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Wavelengths By Jim Kempton
By Jim Kempton

By Jim Kempton

Sen. John McCain was one of my favorite contemporary politicians. I didn’t always agree with him. (I don’t think I’ve ever agreed with every decision any politician has made). But I respected him like almost no other senator in my lifetime. Principled, courageous, kind but unyielding, McCain led by example and sacrifice.

When I was still a student wondering if I would be sent to combat in the jungles of Southeast Asia, McCain did what I consider to be the ultimate heroic deed. Shot down on his 27th mission, he was offered to be released from his captors but declined and endured years of torture in a Hanoi prison. He demanded his whole crew could also be freed as well, and when his demand was refused, he spent two more years in prison—beside his crew.
How does one who served in the military feel when a President ridicules this selfless former war hero? This was a man whose arms were broken so badly while serving his country that he couldn’t raise them above his shoulders.
President Donald Trump allegedly faked bone spurs. McCain put his crew first, truly bled for his beliefs, and later rejected the idea of America’s use of torture on terrorists, saying “the use of torture compromises that which most distinguishes us from our enemies—our belief that all people, even captured enemies, possess basic human rights.”

That is the guy I want to lead my country. I regarded him as a role model for my children.

You see, for me, it isn’t about the policies or position this President takes. It’s about the complete lack of moral fiber and essential character that I thought our nation was based on—and the values that we use to teach our children how to live good lives.

How do teachers tell children they can’t bully other children when the President openly mocks a reporter with disabilities in front of thousands of supporters? What do you tell your children about honesty when the leader of the nation seemingly lies daily about various subjects? How do we tell our kids about the importance of our First Amendment, when the leader of the free world calls all media he doesn’t like “the enemy of the people”?

How do we respect the rule of law when Trump tweets officially that the FBI Special Counsel members who are investigating the known Russian interference and possible conspiracy of the Trump Administration “should be put in jail”? What do you tell your daughters when the president brags that he can grab women by the (using words that even today cannot be printed in any respectable publication) and that “when you are a star, you can do anything” to women?

Trump may have committed tax fraud, conspired with the Russians, cheated thousands of contractors out of payments, ruined thousands of investors in multiple real estate scams, burned hundreds of creditors in dozens of bankruptcies and defrauded citizens out of millions of tax payments. He may have run his business like a Mafia don, assaulted unknown numbers of women, mocked the members of a Gold Star family whose relative died for his country. He may have called marchers who were chanting, “Jews will not replace us,” carrying Nazi flags and wearing KKK hoods “very fine people.”

But, really, none of that matters at this point. He lost me at John McCain.

Jim Kempton is an unrepentant lover of his country who believes one of the greatest contributions we can provide a free and just society is to speak out when its values are being degraded.

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comments (17)

  • Well I guess everyone has their opinion. I find Jim Kempton’s opinion to be that of a idiot and I am embarrassed for The SC Times for publishing such demented trash. Come on SC Times lets keep your publication pure and leave the bias demented political opinions out. We don’t read your publication to get that kind of garbage but to educate ourselves about what is happening in our beloved city.

    • I totally agree with you Ken. This guys article was trash and so rude. He trying to teach his kids to be kind as he is trashing Our President. Please keep this trash out of SC Times.

    • Ken, similarly, I find your comment to be that of an “idiot”, and “garbage” like yours got us where we are. But, at least you read, perhaps you should broaden your consumption if you are truly concerned about your “beloved” city…

  • Kempton nailed it again.

    It is staggering to be alive and witnessing the worst president in US history. His appalling ignorance, overt racism and overall lack of class has diminished our standing among civilized nations. The NYT running statistic of lies per day truly caps off the reality that at this time, we are a Nation, without a president.

    Thanks Mr. Kempton– another good one!

  • Well said Jim. The continuing tragedy of this Presidency, is that day by day we become numb to the continuous debasement of our governing institutions, cultural civility, and tradition of engaged and respectful political debate. Trump may have lost Jim at McCain, but this craven narcissist lost us all the moment he took the oath.

  • Kempton’s double-standard hit piece on the President of the United States is more leftist hypocrisy on display.
    Kempton asks “ How do we tell our kids about the importance of our First Amendment…” describing how President Trump refers to the media as the “enemy of the people”.

