From hiding out on Veterans Day to making troops miss Thanksgiving for a political stunt, Trump just can't stop disrespecting the military.
Trump has taken his disrespect for America’s troops and veterans to a whole new level over the past week.
With a series of insults no other commander in chief would fathom making — from skipping Veterans Day ceremonies to deploying troops over the holidays for no good reason — Trump laid bare his utter disregard for the men and women who currently serve, or previously served, in America’s armed forces.
After Republicans took a drubbing on Election Day, Trump bolted to France. The supposed purpose of his trip was to commemorate the centennial of the end of World War I.
But in a move the grandson of Winston Churchill called “pathetic,” Trump abandoned plans to attend a major ceremony at the Aisne-Marne American Cemetery, located near the location of the Battle of Belleau Wood, because of light rain.
Trump, refusing to take any responsibility for his own disrespectful actions, blamed the Secret Service.
“Other leaders in Paris for the anniversary managed to visit cemeteries despite the weather,” the New York Times wryly noted.
When he came back, Trump retreated into a “cocoon of bitterness and resentment,” according to the L.A. Times. On Veterans Day, the Times noted, Trump refused to even travel two short miles to Arlington Cemetery to lay a wreath upon the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, “as presidents since at least John F. Kennedy have done to mark the solemn holiday.”
The French Embassy participated in the ceremonies at Arlington, but not America’s commander in chief.
Trump didn’t just abandon veterans; he also used active duty troops as political props.
Before the midterms, Trump tried to rile up his base with racist fear-mongering about a group of refugees traveling on foot who were still thousands of miles from the U.S.-Mexico border.
Trump tried so hard to convince people that women and children seeking asylum were a national security threat, he actually sent thousands of U.S. troops to the southwest border to anticipate their arrival.
But after the midterms, Trump has been all but silent about the supposed threat.
“I’ve never before seen an American president, after going all over the country about this national crisis, then the day after an election shrug,” Douglas Brinkley, a presidential historian at Rice University, told the New York Times. “It was a dangerous form of xenophobia, aimed solely for electoral purposes and had nothing to do in the end with real national security.”
Some of those troops are spending their time shoveling horse manure. The “mission” is scheduled to go through mid-December, meaning these troops will be separated from their families on Thanksgiving, all because of Trump’s political stunt.
Trump also sent a clear message that he does not care about whether our troops serving overseas get to participate in the democratic process.
As Florida is methodically counting ballots in close races, Trump called for the state to disenfranchise thousands of ballots from military families stationed overseas.
Trump said Florida election officials “must go with Election Night” to decide the outcome of the races.
However, Florida law allows for votes cast overseas, including military ballots postmarked by November 6, to be counted through November 16. If Trump had his way, he would throw out military votes.
Trump’s disdain for troops is clearly part of a pattern.
“This guy just cannot stop disrespecting troops and military families,” Will Fischer, director of government relations for VoteVets, said in a statement. “From smearing POWs, to campaigning to push veteran vendors off 5th Avenue, from lying about donations to veterans’ charities until he was caught, to sleazeball attacks on Gold Star families, to skipping ceremonies to honor fallen heroes of World War I, to sending troops off to take part in a campaign stunt, this guy simply does not respect the military or those who served. Period.”
On top of that, Trump has been in office for nearly two years and still hasn’t visited troops in any combat zone like Iraq or Afghanistan.
“I don’t think it’s overly necessary,” Trump said when asked by AP reporters about this failure, adding that he has been “very busy with everything that’s taking place here.”
Trump has managed to find time to play golf more than one of every five days he’s been in office, and has spent nearly one in three days at Trump-branded properties.
Yet he says he is too “busy” to visit troops stationed in harm’s way.
Trump won’t go to ceremonies honoring veterans, and he disrespects troops both at home and abroad.
But he’s perfectly happy to raise a quick buck off of them to help his campaign.
While Trump was avoiding his ceremonial duties on Veterans Day, the Trump campaign was sending emails advertising a 40 percent off sale on campaign merchandise, including “Veterans for Trump” T-shirts and bumper stickers.
Trump is being the grifter in chief, not the commander in chief.
Published with permission of The American Independent.