Monday, July 27, 2015

Trump Leads Chickenhawk Nation

Recently soldiers I serve with have become public fans of The Donald for Commander in Chief.  At first I thought they must not know how much Chickenhawks like him despised soldiers in the 1960s.  Then I realized they don't care.  They were born after Viet Nam ended and have no idea what it was like to live through that war.

During the Viet Nam War, our nation had a military draft.  If it worked, which it did not, anyone between 18 and 26 years old could be called to serve his country for two years.

Unlike World War 2 when many young men clamored to join the ranks, during Viet Nam most middle-class and rich kids from the northeast and the west coast avoided the draft through deferments.  The Donald had five such deferments.  Mitt Romney, Dick Cheney, Bill Kristol, Rush Limbaugh, Bill O'Reilly and many other Conservative leaders decided not to serve.

And because the war was unpopular, they were barely making excuses.  Cheney had better things to do.  For others it was the "wrong war."  Really?  There are American soldiers fighting.  Are you an American?

The draft is a zero-sum game so for every draft dodger who did not go, a poor kid who could not afford deferments went in his place.  More than 50,000 soldiers died in Viet Nam.  Hundreds of thousands more were wounded or afflicted with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.  Whoever took The Donald's place is as likely as not dead, wounded or suffering from PTSD.

When I bring this up, one reaction is Bill Clinton dodged the draft.  He did.  But he did not go on to urge more war.  Many people I grew up with sang "give peace a chance" in the 60s and are still to the left of Bernie Sanders today.  But the "peace people" who became Conservatives once their draft eligibility ended are simply cowards.  They let someone else serve in their place and became Hawks once they were safe from actual service. 

I can understand why people who define their world by who they hate would love Trump.  But how can people who have made the military their career vote for a guy who despises service.  Trump thought people who served in Viet Nam were chumps when he got his five deferments.  The glib way he dismissed John McCain says Trump thinks no better of soldiers now.


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