    What does the First Amendment have to do with what the President said?  The media have no less freedom to misinform the public than they had prior to Trump’s assumption of the Presidency. 
    Next, did Kempton ask that question when Obama bugged the Associated Press?  When Obama accused reporter James Rosen of being a criminal co-conspirator in an espionage case simply for doing his job as a reporter even going so far as to grant the FBI a warrant to seize his communications, phone records, and emails?  How about when the Obama administration broke into the computer and blackberry of CBS reporter Sharly Atkinsson after she had reported on the Benghazi scandal and was working on a story regarding the Fast & Furious scandal that involved Eric Holder and Obama?
    Let’s review some of the activities of this media Kempton is sympathetic to.  CNN gave debate questions to Hillary ahead of the debate and journalists regularly submitted their stories to her team for comment prior to publishing. They solicited from her team dirt on Trump to be included in their stories.  Harvard, no bastion of conservatism, released a study that concluded that as much as 93% of the coverage on President Trump by the MSM has been negative and this with a soaring stock market, rate of employment, and economy. 
    Remember the media circus and condemnation of the Duke Lacrosse team?  Apparently, not learning from that gross miscarriage of justice (nor the Tawana Brawley case), we have recently seen the media slander the Covington Catholic school boys only to again find their angry narrative completely wrong.  Those boys were the target of a universe of hate fomented in no small measure by the media.  We saw CNN, the Clown News Network, promote the lie of “hands up don’t shoot” and the MSM coverage of the Travon Martin shooting was a travesty where Martin was consistently portrayed as a sweet kid including pictures of him with his Father around age 13 (he was 17 when fatally shot). Contrast that with the MSM portrayal of George Zimmerman whose broken nose and bloody head were carefully hidden from the public and who was referred to as a “white Hispanic”.  The media stoked the fires of racial hatred to pad their own bottom line and in so doing fostered an environment where law enforcement officers’ lives were at risk.  Indeed, officers were gunned down by individuals inspired by Black Lives Matter, a hate group formed from the ashes of Ferguson Missouri, a media inspired riot.  Any and all opprobrium heaped upon the media is well deserved.  In their greed and hatred of President Trump, they have discarded all journalistic ethics.  They have blood on their hands and have become, just as President Trump stated, the enemy of the people.

    Kempton asks, “How does one who served in the military feel when a President ridicules this selfless former war hero?”

    This former military man feels the remark was disgraceful even in the midst of a campaign but a comment that has no bearing or effect on the maintenance of this nation should not be exaggerated to satisfy one’s loathing for the individual. Far worse for our nation and the military was when Obama gave the greatest exporter of terrorism, our enemy Iran, billions of dollars. Iran was responsible for the deaths and maiming of thousands of American servicemen. Obama also traded 5 Taliban generals for an American deserter (whose desertion reportedly cost American lives). His social experiments at the expense of military readiness have also cost this nation. Let’s not forget Obama’s world apology tour an exercise that didn’t endear him to our military.

    Observing and hearing (by Kempton’s own admission) the hatred of President Trump not based upon policies or bad decisions that detract from America’s success, is a reminder of why the voters elected him instead of crooked Hillary. Americans are tired of do-nothing politicians (both parties) or those who simply buy votes by promising free stuff. President Trump may be a flawed individual (aren’t we all?) but we didn’t elect him to be Pope or the replacement for Billy Graham, we elected him to get things done. It’s a sad commentary that people like Kempton and other leftists appear willing to undermine this nation if in so doing, they can bring down this President.

  • Such hard left red meat from the sanclementetimes which seems out of place. We can read such garbage at Vox, Huff Post,, (and better written) if we need a dose of Trump hate, and as crazy as it seems, McCain love. McCain was loathed long before Trump’s time and there’s a reason why: mainly because he was a thorn in the side of the GOP. Of course the media and many Dems loved him because his signature act was to stab the GOP in the back any chance he got (see his last act – voting against the repeal of the ACA…after he vigorously campaigned to repeal it – quintessential John McCain . He would always run as solid conservative in AZ, then actually vote as anything but. The last two paragraphs of this article are truly pathetic; like it was written by a naive high school sophomore.

