Trump and the people who elected him owe our veterans an apology.
George Washington and the Continental Army did not oust Britain from the 13 colonies so Trump could let a Russian autocrat dictate our foreign policy.
Stephen Decatur and the US Navy did not vanquish the Barbary pirates so Trump could collude with foreign hackers — the pirates of our time — to plunder the intellectual property of American institutions and individuals to sabotage a democratic election.
Andrew Jackson did not defend New Orleans from foreign invaders in 1815 so Trump could submerge the city under the Gulf of Mexico while denying the reality of climate change.
Abraham Lincoln and the Grand Army of the Republic did not defeat the Confederacy and end slavery so Trump could win election by whipping up white racism against African Americans 151 years later.
Ulysses Grant and the Union Army did not crush the Ku Klux Klan in the 1870s so a coalition of clueless and hateful Americans could vote for the Klan-endorsed presidential candidate in 2016.
President Woodrow Wilson and the American Expeditionary Force did not make the world safe for democracy so that our democracy could make the world less safe.
In World War II, our GIs did not fight genocidal Fascists that so that Americans could seventy years later elect a Fascist who scapegoats minorities.
Our armed forces did not contain Soviet expansion for forty years during the Cold War so Trump could capitulate to Putin’s bid to reconquer his neighbors and reconstruct the Russian Empire.
American soldiers have not contained totalitarian North Korea for 66 years so Trump could emulate the Kim family’s nepotism, narcissism, impetuous smack talk, and indifference to human rights.
The US did not welcome exiles from Communist tyranny throughout the Cold War so Trump — and other gutless and heartless Republicans — could refuse refugees from the Middle East.
Operation Desert Storm did not roll back Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait so that Trump could endorse Russia’s seizure of Crimea.
Bush the Younger and Obama did not carefully distinguish between a War on Terror and a crusade against Islam so Trump could alienate and antagonize 1.6 billion Muslims (23% percent of the world population).
Trump knows the meaning of Veterans Day. Early in the primaries, he declared himself the most militaristic candidate in the presidential race. He said, “I’m good at war. I’ve had a lot of wars of my own. I’m really good at war. I love war in a certain way. But only when we win.”
He knows more about ISIS than the generals.
Trump sees POWs as losers; he likes “people who weren’t captured.”
Despite dodging actual service in the Vietnam War through several student deferments and a fishy medical excuse, he braved “real danger” by engaging in decades of promiscuous sex despite the risk of venereal disease: “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.”
Because he has survived comparable horrors, Trump knows the difference between “strong” veterans who “can handle” the “horror” of “war and combat,” as opposed to veterans who suffer PTSD: “a lot of people can’t handle it.”
I thank our veterans for their service. Although I staunchly opposed Trump throughout his candidacy, I regret not doing more to stop his Fascism. Going forward, I vow to work harder to stop him from betraying your past and present service and sacrifices.