Friday, October 20, 2023

Donald Trump insults U.S. military personnel in Iowa speech, and MAGA cultists cheer him on; and these people have the nerve to call themselves "patriots"?

Donald Trump and Gen. Mark Milley

Donald Trump this week disparaged U.S. military personnel during a campaign stop in Iowa, and his MAGA Republican followers cheered along with the insults. These people call themselves "patriots"? Imagine how repulsive they would be if they weren't such "patriots." The headline on a report from The New Republic (TNR) says all you need to know: "Trump Stoops to New Low With Comments About Military Officials." Oh, and don't forget the sub-headline: "Donald Trump's supporters broke out in applause as he trashed the military."

Reporter Edith Olmstead writes about the Iowa event at TNR: 

Donald Trump is trashing military officials as “some of the dumbest people” he’s ever met—and his supporters are lapping it all up.

At a campaign event in Iowa on Monday, Trump mocked General Mark Milley, recounting a story about disagreeing with the former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

“I don’t wanna tell you what I had to go through with these people—some of the dumbest I’ve ever met in my life,” Trump said, and was met with huge applause from the audience.

You can listen to a portion of Trump's comments, along with the response of his cheering supporters, at this link.

I seem to remember a time, not that long ago, when support for a presidential candidate, as reflected in polling data, would dip almost to zero if he insulted U.S. military personnel that way. But now, Trump gets away with it -- and the loons in the crowd cheer him on?
Here is what I don't get: I suspect it's the rare American family that does not have military service in its background. I know mine does. In fact, my father served at the site of perhaps the most iconic battle in U.S. military history. Am I proud of my father's service to our country? Yes. Am I aware that my life almost never got off the ground because of the danger my father was in while trying to help protect our Constitution, our democracy, our rule of law? Yes.
Here is more from TNR's Edith Olmstead about Trump's habit of insulting U.S. military personnel:
Trump’s trashing of Milley has been a recurring point since The Atlantic published a profile where Milley described how he “protected the Constitution from Donald Trump.”

In September, Trump posted on Truth Social accusing Milley of treason for speaking with Chinese officials about the U.S. election process, and implied he should be executed. “This is an act so egregious that, in times gone by, the punishment would have been DEATH,” Trump wrote.

Trump’s deranged post about Milley was cited as part of the reasoning for the second gag order placed on Trump by Judge Tanya Chutkan on Monday.

This isn’t the first time that Trump has made comments disparaging members of the military. Former White House staffer John Kelly confirmed that Donald Trump has called disabled veterans “suckers” and “losers.”

With his comments, Trump seems to be saying that he can't handle dealing with the military. Does that make him unfit to serve as commander in chief? Do our men and women in uniform deserve to be led by an individual who respects their service -- and their sacrifice? The answer to both questions is yes. And I have a solution to the problem: If Trump can't handle the military, he should withdraw from the 2024 race. We have four years of proof that Trump was a failed president the first time around, and evidence is mounting that a second Trump term would be far worse than the first one.

And what about the silence from the Republican Party? Is there a statesman in the whole bunch, who has the spine to stand up and say: "Donald Trump's statements about our military personnel are unconscionable, and it's way past time for our party to take a stand against him. I call for everyone in our party, at all levels, to reject Mr. Trump as our presidential candidate in 2024 and to demand that our party officials withdraw support for Mr. Trump and seek a candidate who is deserving of our respect and can truly lead our country."

"Our party has a long history of supporting the military. What would Ronald Reagan think of Trump's comments? He surely would be appalled. Going down the Trump path has been an enormous mistake, one that has hurt our party and hurt our country. We must get off that path, and we must do it now."

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