  • What rubbish. Repeating the old lies over again will not make them true. Having press credentials and an audience does not entitle you to lie. Do you think that you are being such a skillful writer that whatever you write will be believed? Please respond to my Email and explain to me personally why someone like you appears to truly believe and would spew this crap? I need to know how people are being brainwashed with Trump hate.
    John McCain was a true hero. Shame on (the guy whom I don’t even want to know his name) for using Senator McCain’s name in a blatant shear of lies.

    • In answer to Paul’s question ‘Do you think that you are being such a skillful writer that whatever you write will be believed?’ Don’t believe me – believe Fox News, Fortune magazine, Access Hollywood, the U.S. Court of Appeals, Money magazine, Real Clear Politics, and the Wall Street Journal – those bastions of left-wing claptrap – they said it, not me!
      So tell me, after reading what all those unquestionably conservative media have presented, which of statements I took from those sources are a lie:
      Did Trump not dodge the draft by pretending to have bone spurs? Read Fortune magazine. Or his doctors report.
      Did Trump not mock a physically disabled reporter in front of his audience? Watch Fox News.
      Did Trump not say I like to grab them by the pussy? Listen to the Access Hollywood tapes.
      Did Trump not say “I watched in Jersey City, N.J., where thousands and thousands of people were cheering as the World Trade Center collapsed”? Read Real Clear Politics. Do you think Fox News wouldn’t have that footage? That’s just one of some 9,000 documented untruths Trump has perpetrated since taking office. Read that fact in the Wall Street Journal.
      Perhaps I did mis=tate one thing – Trump has over 3500 (read THIRTY-FIVE HUNDRED) lawsuits against him before he was running for President. Read Forbes Magazine.
      Did Trump not say multiple times that the press is the enemy of the people? Watch any of 10 TV stations
      Are you saying all 23 women who have accused Trump of sexual misconduct are all lying? That didn’t work too well for Bill Cosby.
      Did Trump not pay @23 million dollars in damages to thousands of students who were defrauded by his Trump University?
      Read the U.S. Court of Appeals decision.
      Did prosecutors who convicted Trump’s personal lawyer not cite Trump as an unindicted co-conspirator in tax fraud? Read the Court statements.
      Did Trump not mock the family of a Gold Star American soldier who gave his life for his country? What would you say if Obama had done that? (Or any other decent human for God’s sake!)
      Are you saying that you think people who march in America carrying Nazi flags are “very fine people”? My family members fought and bled to save the world from those people and if you agree with Trump about them then maybe we have a PERSONAL problem.
      But just show me which statements are a lie. I love America, Capitalism, Democracy, the Constitution, the New Testament, and almost all our former Presidents. But Donald Trump has made a travesty of each and every one of them.
      For the record: My favorite President was Dwight Eisenhower. A great Republican, a great hero, a great Ameican Name me ONE trait Donald Trump has in commonality with him. Oh, that’s right – Dwight paid off a porn star and a Playboy bunny he was having unprotected sex with a few weeks after David was born. Who is it that is lying? Rubbish indeed.

