Patriotism

Imagine spending the 1960s, hobbled by bone spurs, dancing through the pain and dodging incoming STDs. That was Trump’s service to his country. It was ignoble, dishonorable, but somebody had to do it. And why not someone burdened by family money and a freedom from conscience.

It was this dedication to duty that has given the man the right to criticize. And he wasted no time in doing so as a presidential candidate.

Two men who aren’t as great Americans as Trump is. (At least in Trump’s estimate)

He pointed out that John McCain was not a hero. But rather a malingerer, who shirked his patriotic responsibilities by allowing himself to be shot down and captured. And then sitting out the next 5½ years at the Hanoi Hilton — probably by the pool.

Slacker.

And unlike other politicians, who just sat around listening to generals, Trump watched hours and hours of  ‘the shows’ to burnish his military expertise. Not for him a briefing here and there. But a solid three hours in the morning, another three at night – and weekends too. That’s dedication.

Not that everybody appreciated his effort. No matter how much he exerted himself — thinking of nothing but country — there was always some Gold Star family, like the Kahns, waving a Constitution around and shamelessly exploiting their son’s death to protest Trump’s pro-America policies.

Khizr Khan compounded his disrespect with the ridiculous charge: “You have sacrificed nothing. And no one.” To which I say: Let me refer you back to Trump’s service in the ‘60s.

Then Trump upped his game during the campaign by skipping a primary debate to host a fundraiser for veterans. He promised $1 million from his own pocket. How was it his fault that the check got lost in the mail? I’m sure he must have paid it by now — right?

As President, Trump has called the family of every American killed in combat — except for the ones he hasn’t. And they probably got a letter. And if they haven’t, they may well do so any day now.

Timeliness has always been a Trump hallmark. A mere two weeks after the death of 4 Americans in Niger he was on the telephone consoling the distraught. In one memorable moment of empathy, he assured the widow of Sgt. La David T. Johnson that the death of “your guy” was pretty much inevitable, as he “knew what he signed up for”.

Trump modestly denied he had been that compassionate — even claiming he had ‘proof’ he wasn’t that noble. But witnesses swore to his empathy.

Even though his regard of the new Gold Star families has been at a seemingly unimprovable level, Trump has on occasion shown another gear — as grieving father Chris Baldridge discovered. Moved by the sacrifice of his son, Trump promised him $25,000 — but wouldn’t you know, some damn-fool staffer forgot to put the check in the envelope.

Luckily, The Washington Post brought the error to the attention of a grateful President — and the White House assured the public that the check was going to be correctly sent out today.

As caring as he is of strangers, Trump is even more solicitous of his aides. He devoted some of his valuable media time to ensure his Chief of Staff’s son’s death was made a public spectacle. Obama may have been too busy playing golf to call the General — but Trump ensured the event got the press attention it deserved. And no doubt John Kelly is grateful to his boss.

And let’s not forget that while our President is calling  ‘all’ (in Trumpese that means ‘some’) of the families of dead soldiers, he isn’t letting his attention wander. He is also working his fingers to the bone to fight the scourge of unpatriotic NFLers exercising their free speech rights. Because that’s the kind of patriot he has been since he begged to be sent away to military school.

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Nationalism Isn’t Patriotism – But It Is Politically Useful.

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Conservatives spanked President Obama for not wearing a flag pin. Which raises the question, what does a flag pin signify? The wearer believes it’s patriotism. It isn’t. The pin is no more than a biker patch – his ‘colors’ if you will. The pin wearer declares himself to be no more than a nationalist wearing […]

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“You have attributed conditions to villainy that simply result from stupidity.” ― Robert A. Heinlein Conservatives celebrate the virtues of ‘fly-over country’ – home to Bubba and other small-town, ‘real’ Americans. The virtues of these landlocked folk are enumerated as common-sense, tradition, religion, patriotism and gun ownership. Does this celebration of the heartland bear scrutiny? […]

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If English Was Good Enough for Jesus, it’s Good Enough for America.

March 19, 2015

“You will generally observe that, of all Americans, your foreign-born citizens are the most patriotic – especially toward the Fourth of July” ― Herman Melville. A school in upstate New York caused considerable consternation by reading – as part of its celebration of ‘National Foreign Language Week’ – the Pledge of Allegiance in Arabic. As […]

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Real Americans

February 9, 2015

“I have always regarded as a stroke of good fortune that I was not born or brought up in a small American town; they may be the backbone of the nation, but they are also the backbone of ignorance, bigotry, and boredom, all in vast quantities.” ― Gore Vidal Mike Huckabee, in his book ‘God, […]

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Raven-Symoné Gives Us a Road Map to a Post-racial America.

October 22, 2014

I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character. – Martin Luther King, Jr. Oprah Winfrey is an inspiration to many. And she should be. Growing up in abject poverty, […]

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Let’s Sit This One Out – We Don’t Need to Fight Every Overhyped Pointless War.

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Is there anything that will stop the chicken-hawks from going to war? Is there a war so pointless that it will finally convince Americans to stay out of fly-specked desert hell-holes or god-forsaken jungles? I doubt it. President Obama finds himself in an uncomfortable place. Although far too young to have fought in Vietnam – […]

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You Won’t Spot Most Patriots – They Generally Don’t Wear Flag Pins.

August 25, 2014

“Patriotism is your conviction that this country is superior to all other countries because you were born in it.” – George Bernard Shaw. Patriotism is an odd sort of thing. It seems perfectly reasonable to cast your lot with your family and friends. After all you know them. And it makes sense to feel a […]

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