Last week’s newscape was dominated by President Donald Trump’s comments to the widow of a fallen soldier, Sgt. La David Johnson, who was among four US soldiers killed in Niger. In a call to Sgt. Johnson’s widow, Trump was reported as saying “He knew what he signed up for,” a statement that is insensible to the highest degree.
Even if not intended with disrespect, it still shows the ineptitude and absence of empathy possessed by Donald Trump. After vehemently denying the report and claiming that he had proof of its fabrication, Trump was once again caught in a lie when Sgt. Johnson’s mother confirmed the conversation and said the President had disrespected her family. These reports were appalling to say the very least, but should not come as a surprise to anyone.
During the Democratic convention last summer, Khizir Khan, father of a fallen soldier, spoke about then-candidate Trump, asking him to read the Constitution in reference to Trump’s proposed ban on Muslim immigration. Trump responded by berating the Gold Star family’s religious views in a callous attack that, frankly, should have been the final straw for Republicans.
This was not the first time Trump had degraded those who have made great sacrifices with the military. Early in his campaign, Trump claimed that John McCain, who suffered extreme injuries at the hands of his captors as a POW in Vietnam, was not a war hero because he was captured.
This statement would be horrific for anyone to say, but its cruelty is magnified by Trump’s own personal cowardice. When his country called his number five times, he received five draft deferments and weaseled out of serving in the Vietnam War. In a 1997 interview, Trump called himself a brave soldier for avoiding STD’s, which he referred to as his personal Vietnam.
Donald Trump’s disrespect of military members, especially those who offer critiques of him, is unbecoming of the Office of the President. Those who make the ultimate sacrifices for the United States deserve not only our deepest gratitude, but also our reverence. Donald Trump has repeatedly provided neither, proving that he is unfit for the role of Commander-in-Chief.