      • Thank you, President Trump, for the successful economy, booming stock market, fantastic job creation, and successes in foreign policy.
        Kempton, Trump did NOT refer to those carrying Nazi flags as “very fine people”.  We know YOU know this by the way you originally parsed your words.  You said “ He MAY have called marchers …” which became a certainty by the time you responded to Mr. Jungnitsch.  For some background, the whole affair/march was over what leftists usually do…tear stuff down and in this case, the removal of Confederate Veterans’ statutes.  There were those who wanted the monuments removed and those who did not.  Trump stated that there were “very fine people” in both groups.  Naturally, those suffering Trump Derangement Syndrome took the opportunity to mischaracterize his words.  The question now becomes, are YOU, Kempton, going to acknowledge your mischaracterization? 
        Black Lives Matter is a hate group that Obama not only approves of but has shared a platform with.  Obama began his political career in the living room of Bill Ayers, a domestic terrorist who blew up government buildings, planned an attack on an Army reserve station with the intention of taking lives and once stated he was willing to kill 25 million Americans to achieve the society he desired.
        Regarding the gold star parents, how convenient of you to ignore the context.  It was they who first attacked candidate Trump and he, characteristically, responded in kind.  His words were foolish and unnecessary the significance of which the left exaggerated and exploited.  Their faux outrage is almost comical considering it is the left that spat upon and cursed our soldiers returning from Vietnam and work to ban the ROTC from college campuses.  It is the left that burns the American flag, supports kneeling during the National Anthem, routinely displays the Mexican flag, champions socialism, and always blames America first for any and every problem.  In the not too distant past, YOU, Kempton, wrote an execrable piece fantasizing about the snipers of theoretical invaders killing the children American Mothers sent out as cannon fodder (feel free to clarify if you think I’m misrepresenting your work).  So you can spare your readers the sanctimonious blather about Trump “mocking” a gold star family…you don’t really care beyond using it as a shilellagh to flail the president.
        Kempton, you seem rather exercised about the accusations of sexual misconduct against President Trump.  Were you ever moved in the slightest by the predations of former President and serial pants-dropper, Bill Clinton?  How many women accused him of sexual misconduct including rape?  Could they all be lying…remember your words about Bill Cosby?  Did you write editorials excoriating Hillary Clinton who harassed the women Bill abused to silence them?  And Trump’s statements about grabbing women’s private parts, has not the “me too” movement verified his statements are true?  How many Hollywood leftist hypocrites have the “me too” dragnet exposed (pun intended)?  How long do you estimate that Clinton buddy, Harvey Weinstein, got away with abusing the women who worked for him?
        Did President Trump fake his bone spurs to avoid the draft?  I don’t know but you don’t seem too concerned about Bill Clinton draft dodging nor the fact that Obama never served.  Do you care at all that Hillary ignored the repeated pleas from Ambassador Chris Stevens for more security leaving our embassy in Benghazi with inadequate defense resulting in four American deaths including his own?  Does it not chap your hide to realize the inadequate security was deliberate and done to support the narrative that Obama had successfully defeated the terrorists and there was, therefore, no longer a need for strong security?  Were you not outraged over the lies about and to the families of the slain?  Weren’t you angered when Obama, Hillary, and Susan Rice repeatedly lied to the American people about the circumstances that led to their deaths?
        “Documented untruths”?  Trump’s a salesman, he sells himself to America and America to the world as the greatest nation on earth.  What he promotes is always the best and what he dislikes (at the moment) is always the worst.  Combine that with being petty and always willing to lash out at those who unfairly attack him and you have a recipe for making statements of questionable accuracy.  This is an explanation, not an excuse.  These statements may reflect poorly on the man but they have no bearing on the maintenance of our country. 
        Obama was also a salesman but it is America itself that he sold out.  For personal, selfish aggrandizement he entered into a deal with our enemy Iran giving them billions to shore up their evil theocracy and spread terror throughout the Middle East.  It was a bad deal that resulted in the worst relations we’ve had with our ally Israel since that nation was formed.  Obama even unsuccessfully interfered with the Israeli election in an attempt to thwart Netanyahu in his reelection campaign. 
        As this is long let me just end by saying I don’t approve of some of the things our President says, but he is improving the lot of Americans around the country.  Black unemployment is at a record low, so is Hispanic unemployment.  Regulations that strangle businesses are being reduced and pressure is being applied to China to reduce our trade deficit by opening up their markets (other nations as well) and on our allies to “pay their fair share” for the security they enjoy at our expense.  For all of this and a lot more, you can thank our President, Donald J. Trump.     

  • I find it fascinating, (and telling) that whomever edits the comments section, chooses to select only certain viewpoints. Comments I made yesterday seem to never have found your eyes. Which I doubt, because others have sent comments in supporting Jim, and those also appear to not please you.

