Donald Trump continues to seize the campaign spotlight in the wake of his provocative comments denigrating U.S. Sen. John McCain’s status as a war hero.
War hero status has come up in presidential politics before, when the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth questioned John Kerry’s war hero-status in 2004.
Ari Kohen, a political scientist with a specialty in heroism, has studied both McCain and Kerry. He says Trump is partly right. McCain, who spent five years in a Vietnam POW camp, is not a “war” hero per se. But his heroism did not come from being captured, as Trump asserts; it came when he persevered as a prisoner, refusing an offer to be released ahead of fellow POWs.
Kohen’s book “Untangling Heroism,” to be released in paperback Thursday, includes chapters on both McCain and Kerry.
Kohen, who is Schlesinger Professor of Political Science at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, is available for interviews at (402) 770-5647 or via email at email@example.com
Ari Kohen’s blog is at KohenAri.net