In response to reports that President Donald Trump derided fallen U.S. soldiers as “losers,” the least I could do in protest was to change my Twitter photo.

And so I did. Gone is my aging face, replaced by the much younger me, dressed in my U.S. Army uniform for graduation from basic training in 1970.

I am following the recommendation of a much younger Army veteran, David Weissman, a Palm Bay, Fla., resident who served two tours in Afghanistan as an assistant chaplain.

I didn’t even get that close to combat during my two years in service, but I am grateful to those who did.

Four years ago, as he recently wrote in The Forward, he was “your average, conservative, pro-Israel Jewish American” who “was also a full-fledged, unapologetic, red-hat wearing Trumper.”

Back then, Weissman appreciated Trump’s support of the military in word and policy.


Not so much.

“I recommend all veterans to use their Military pics as a profile pic to let Trump know how many people he has offended by calling fallen soldiers losers and suckers. #NewProfilePic,” he tweeted last week.

I’m with you, bro.

Trump angrily denies the account in The Atlantic by Jeffrey Goldberg, the magazine’s editor-in-chief, which cites unnamed sources. The story said Trump called U.S. soldiers injured or killed in war “losers,” questioned the country’s reverence for them and expressed confusion over why anyone would choose to serve.

“It’s a fake story and it’s a disgrace that they’re allowed to do it,” Trump told reporters in the Oval Office. He insisted he respected the troops and denounced Goldberg’s sources as “lowlifes.”

Yet, parts of the story were quickly backed up by other reporters at The Washington Post, The Associated Press and The New York Times, which also cited anonymous sources.

But none appear to have torqued the president’s jaws like the confirmation that came from national security reporter Jennifer Griffin at his favorite channel, Fox News.

For example, she tweeted, citing an unnamed former Trump administration official, “when the president spoke about the Vietnam War, he said, ‘It was a stupid war. Anyone who went was a sucker.’ ”

Griffin also reported that Trump “just hated” Sen. John McCain and thought it was “not a good look” to include the “wounded guys” in a July 4 military parade.

Trump called on Fox News to fire her, but her colleagues who covered the White House defended her credentials and reporting.

They included Fox anchor Bret Baier, who pointed out a particular irony: Trump’s pressure to fire a journalist comes on the heels of his recent speeches denouncing “evil people” on the left whose “cancel culture” is “driving people from their jobs, shaming dissenters and demanding total submission from anyone who disagrees.”

Yeah. How about that, Mr. President? Is “evil” in the eye of the newsmaker?

I don’t need public confirmation of Goldberg’s quotes to believe them. I’ve seen enough of what Trump has said in public to give them credibility.

I saw enough back when Trump in 2015 belittled the heroic sacrifices of political rival McCain of Arizona, who spent five-plus years in a North Vietnamese prison. “He’s not a war hero,” Trump said. “He was a war hero because he was captured. I like people who weren’t captured.”

Those remarks, met with scattered boos from the audience, offered just a taste of what was to come from a candidate who thought such sentiments made him look “tough,” not just stupid.

But if Trump sounds a bit more hypersensitive lately, it may have something to do with polls that show slippage in his support among military personnel, despite the big defense budget increases he has won in recent years.

The Military Times Polls, surveying active-duty troops in partnership with the Institute for Veterans and Military Families at Syracuse University, report a steady drop in support by active-duty troops surveyed in late July and early August.

Among those surveyed, 41% said they would vote for Democrat Joe Biden if the election was held today. Only 37% said they plan to vote to reelect Trump

There’s still time for Trump to close the gap with this important portion of his base, though, short of a personality transplant, I don’t expect that to be easy.

(5) comments


Maybe if the reporters would name the anonymous sources they get their trash from a lot of the lies would cease to exist


I grieve this issue. My point is that we should stop basing conversation on ego myths like the war dead and maimed being winners, and start basing our decisions on factual reality like we apply in other contexts. That we have balanced mental scales as it were.


We've entered a phase where the left defins true as that which comports with their ego desires, and the right defines true as that which is existential fact. And so here we are. In volleyball, the person with the lowest score is the loser. In war, the guy who comes home with the fewest arms is the loser. See how that works? Sorry, it's true. Honoring the veterans and the military members is ensuring fewer losers long term. Holding up some cruciformed ideal in a parade is not honoring them. It's a grotesque festival to create more.


In other words, if Trump said it, it was true anyway. It takes a special kind of lie-making to claim some guy with an arm blown off wasn't the loser.


Such reports should be ignored. As a veteran, and as one who put his hand on the Vietnam Wall in Washington DC, I understand the truth. The Fallen in War are the losers. As the Bible says, a living dog is better than a dead lion. And we should not be setting up men with melted faces as an ideal for young boys to aspire to. On top of that military service drastically reduces lifetime earnings of white men. Then there is the moral crises experienced by some who see the mythology of America that they thought they were fighting for yanked away from them. The war dead are the losers. Let's start by accepting reality for what it is and stop using mysticism to succer young boys into dying pointlessless for American rich people.

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