Dangerous precedents

Trump's recklessness could lead to a civil war (after the clown show turns ugly)

A loud-mouthed, lying bully is protecting and shielding a war criminal. In addition to being many things, this behavior is reckless and sets a terrible precedent. As a veteran, I have an obligation to speak out. President Trump is playing with fire that he doesn’t understand. This will end poorly.

War is horrible and takes a huge toll on the men and women who volunteer to go. Eddie Gallagher may have, at different moments, served as a hero and a villain. We all do. That is part of the human experience. What is not up for debate is that Gallagher posed with a corpse. Perhaps that is not the worst thing a warrior can do. Maybe it isn’t even inappropriate. That isn’t the core issue here. Gallagher was Trump’s recklessness is the core issue and he shows us, the citizens he is purportedly supposed to be looking out for, over and over that he is a fool.

My job isn’t second-guessing what happened in the moments leading up to Eddie Gallagher posing with a dead body. My job is second-guessing the person who tells us, “I would bring back waterboarding, and I’d bring back a hell of a lot worse than waterboarding.” The man who thinks torture is an effective warfighting tool seems clueless about the realities of the world; torturing someone does work if you just want them to say anything you want to hear. That’s not truth, but maybe that is the world Trump wants to live in.

Trump does not respect the rule of law or the people who serve the United States of America in a professional capacity. Systems that have been built and refined over long generations to ensure that fairness and facts matter and expectations, standards, morality, and equity are applied across the ranks as equally as possible are now being shit on by a bombastic cult leader without a single iota of rational consideration.

That is what makes him so dangerous. Trump has shown us over and over that he will throw anyone under the bus if it serves his whim of the moment. He’s shown us over and over again that he does not care about the health and welfare of Americans or about their collective interests. All loyalty is to Trump and anyone who gets in the way of what Trump wants gets sacrificed without a moment’s pause. That undermines morale and disincentivizes those who serve in harm’s way (something Trump knows zero about as he is a coward).

Speaking publicly for the first time in an interview with the New York Times, former sniper Chris Shumake said Gallagher’s case “has blown up bigger than any of us could have ever expected, and turned into a national clown show that put a bad light on the teams,” adding that Trump is “trying to show he has the troops’ backs, but he’s saying he doesn’t trust any of the troops or their leaders to make the right decisions.”

People do bad things in war. I know. I’ve lived in war zones and served the United States both in and out of uniform. When Trump undermines the processes of military justice to serve his own political will, he’s damaging the infrastructure and systems that have made the American military the dominant fighting force in the world for more than five decades.

If you know someone who still supports this demagogue, I urgently encourage you to use whatever means necessary to change that person’s mind. Before we go down a path that ruins the American dream in the name of one mentally ill orange man’s ego.

Allowing Trump to continue even one more day in the office of the executive is foolish. He was never fit to lead in the first place, and we need to take a hard look at the system that allowed him to ascend to the executive. Unfit for office. History will judge all who enabled him harshly.