A 4F commander in chief
When Trump maligned the heroism of Sen. John McCain back in July of 2015, some patriots believed that Trump had fatally damaged his chances of being elected president in 2016. Trump had said “He’s not a war hero. He’s a war hero because he was captured. I like people who weren’t captured.”
That was a strange remark from a man who had evaded the draft because of questionable heel bone spurs. By contrast, McCain was a graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy, he became a naval pilot, and he was shot down and captured in Vietnam. With the rank of captain, and as the son and grandson of admirals, McCain refused repatriation as a military courtesy and he remained imprisoned with his men for five more years.
There has been no greater example in modern times of a person with such social status rejecting white privilege. And there have been few recent examples of such heroic patriotic behavior. In fact, a recent article in “The Atlantic” reports that Trump was reluctant to visit the cemetery in Europe where Americans killed in World War II have been buried. He is reported to have said that those who go to war for the nation are “suckers” and “losers.”
While Trump denies having made such remarks, it has now become clear that Trump’s disdain for Sen. McCain is more than just political hostility. Trump’s niece Mary has published a book entitled “Too Much and Never Enough” about the Trump family. She writes that her Uncle Donald undoubtedly acquired the disrespect for military service from his father, Frederick Trump. They see all relationships as transactional, involving financial consequences. They disdain human feelings.
Thoughtful Americans will now have to be worried about a commander in chief who has no patriotic attachment to the country whose citizens he is obligated to protect against enemies, foreign and domestic. It is of little concern to Trump that a foreign antagonist like Russia might be tampering with a presidential election. After all, Trump has not shown great commitment to the security of the voting process, which is the foundation of every democracy.
Now the election has also become about the American people, not just the peculiarities of Trump. Why are the people willing to vote for a president who hates their heroes? Why do they support someone who continually lies to them and then fails to produce what he has promised? How can they follow a president who has failed to exercise his authority to provide protection for citizens against the Covid-19 pandemic? This failure has caused more than 190,000 Americans to lose their lives, a greater mortality rate than most wars.
Even as Americans struggle to survive as the coronavirus rages, Trump has fomented the emergence of the nation’s unresolved racial conflict. He has supported the opposition of various police departments to campaigns that assert “Black Lives Matter.” Trump’s support of police oppression has frayed America’s international reputation as a country that stands for democracy and non-violent public political demonstrations.
There is no benefit to the working men and women that Trump’s party is expected to provide. Joe Biden and Kamala Harris plan to ameliorate racial conflict and introduce plans to generate the growth of the middle class. One would hope that the prospect of economic advancement would inspire most American voters. But one never knows what to expect when the Trump forces are incapable of demonstrating even modest respect for the nation’s heroes and those who have lost their lives in America’s defense.