Mr. Trump was addressing a gathering at the 29th annual Rolling Thunder motorcycle run, a vast event over Memorial Day weekend that is dedicated to accounting for military members taken as prisoners of war or listed as missing in action. Bikers assembled at the Pentagon before riding en masse into the nation’s capital, with many dressed in leather vests covered in patches, their bikes rumbling throughout the afternoon....The article notes how odd it is that Trump is so welcome there given his remarks about Senator McCain's days as a POW. Even when reminded of the comments, people at the rally shrugged them off.
Nancy Regg, a spokeswoman for Rolling Thunder, said the group had invited Mr. Trump to appear. The group did not extend an invitation to Hillary Clinton or Senator Bernie Sanders, she said.
Richard McFadden, 58, an annual Rolling Thunder attendee from North Carolina, said Mrs. Clinton would not have been welcome.
“Just like asking Jane Fonda to show up, it’d be a very, very bad thing,” said Mr. McFadden, who works in computer support and wore a button that read, “Hillary for Prison 2016.”
Mr. Trump’s supporters include a group called “Bikers for Trump,” which has more than 46,000 “likes” on Facebook. Speaking on Sunday, Mr. Trump told the crowd of seeing large numbers of bikers at his campaign events.
“I said, ‘What are they all doing here?’ and my people would say, ‘They’re here to protect you, Mr. Trump,’” he said. “It’s an amazing thing. And I want to tell you, some of these people are tough.”
But when he shakes their hands, “there is love, and it’s an incredible feeling, and that’s why I wanted to be with you today,” he said.
Possibly this is because Trump -- in spite of his many flaws -- shows evidence of a patriotism that looks like what Chesterton called a "primal loyalty." Chesterton wanted you to be a patriot of the world, in the sense of being loyal to and loving of the Creation made by God. There is a general point about what it is to really be loyal to something, though, whether God or Country or family. Chesterton asks if this should be a natural or a supernatural loyalty, which he suggests is equivalent to asking if it should be a reasonable or an unreasonable loyalty.
This same paradox may be at work with Trump, and the love he draws from people who are united by this kind of supernatural loyalty to America. To America, I say, rather than to the Federal Government of the United States: to the Constitution, but the Constitution as they understand the Constitution rather than as the Supreme Court interprets it. That's the kind of patriotism I feel deep in my heart, and it may be that Trump feels it in his own weird way also. That recognition allows these veterans to forgive him all his other flaws, all his very many flaws, because they see that he shares in this primal loyalty.
I won't follow him for very many reasons -- for reasons, to return to Chesterton's commentary. Maybe he's right that an unreasonable loyalty is stronger than a reasonable one. Certainly it seems to explain why Trump is running so strong with veterans in spite of things like his remarks about John McCain.