Trump’s brand of aggressive pseudo patriotism and the “America First” rally cry comes with the assumption that he’s an advocate and supporter of our troops. His record shows otherwise.
Trump has a long history of disrespecting the military. His former lawyer testified that he made up an injury, bone spurs, to avoid serving in Vietnam. In a July 2015 interview he said in reference to war hero John McCain’s time as a Prisoner of War, “I like people who weren’t captured.”
As president, he has successfully blocked legislation intended to help veterans. This year he vetoed a bill designed to promote debt forgiveness for veterans who had been defrauded by predatory schools. The budget cuts he and Republicans proposed in 2017 hurt veterans and their families. His continued attacks on Medicare and other social programs would defund services veterans and their families rely on to cover medical bills and put food on the table. 1.7 million veterans rely on Medicaid. 9.3 million veterans rely on Medicare. Almost 1.3 million veterans participate in SNAP. And the proposed cuts to these programs aren’t designed to help with efficiency or to fund other programs that have a better impact–these cuts are designed to help offset tax breaks for the wealthy.
More recently, two huge scandals have dominated headlines. First came the report that Russia offered bounties to Afghan militants to kill US troops, something Trump was briefed on in late March. The White House has yet to authorize any retaliatory or preventative steps.
The second scandal came earlier this month when the remarks from his canceled 2018 trip to the Aisne-Marne American Cemetery became public. The president claimed the trip was cancelled due to the inability of the secret service to get him there in the rain but is later quoted as saying to four senior staff members, “Why should I go to that cemetery? It’s filled with losers.” On the same trip he also is later reported as referring to the 1,800 marines who died there as “suckers.”
Trump both looks at our men and women in the service with contempt, disrespecting them both through numerous comments and actions and through harmful budget cuts and legislation that directly impacts their lives. The military and this country deserve a leader that respects and appreciates service to the nation and the sacrifice of its members.