Nothing Matters

The reaction to the latest brouhaha resulting from the publication of the article in The Atlantic alleging that Trump referred to Americans who died in war as losers and suckers has gone pretty much as I imagined. My immediate reaction was shock but not really surprise. While it seems clear there is little in his past to indicate he has any heartfelt admiration for those who serve and multiple news organizations, including Fox (I guess Trump is demanding Fox fire that reporter), have confirmed much of the story, I figured it would immediately be dismissed as fake news and of course it was. But I am surprised that there are still those that believe this, or anything else, will have any real effect on his supporters. At this point even if there were a recording or other concrete evidence, I’m confident that some narrative would be spun to justify it.

If the news that Trump is seemingly unconcerned by intelligence reports that Russia is offering bounties to the Taliban to kill our soldier didn’t have an effect why would this?

  • 109 soldiers diagnosed with traumatic brain injury after the Iranian attack in January he said were just headaches. Didn’t matter.
  • Pulled funds intended for military schools and housing to be used to pay for the wall. Didn’t matter.
  • Also redirected $224 million from a military retirement program to pay for the wall. Whatever.
  • Children of troops serving their country born overseas will no longer automatically be considered US citizen. No one cared.
  • Attacked Gold Star families. Didn’t matter.
  • He suggested that veterans that get PTSD are not strong. Didn’t matter.

When James Mattis, by all accounts an honorable and highly respected Marine Corps general and Trump’s former Secretary of Defense wrote the following:

“Donald Trump is the first president in my lifetime who does not try to unite the American people – does not even pretend to try. Instead he tries to divide us. We are witnessing the consequences of three years of this deliberate effort. We are witnessing the consequences of three years without mature leadership.”

Trump responded by saying he was glad he had the honor of firing Mattis calling him the world’s most overrated general, dismissing a lifetime spent in service to his country. Another lie (throw it in the pile) as Mattis actually resigned. John Kelly, another Marine Corps general and Trump’s former chief of staff had the audacity to support Mattis and so Trump turned on him as well.

And of course he has been famously critical of John McCain. Calling him a loser, saying the only reason he was a hero is because he was captured and saying he likes people that weren’t captured. Even going so far as to disallow sailors from the destroyer John S McCain to attend a Memorial Day speech. When McCain was captured he was bound and beaten every two hours until eventually those beatings were reduced to only a few times a week. All of this after he was offered a chance to be released early because his father’s position as commander but McCain refused unless the other men captured with him were released as well. McCain spent five and a half years of his life as a POW while Trump was busy receiving 5 deferments on account of his “bone spurs”. Trump said that dating and avoiding STDs was the equivalent of being a soldier in Vietnam.

For me, Trump’s treatment of McCain alone was reason enough to disqualify Trump as any sort of leader. I very much admired Senator McCain and his sacrifice for our country. While I didn’t see eye to eye with every policy decision I’m hard pressed to think of any politician that I’ve agreed with completely. McCain was the last prominent Republican politician that I can think of that was seemingly (for the most part) guided by the courage of his convictions. I suppose Romney is the closest I can think of in today’s Republican party. In writing this I went back again and watched that town hall McCain had where a woman claims that Obama is an Arab and McCain takes the microphone from her saying: “No ma’am, no ma’am. He’s a decent family man that I just happen to have disagreements with”. Gotta be honest, watching that video chokes me up remembering back to a time when it was still possible to disagree about policy without resorting to the claim that the other side hates America. I very much miss Senator McCain’s voice and I wish that more Republicans today had his courage.