MinnPost (and Black Ink) were on a long weekend break as the storm built over the new evidence that Donald Trump thinks that those who volunteer to risk (and, sometimes give) their lives for their country are suckers or fools.
I say the “new evidence” because we’ve long known that Trump views someone, like John McCain, who endured horrible torture in a POW camp rather than turn on his country, wasn’t much of a hero because he, Trump, “prefer[s] the ones who don’t get captured.”
Trump surely cannot conceive of the kind of courage and loyalty it must have taken for McCain to actually refuse to accept an offer of release from a North Vietnamese POW camp, where he was regularly tortured, because he didn’t want to receive preferential treatment over those who were not the sons of admirals and would not be given such an offer. No one, apparently, has ever been able to explain to Trump how anyone could be that brave.
As you surely know by now, Trump preferred, during the Vietnam War, to find some bogus excuse (a sudden, brief attack of bone spurs) to avoid being drafted. (McCain, of course, didn’t wait to be drafted but volunteered.)
We’ve known some of the above for a while, but only in the most recent go-round, beginning with last week’s reporting in The Atlantic, did we learn that Trump had said to many people that he really couldn’t imagine why anyone was such a loser or a fool as to give up a few years and even risk their lives to serve in the military when they could surely have avoided it. “Why should I go to that cemetery?” he said, skipping out on a scheduled visit to a site where U.S. casualties from World War I were buried. “It’s filled with losers.”
(OK, I’m not nominating myself for any bravery or patriotism citations. My dad volunteered and fought in World II and I always admired him for it. But, although I didn’t take any measures to avoid the draft, other than going to college, I got lucky and my number was never called. I’m a little younger than Trump, so my medium-range lottery number kept me safely in civilian life while others bled in the misbegotten Vietnam War.)
I don’t know. Maybe this will be the straw that breaks the back of Trump’s 40 percent floor of support. So far, there’s no evidence of it in the polls. I’ll just continue to express my inability to understand how that many Americans see something to admire, respect or at least support in the guy.
My only reason to weigh in late on this is to emphasize the aggravating factor that Trump has apparently expressed quite clearly and to many people that the amazing thing to him about all those young people who did serve was that there was nothing in it for them.
And, big-brained genius that he always was and always will be, he apparently expressed that view to many people over the years, and still had the nerve to seek the office that comes with the job of commander in chief, and pretty much got away with it until last week. Go figure.
As various military figures have found ways to express their negative views in recent days, Trump has decided to take the position that top brass doesn’t love him, but “the soldiers” do. If that’s true, he’ll have to explain recent polling, reported in Military Times, that, among currently serving members of the military, Joe Biden draws more support than the current commander in chief. Hmm.
As I’ve expressed previously, I would welcome the views in the comment section under this post from those who admire and support President Trump. But if you take me up on it, I hope you will directly address the issue of whether Trump’s recently reported statements of disrespect for the military bother you and why or why not. There are too many witnesses for you to pretend that he didn’t say and do the things along these lines that he said and did.
And to give you one more thing to which to react, I also pass along this brutal new ad from the veteran Republican (but anti-Trumper) operatives of the “Lincoln Project, whose bad attitude toward Trump cannot be dismissed as mere partisanship. They titled the ad “UnAmerican.”
Or here’s a link to it on YouTube.