past few weeks, Trump has let loose with quite a stream of offensive oratory - and generally little was said in response by either the GOP faithful or other candidates running for the party nod as candidate in the 2016 election.

This may well be because Trump says what many, Many, MANY others in the party believe but would never say out loud.

Trump is a racist - not thinly veiled, but rather openly obvious.

When he declared almost all Mexicans were thieves, rapists, and murderers, he got virtually no response or pushback from the field of candidates or the GOP as a whole.“Management” did finally ask him to “tone down” his talk.

Tone down ...

Sigh.

The one thing Trump is painfully honest about is his wealth.

He is rich.

BUT ... you don’t need me to break that news for you.

“Here’s the good news. I’m very rich,” Trump told CNN’s Anderson Cooper earlier this month.

And when it was pointed out to Trump there were other rich candidates in the field — past and present - including Mitt Romney, Trump scoffed, “I have a Gucci store worth more than Romney.”

There is nothing wrong with being rich, but Trump manages to make being well-to-do seem dirty, even mildly pornographic.

So ... while everyone in the GOP did their best to pretend Trump didn’t really exist, he gained in the polls and started making people at the top worry.

And then he said ...

This past Saturday, while speaking in front of the Family Leadership Summit in Ames, Iowa, Trump had even the 3,000 hyper-social conservative activists gasping when he said in reference to Arizona Sen. John McCain, “He’s not a war hero,” adding with a sneer, “He’s a war hero because he was captured. I like people that weren’t captured.”

Now, for those of you who may not know, McCain is a decorated Vietnam War veteran, a pilot who was captured and tortured by the North Vietnamese and survived five years in a prisoner of war camp under horrifying conditions.

While The Donald may have lifted himself to the top of the charts by denigrating people of other races and ethnicities; while he may have ‘earned’ a good number of votes taking shots at undocumented immigrants from Mexico; while he may have gained no little popularity among voters whilst diminishing people on welfare or those beaten down by the same system that made him a very rich man, he went WAYYYYYYYYYYY over the line in taking a jab at McCain.

Ladies and gentlemen of the jury. I implore you.

I AM NOT a John McCain fan. I wouldn’t vote for him if you held a pistol to my head (especially following the Sarah Palin debacle.)

BUT ... I will never, Ever, EVER belittle or besmirch this man’s service to our country and the sacrifice he made while serving his nation in the military.

This respect I have for McCain may be something only people in the military, or who have served in the past, may understand.

The deep respect I and others have for McCain’s service may come from having “been there.”

While I do not agree with McCain’s politics, there is still a special understanding developed by men and women who have donned a uniform and served their nation — and a different bond still between those who have served in combat.

Trump has never, ever served this nation as anything other than a blowhard.

He got out of serving because of some supposed bone-spurs. Amazingly, he can’t remember exactly where they were located (and there are only two options - left foot or right!)

McCain lived through Hell. Trump has gold seatbelt buckles and a tooled leather toilet in his private $100 million jet.

McCain was captured doing his duty. Trump likes people who weren’t captured.

He may avoid his duty but, “Here’s the good news. I’m very rich.”

I don’t agree with McCain’s politics, but I admire and honor his service.

Even more, I don’t agree with former Texas governor Rick Perry’s politics, but I agree 100 percent with his response to Trump.

“Donald Trump should apologize immediately for attacking Senator McCain and all veterans who have protected and served our country,” Perry said.

“As a veteran and an American, I respect Sen. McCain because he volunteered to serve his country. I cannot say the same of Mr. Trump.

“His comments have reached a new low in American politics. His attack on veterans makes him unfit to be Commander-in-Chief of the U.S. Armed Forces, and he should immediately withdraw from the race for President.”

Amen.