  • Hey SC Times,
    You guys need to keep the political BS out of this paper. Just what’s going on in the city and surrounding areas is all i want to read. Not some Trump Derangement Syndrome kooks twisted opinion. It’s like a cancer that has infected everything from sports, movies, concerts etc. Enough already. So with that said here’s my rebuttal opinion:

    Jim, Jim, Jim.
    You have it all wrong Jim. Your hero put his special interests lobbyists buddies and RINO’S first. With his single no vote on repealing Obama Care, I’m still without insurance. Thanks a lot John. I’ll take a business man over a politician any day. Trump is not bought and paid for by special interests groups.
    As for you telling your children about our current President, how about you just say nothing. Pretty much of what you have to say is all made up lies and garbage taken right out of the MSM playbook. How about Obama hanging out with domestic terrorists? For example Bill Ayers of Weather Underground, Rev. Wright spewing his hatred, Obama giving $1.7 billion dollars to Iran. A country that wants us destroyed. Do you have anything to say about that? Didn’t think so. Doesn’t really fit your narrative does it?
    You say, “Trump may have committed this, may have committed that”. May have, may have, may have. Hey Jim, I also heard he laundered money. Yeah, they found a $20 dollar bill in his pants pocket when he took his suit to the cleaners……………………. It’s a joke Jim. Lighten up.
    Bullies!!!!!!! You want to talk about bullies? How about the college student getting punched out by the Trump hating bully at UC Leftist Berkeley a few days ago? Give me a break with your bully crap. Can you say ‘Antifa’ Jim ?
    Now listen Jim, I had to put up with 8 years of Obummer. The least you can do is give me the courtesy of you relaxing, take a chill pill and enjoy the ride. Another 6 years of Trump won’t hurt you. Hell, you might even start to like him because of all the positive legislation and job creation that is happening all around you. But you won’t hear that on the MSM news outlets pumping out 95% negative coverage of Trump (FACT)! Is that fair? Open your eyes and mind Jim. Switch the channel already.
    Here’s a thought Jim, maybe you can move out of the country for the rest of Trump’s term and enjoy life in another socialist country and then come back when Pence is president. Because there is no way we are going down the socialist path. I heard Venezuela is nice this time of year. Warning: Bring your own TP.
    I’m an unrepentant lover of my country too. MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!!!!!!.
    I hope that didn’t trigger you?

  • Bravo to the SCTimes— Kempton is as always refreshing and thoughtful. All of the dull-normal Fox News talking points in the world should not intimidate a free press, the founders would have wanted it no other way. Like Mr. Kempton, I too have liked Presidents from both parties, and have lived here in the OC my whole life. Finally, in this last election, Orange County has turned blue. I NEVER thought I’d see the day. It’s pretty obvious why. Trump and his unamerican cult of ego is a “bridge too far” for us, “We the People” that is….

    It’s predictable, if not ironic, that the hard right posters here are so afraid of truth that they would like to suppress it. It’s ok to be truthful still isn’t it? Isn’t it still ok to dislike people who talk in public about p —- grabbing? Or who ridicule reporters with disabilities ? etc etc etc?

    Of course it is. One may support one or two of the policies he has championed at the direct order of his Fox News Masters, Like for instance, maybe Trump’s right? Maybe poor people shouldn’t have good health care? I respect anyones right to have their positions but what we tell our kids about all of this ought to be truthful– I’ll be very kind and just say it this way— DJT has spent the last 2 to 3 years doing things and saying things hopefully we all teach our kids not to do, He remains a trainwreck endangering our Nation and the planet.

    I’ve enjoyed the SC Times free flow of ideas— Well done!

  • Hey Trump bashers posting on this trash opinion piece. Don’t look now but a movement is happening right now and it’s called BLEXIT. The tide is turning.
    No wonder all demorats don’t want a border wall. Granting illegals the right to vote is exactly what they are counting on to help them remain in power. Just saying.
    Death of a Nation by Dinesh D’Souza. Read it or watch it. Your choice.
    Knowledge is power.

  • Jim, your article lacks any real literary value. It’s not an article about who would be a good President, debatable intellectual capital or legitimate concern for our impressionable crumb-cruncher’s. On the contrary, your piece is a wrapper for conjecture pointed at smearing President Trump and getting pablum talking points out to the useful idiots on the left. The one clear takeaway is confirmation that Trump Derangement Syndrome is real.

    Your title and first 3 paragraphs are simply the prestige distraction – intended to establish credibility with conservatives, even though we know the author is radical far left.

    One sentence on John McCain would suffice – Brave veteran, poor leader.

