[Rushtalk] the Guardian on Trump vs Military

Tom Matiska tom.matiska at att.net
Wed Mar 2 09:44:07 MST 2016

Anybody remember Hildabeast using uniformed Navy Officers to hand out hors d'oeuves at White House functions?  Dems shouldn't throw this stone at Trump.      Tom

    On Wednesday, March 2, 2016 10:51 AM, Carl Spitzer <lynux at keepandbeararms.com> wrote:


Donald Trump's disrespect for the military is appalling – and unprecedented
Scott Beauchamp So far, Trump has only insulted, abused and patronized service members and veterans on the trail. That’s no way to win our support

No, Donald Trump, attending a behavior modification military academy doesn’t make you a combat veteran. Photograph: Richard Ellis/Getty Images Monday 29 February 2016 17.39 GMT Last modified on Monday 29 February 2016 17.50 GMT 

Donald Trump has disparaged many a group – most recently, he refused to flat-out denounce white supremacy – but his transgressions against the military have been less remarked upon.

The disrespect that the Republican frontrunner for the presidential nomination has consistently shown towards veterans and service members is unprecedented, especially for a member of the party that, at least nominally, prides itself on being more supportive of the troops.

On Friday, on HBO’s Real Time with Bill Maher, former head of the CIA and NSA Michael Hayden said that the American armed forces would “refuse to act” if a President Trump actually gave some of the orders that he’s been proposing on the campaign trail. Troops are required to refuse unlawful orders (as would be Trump’s proposed targeting of terrorists’ family members), but the statement reveals a deep antipathy that the defense establishment harbors for Trump. It’s an antipathy that I share as a former US army infantry soldier. 

Trump’s disrespect of veterans began long before the current election cycle. On the Howard Stern show back in 1997, sandwiched in between a bunch of embarrassing comments about women, Trump compared his sex life in the 1980s to a war experience. 

“I’ve been so lucky in terms of that whole world. It is a dangerous world out there – it’s scary, like Vietnam. Sort of like the Vietnam era. It is my personal Vietnam. I feel like a great and very brave soldier,” Trump bloviated. And while it’s true that being crass and disgusting is the entire point of the Howard Stern show, for someone who wants to be commander-in-chief of the armed forces to indulge himself by denigrating the war experiences of veterans is beyond the pale. 

A bruising day on Planet Trump 

Read more Trump has no way to know if dating has anything in common with combat, because he was a draft dodger. As Tim Mak wrote in the Daily Beast: “When Trump had the chance to join the military and fight in Vietnam, he did not take it. Instead, the rich kid got multiple student deferments from the draft and a medical deferment.” 

Trump continued to inappropriately compare his civilian experiences to military ones since the Howard Stern appearance. Last year Trump told a biographer that he “always felt like I had been in the military” because of his time at the New York Military Academy, an expensive military-themed boarding school where Trump’s parents sent him because of behavioral problems. 

AdvertisementThat might be a uniquely idiotic statement from someone running for president, but it’s an attitude that, as a veteran, I’ve seen before. There’s always a guy at the bar sloppily explaining to you how he was in Junior Officer Training Corps during high school so, you know, he gets it. That guy should never run for office either.

A telltale sign that Trump does not actually know what it feels like to be in the military is his denigration of POWs. Last July at the Family Leadership Summit in Ames, Iowa, Trump said of Arizona senator and former Vietnam POW John McCain: “He’s not a war hero. He’s not a war hero because he was captured. I don’t like people who were captured.” Who would want to go to war for a President Trump knowing that if you were captured in the heat of battle your commander-in-chief wouldn’t “like” you?

When Trump does gesture at supporting the troops, it rings hollow. He offers six figures to buy veterans groups as props to use during campaign rallies, as if risking life and limb for your country can be monetized. And his ads that are meant to show respect to veterans probably shouldn’t feature images of Soviet and Nazi soldiers rather than American troops. To lift one of Trump’s own favorite words: it’s pathetic.

Hayden was quick to point out on Friday that the armed forces wouldn’t foment a rebellion against Trump; they’d just refuse to obey unlawful orders. Nevertheless, it was a big statement that took even the usually nonplussed Bill Maher by surprise. 

It shouldn’t have. For all his talk about leadership, something that Trump fails to understand is that real leadership is predicated upon respecting the people that you want to follow you. So far, Trump has only insulted, abused and patronized service members and veterans. It’s shocking that these kinds of tactics have gotten him this close to the White House, but it will never earn him the respect of the armed forces.

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