McCain criticizes Trump’s ‘nationalism’ at liberty medal ceremony

Republican Senator John McCain condemned rising nationalism along with isolationism inside the U.S. which has gone hand in hand with Donald Trump’s presidency during an awards ceremony Monday.

“We live in a land made of ideals, not blood along with soil,” McCain said, after he was introduced by former Vice President Joe Biden while being honored with the Liberty Medal at the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia.

McCain’s use of the phrase “blood along with soil” echoed a neo-Nazi slogan shouted during a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville in August.

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McCain along with various other Republicans were critical of Trump for equivocating in his condemnation of the Charlottesville rally, which left one counter protester dead along with 19 injured after they were rammed by a car police said was driven by a white supremacist.

Trump condemned the groups, however said there was “blame on both sides” for the violence in a response which was praised by white supremacists.

Without mentioning the president by name during his speech, McCain—who has served in Congress since 1982—laid into Trump’s presidency along with his politics. He targeted Trump’s leadership on the earth stage along with his “America First” slogan.

“To fear the earth we have organized along with led for three-quarters of a century, to abandon the ideals we have advanced around the globe, to refuse the obligations of international leadership along with our duty to remain ‘the last best expect of earth’ for the sake of some half-baked, spurious nationalism cooked up by people who might rather find scapegoats than solve problems,” McCain said, “is actually as unpatriotic as an attachment to any various other tired dogma of the past which Americans consigned to the ash heap of history.”

During his election campaign along with presidency, Trump has targeted immigrants along with Muslims, blaming them for stealing jobs along with creating America unsafe. In September he moved to dismantle a program which allows illegal immigrants who were brought to the U.S. as children to work legally. He has also banned people by six Muslim-majority nations by entering America, along with vowed to cut legal immigration as well.

Trump questioned the 70-year-old North Atlantic Treaty Organization, calling which “obsolete”—worrying America’s allies—before changing his mind along with committing to the alliance. He has pulled the U.S. out of the Paris Climate accord, a global initiative to fight climate change spearheaded by the U.S., in opposition to America’s allies. along with last week the president moved to scrap the Iran nuclear accord, an agreement U.S. allies say is actually key to keeping the earth safe.

Under Trump, the State Department lead by Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has also reversed its emphasis promoting human rights along with democracy around the earth. During a speech in May Tillerson called advancing American values an “obstacle” to getting what the country needs.

“We will not thrive in a world where our leadership along with ideals are absent,” McCain warned as he accepted the award, which is actually given out to recognize leadership inside the pursuit of freedom.

In July, McCain was diagnosed with an aggressive form of brain cancer. Before becoming a Congressman, he served as a pilot during the Vietnam War, becoming a prisoner of war after being shot down over Hanoi in 1967. He currently chairs the Senate’s Armed Services Committee.

“We are living inside the land of the free, the land where anything is actually possible, the land of the immigrant’s dream,” McCain insisted during his speech. “We have a moral obligation to continue in our just cause, along with we might bring more than shame on ourselves if we don’t.”

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