Note: I often go on little rants on Twitter when the mood strikes instead of writing things here. As such, I’ve decided to go back and pull the threads and change them into blog posts, if only so this blog doesn’t sit completely fallow between times when I decide to post things. Plus, it will allow me to finish some thoughts that might not have been complete due to character limits on Twitter. Check out the category “Twitter Rants” for all the posts like this. They will be posted on the date that I initially did the thread.
President Trump spoke at the commencement of the Coast Guard Academy today.
I find that service members’ favorite thing is for politicians to blather on about how hard they have it. https://t.co/3C4fWBW5LI
— timecapsulethief (@wesinjapan) May 17, 2017
This tweet prompted the following mini-thread on Twitter:
Not saying that POTUS needs to serve in the military, but they should be able to understand the sacrifice that SMs are making by signing up https://t.co/gpFetLkUCw
— Robert Eberhard (@GuruEbby) May 17, 2017
You can read it there, but I’m going to expand on some of the things I said below in a format that might be a little easier to read:
I’m not saying that any President of the United States needs to serve in the military. Chances are, in a post-draft era, we are probably going to encounter more presidents in the near future that decided to take other paths in life. But even if they didn’t serve, the should be able to understand the sacrifice that service members – like the Coast Guard Academy graduates (now Ensigns) – are making by volunteering and signing up.
President Trump had the opportunity to serve, but like many in his socio-economic class, was able to receive multiple deferments from Vietnam service. He has lived a life of privilege, and is complaining about the mean words people are justifiably saying about him. It comes with the territory. If he didn’t want it, he should have never left his NYC bubble.
He could still yell about things on Twitter and some people would still care about what he said, but he wouldn’t be directly responsible for the continued erosion of our political institutions. He’s still an old man yelling at clouds; he just has a much larger platform than even his best seasons on The Apprentice couldn’t replicate, with real world consequences for the things he says and does.
People could get hurt based on his words. Some of those ensigns in that audience are going to be tasked with patrolling the shores of this nation enforcing his policies. Some could potentially die. If Trump continues with his rhetoric and actions, our allies will stop trusting us. The longer we allow his behavior to continue, the harder it will be to come back and return to a sense of normalcy, whatever that will be in a post-Trump US.
Long story short, Trump needs to grow a thinker skin and stop complaining, or at least consider his audience before he speaks. The military is supposed to be apolitical, and while some in that audience may have supported him as a candidate, a commencement at a service academy is not the time or the place for the speech he gave. It could have been a message of overcoming obstacles to achieve a goal, which is the direction he seemed to want to go in. Instead, it turned into a whining mess about how he feels unjustly targeted by the media.
It’s going to be a long four years…
Until next time…