When Bill Clinton was elected president of the United States, Republicans and many veterans were livid that a draft dodger was now the commander-in-chief of the nation’s military. Imagine the outrage they would have expressed if Clinton had joked about awarding himself the Medal of Honor. Imagine if Obama, who wasn’t of military age during the Vietnam War, had made similar jokes. For Donald Trump, they don’t just overlook his thinking-out-loud about awarding himself the military’s highest and most prestigious decoration; but they hand him their own medals.
During the 2016 campaign, a veteran handed Trump his Purple Heart. Instead of respectfully turning down the offer because he’s not worthy of such an honor, Trump took it and said he “always wanted” a Purple Heart. That statement shows Trump’s immaturity and flagrant disrespect for the military and its veterans. Nobody goes in wanting a Purple Heart.
On Wednesday, Trump told a group of veterans that he wanted to award himself the Medal of Honor. He said the only reason he didn’t move forward with it is that his advisers told him he didn’t qualify to receive such an award. He said, “Can I give it to myself anyway?”
If Trump wanted to win a medal for military service then maybe instead of seeking deferment after deferment for attending school and imagined bone spurs, he should have signed up for military service.
Donald Trump dishonors the military and veterans just as much as he dishonors our nation and our allies by wanting to award Vladimir Putin with a spot in the G7, the group of the world’s largest economies.
If anything, there should be talk of adding South Korea, China, India, and Brazil to the group before Russia because each of those nations has larger economies than Putin’s oligarchy.
Putin was kicked out of the group, changing it from the G8 to the G7. He wasn’t kicked out by President Obama as Trump claims. He was kicked out by the other members for his taking Crimea from Ukraine. Despite Putin not changing his tactics, attacking democratic nations’ elections, and remaining in Crimea, Trump wants to reward Putin with a spot among the world’s largest economies. Even Boris Johnson thinks it’s a bad idea. Hopefully at some point during this weekend’s summit, someone will use the word “absurd.”
Trump doesn’t just exhibit disrespect to our friends, allies, and veterans. He displays a total lack of knowing what respect is. In the process, he’s once again showing he’s Putin’s puppet. Trump may have been joking, but you can expect to hear him bring the subject up again.
If a donkey can pin the tail on itself, then a puppet can pin a medal on its string-puller. Trump couldn’t disrespect the Medal of Honor any more by pinning it on Putin than by giving it to himself.
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