    Side note: That’s why he was a senator instead of a governor. Senators never have to lead people. As a retired navy veteran myself, I can see past the “War Hero John McCain” and instead focus on the “Senator John McCain”. Senator McCain consistently allied himself with the socialist left, and against his constituents whenever he saw that he could boost his power. Claiming to be a “maverick”, he often disrupted legislation that relied on slim majorities, slinging mud and embarrassment all over his side of the aisle. The way he treated Sara Palin was totally classless. Nothing more need be said about him as a statesman, but this debate is best held between competing republicans.

    Your final 4 paragraphs simply set up a non-existent paper tiger, at whom all TDS people are now empowered, with complete impunity, to throw rocks, slander, and generally unleash hell’s own fury on President Trump.

    And he is “supposed” to take this blather from you.

    As noted above in the fine comments of others, President Trump is responsible for absolute WATERSHED, real-time accomplishments. These represent not only vast improvements for America, but a “C” change in the direction of hopeless abandonment established by Obama/Bush/Clinton.

    Jim, I’m going to take you at your word. You asked “How can I tell my kids….” My answer to you – Stop playing “Gossip” in the articles you write. Here are some specific statements:

    About POTUS
    – His foreign policy directly resulted in an end to the >50 year Korean War (Conflict)
    – He effectively throttled China
    – He re-negotiated trade deals in our favor
    – His direction of cabinet level agencies driven unprecedented numbers of corrupt politicians, CEO’s and executives from office.
    – He does what he says he will do.
    – He is not dissuaded or deterred by the schizophrenic tide of public opinion and media optics.
    – He has literally and actually built stuff. Unlike ANY other Oval Office challengers,
    About his predecessors
    – Of the too many things done by Clinton – Selling the US nuclear code to China is absolutely unforgivable
    – President Bush enabled “The Establishment” to cripple the US, ending up in two terms of Obama
    – Obama bowed to kings around the world for the first time in US history. He left the country in a shambles. Rioting – commonplace, Looting – the accepted norm. Lawless corruption – FBI/CIA/IRS alphabet soup ad nauseam. Racial tension and warfare – new levels throughout America. Jobless, homeless, welfare public assistance – take from the haves, because you deserve it. Borders – erased. His legacy looks so much like destruction of our country that a good argument could be made it was his deliberate intention.

    Jim, if you were more objective, you would balance your article with some of these points. Instead you take the low road. This why your circulation keeps dropping and specifically why so many agree with President Trump. People don’t trust you, because YOU CAN’T BE TRUSTED.

    • Well, your boy probably thinks you’re just great, that is unless you were captured during your service in the navy…..

      Lead On

    • Whoa– Terry Buda, my friend, turn off the Faux TV for 5 minutes little buddy!

      Trump “effectively throttled China”? — Not.

      He ended the Korean War? Are you
      u high? It’s still a powder keg and the nuclear threat is still just cranking up per sattelite and signals intel.

      He has driven corruption from office? What about the 40 indictments and or convictions in his administration? It’s the highest in history!

      He does what he says he will do? No wall, increased the deficit to 1 tril per anum and raised the debt for starters!

      He just proposed a budget cutting Medicare and SS.– He promised he would not!

      He “built” something? No, he put his name on things others have built, and he went NK four times and about to create a 5th BK with our Fed ‘budget.

      Clinton “sold the nuclear code” to China? What kind of crack pot theory do you have going there amigo? LOL—— You may be thinking of one of the currently indicted administration members.

      While I did not vote for President Obama, your critique of his work is some genuine “schizophrenia”, perhaps with a few delusional qualities. Common place looting, putting the homeless problem at his feet when it’s only grown under Trump? Thats simply goofy. He bowed to Kings? Zzzzzzz— you may be thinking of Trump who gives a pass the Royal murders from Saudi and flat backs for his master V. Putin, well, ah….every single day.

      Trump total lies in office as of 3-19? 6,000 well documented whoppers (NYT)– the man is ill…

      Look— I am a life long voter and mostly for Republicans. Trump is a dirtbag, and probably a full blown traitor based on the evidence already public and the convictions of his indicted c0-conspirators. For a GOP candidate we could’ve done alot better than this weirdo—

      Have a super day!

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