A few weeks before the election last November, I was sitting in a bar drawing a cartoon. No, I wasn’t drinking but I had to draw two cartoons for clients and by no fault of my own (honestly), my home was being smoke bombed to kill bed bugs. Seriously.
I couldn’t drink or even engage in conversations because I needed to concentrate on drawing for The Costa Rica Star and The Seattle Times that day. And, I wasn’t paying much attention to the few people who were around me. I just wanted to focus on my cartoons and steal the establishment’s Wi-Fi. But, what sticks in my memory from that day were the comments made by an older gentleman.
This man had just walked in, and he was obviously a regular and a day drinker. The bartender asked him who he planned to vote for. Usually, you don’t talk politics in a bar, but it was kinda dead and she knew the guy, so the odds of anyone getting a beer bottle broken over the head or a fork stuck in their eye were very low.
The man seemed resigned to voting for Trump. I could have stereotyped the guy as a Trump voter, but he didn’t seem excited about his choices. He didn’t look insane, so maybe I could have had a civilized conversation with him if I had started one, but I don’t campaign to change minds in bars.
When the guy said he was voting for Trump, he elaborated as though he needed a reason other than having a recent lobotomy. He said he was voting for Trump because his son was in the military, and since Trump was a Republican that meant he was pro-military.
That’s an old myth that needs to be eradicated.
I wanted to point out to the guy that Trump had disparaged a POW, a Gold Star family, and had dodged the draft, none of which can be called “pro-military.” But, I was in a bar and on two deadlines, and it’s hard to draw with a fork in your eyeball. I would not have won Hillary a vote that day. I suspect the bartender, a very nice lady, was not voting for Trump, and she took the same tact. She asked the question, and continued the conversation as if she merely wanted to know, not engage in a debate. Maybe she was asking questions to know which patrons deserved a little pee in their drinks.
Back to this old adage that Republicans are more respectful of the military than Democrats; This is as old as the argument that conservatives are more patriotic which also makes me nauseous.
Republicans are only better at the narrative they’re more patriotic, better at foreign policy, better at defending us from terrorism, and care more about those who serve than Democrats. It’s kinda like the false belief they’re better at the economy. The only thing the GOP has been better with over the past several decades is standing on soapboxes, being demagogues over it, and taking credit for Democrats’ accomplishments.
Republicans ignored the warnings before 9/11. Republicans started a wrong war in Iraq. Republicans started a war without any provocation. How well did George W. Bush handle the war in Afghanistan? Who let bin Laden slip away? Which president killed bin Laden?
Which party cuts spending on military pay, VA benefits, and treatment for PTSD? Which party cuts spending on embassy security?
Trump has been very hawkish toward the military. He has equated his prep school to military experience. He has inquired about increasing our arsenal of nuclear weapons. He’s goading “Little Rocket Man.” He’s talked about attacking Venezuela. He’s bombing runways in Syria after giving them a phone call to get out of the way. He’s really good at playing Battleship, but when it comes to the actual duties required of Commander in Chief, all his boats sink.
After Americans were killed in Benghazi, Republicans shouted and screamed about Obama’s and Hillary Clinton’s liability. They held scores of investigations. They’re still screaming about it at Fox News. Two weeks ago, four American soldiers were killed in the nation of Niger. I really wanted to watch Fox News the next day to see who messed up in pronouncing “Niger.”
Trump did not mention the deaths of American service members in Niger until yesterday, after a reporter asked him about the issue at a chaotic press conference. It took Trump two weeks, and only after being pressed on it by the “fake news” to mention the deaths in Niger. When the bodies were returned from Benghazi, Obama and Clinton were at the airport. When the remains from Niger arrived at Dover Air Force Base, Trump’s fat ass was on a golf course.
That’s the logic of Republicans for you. Hate a president for golfing all the time, so elect a president who owns golf courses. Perhaps, Trump would have been there if that voice in his head told him they had died fighting for the national anthem.
Yesterday, Trump talked about how tough it is for him to call families of service members who are killed in the line of duty. He said many presidents didn’t do that, and that Obama never did.
When asked about his lie that Obama never called the families, Trump backtracked and said it was something someone told him. Who told him? That voice in his head?
This truly pissed off former Obama staff members. Former deputy national security adviser Benjamin J. Rhodes said, “this is an outrageous and disrespectful lie even by Trump standards. Also, Obama never attacked a Gold Star family.”
Former Attorney General Eric Holder tweeted, “stop the damn lying. I went to Dover AFB with 44 and saw him comfort the families of both the fallen military & DEA.”
Alyssa Mastromonaco, former White House deputy chief of staff got upset most of all. She tweeted, “that’s a fucking lie. to say president Obama (or past presidents) didn’t call the family members of soldiers KIA – he’s a deranged animal.”
Dotard, moron, deranged animal. Lately, there seems to be an international contest for best Trump insult.
This man has information at his fingertips, yet he will believe something someone tells him based on his desire to believe it. That might be an OK policy for your tinfoil-wearing crazy uncle sharing memes created by Russian trolls on Facebook, but it’s a huge flaw for a president. Presidents, especially in military situations with lives at stake, should work on actual information, not on what they want to believe.
Trump also used the deaths of soldiers to once again attack Obama. How is this supportive of the military? How is this honorable? How is this patriotic?
Former chairman of the Republican National Committee Michael Steele hypothesized that Trump was caught flat-footed by the question. He wasn’t prepared, didn’t expect to be called out on it, and since he hadn’t actually done anything yet, went to his greatest hits which is to attack Obama. Trump had not called the families or written letters to them yet. He said he was going to do it later in the day (two weeks after), and his defense for not doing it yet was to create a lie that other presidents never did what he was going to eventually get around to doing.
There are reports that Trump doesn’t ever call families or write letters, and that he throws it off on military commanders. I’m not sure how comforting it would be for the families to receive a garbled letter written with crayon anyway.
The next time someone talks about Republicans being more patriotic, better at defending America, or how they love the military more than you do, ask them for proof. That old guy in the bar, ask him how he knows this? He said he had to vote for Trump because his son was in the military. I can’t think of a better reason not to vote for Trump. I wouldn’t want to put anyone’s lives in Trump’s tiny piglet fingers, less enough a family member’s.
I’m in favor of Trump playing more golf. Maybe the more time he spends on the back nine will be less time he is asked to make important decisions. Better yet, I think he should take an early retirement for golf. Voting against Trump was a vote for the military and those who serve. If you voted for Trump, you failed at protecting America. Getting Trump out of office now will be the best thing for the military and all Americans.
It’s the patriotic thing to do.
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