03:48:09 am on
Saturday 15 Dec 2018

Dishonouring Everybody
AJ Robinson


US Presidents on Thankgiving?

This week was a very special anniversary, it was Veterans Day; the centennial celebration of the end of World War I, the war to end all wars. This indeed was a special day.


The Great War

I remember my dad talking about The Great War, as he called it. He was a little boy at the time, 1914-1918, 1916-1918 for the USA. His mom used to tell him, “Clean your plate or you’re feeding the Kaiser.” My father definitely didn’t want to do that.

Then, after my father served in World War II and Veterans Day took on its modern name and associations, it had a deeper meaning for my father. He understood the sacrifices service men and women make, willingly. Not only the adage that “All gave some and some gave all,” but smaller sacrifices, too, little life events that they did and do miss.

We’ve all come to understand those elements of life. Think about the videos on sites, such as YouTube, where we see a returning veteran surprise a spouse, child, family member or even a pet; how they react. Veterans miss birthdays, holidays, anniversaries, graduations and so on. They do so with regret, but without complaint. It’s part of the job.

 

When their tour of duty has no meaning, as during the Vietnam Peace Action or more recently in Afghanistan or Iraq, when their deployment serves no purpose, that’s when I feel the need to speak out. The lack of purpose dishonours our service women and men. That’s what strains the meaning of Veterans Day.

Right now, on orders from the Great Orange, American troops sit at the southern border, with Mexico, doing nothing. They remain there for the near future. The Great Orange forgot to recall them after the election; their deployment was only a political ploy, now forgotten.

Those service personnel deployed to the southern border will miss Thanksgiving with their families. Now, as I said, service men and women have been dealing with that for years. In fact, presidents typically make surprise visits to the troops, on that day, to boost their morale and show leadership and solidarity with those loyal men and women.

What will the Great Orange do on that day? He may golf at Mar-a-Lago. He may do a little bromance maintenance, with Vlad or Kim, via an unsecure smart (sic) phone.


No sacrifice this or any year.

Yet, he finds it no great hardship to ask our troops to make that sacrifice this year. It is quite the figurative slap in the face to them to require it for no good reason. Trump sent those units to the border to stop a caravan, of mostly women and children walking from Central America to the USA, from entering our country.

He deployed troops to face invaders, as he calls them, for one reason: to excite his base. The caravan is a thousand miles away and walking. It will take weeks, maybe months, for them to arrive at the Mexico USA border.

Right now, as radio legend Dick Summer says, “It looks as if the caravan may arrive in time for Christmas.” The image is compelling. Heavily armed US troops squaring off against women and children armed with hope and good wishes.

There are also his lies regarding the caravan. They’re women and children. They will have walked almost two thousand miles. They will be exhausted when they arrive at the US border.

To hear the falsehoods spewed by Dumb Donald, you might believe ISIS and every terrorist group and criminal gang was with them. As well, he wants you to believe they carry almost every disease known to science. Finally, and this is the biggie, since the election, has he said or done anything more about these poor people.

Ultimately, the Great Orange has zero respect for the women and men that serve to protect America. He has no respect for anyone. Respect calls for at least a little empathy; the Great Orange has none.

If you think I’m too harsh with the Great Orange, here are other points to consider. First, he blew off a visit to a cemetery in France that was part of the centennial World War I observance; his excuse was that it was raining and the Secret Service didn’t want to drive an hour in the rain. Second, he didn’t attend the laying of the wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery, as he choose a foreign trip, instead; as of yet, there’s no excuse for this decision. Third, in his brief, ten-minute speech, in Paris, the Great Orange managed to insult the France so deeply its government formally accused him of lacking common decency.


An empty shell sits at the top.

The true feelings the Great Orange holds for our service men and women are abundantly clear. These feelings are as abundant as his respect and empathy, generally. That is non-existent.

Combining the gimlet-eye, of Philip Roth, with the precisive mind of Lionel Trilling, AJ Robinson writes about what goes bump in the mind, of 21st century adults. Raised in Boston, with summers on Martha's Vineyard, AJ now lives in Florida. Most of the time he writes, but sometimes he works at Disney World to renew his fantasies and get a few dollars more. AJ writes, with insight and passion, about his family and his dog. His liberal, note the small "l," sensibilities often lead to bouts of righteous indignation, well focused and true.

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