Trump's political crisis is not COVID-19, but the military
The President’s recent disrespect to the military comes with its repercussions, no matter how strong he had perceived its alliance to be.
It’s a weekly deal Americans have lamentably gotten used to. The president has once again said something outrageous.
But Donald Trump's recent comments on the military sit differently, for many reasons. And for once, his remarks have the capacity to come with real repercussions leading up to Nov. 3.
It began with an article published in The Atlantic, that the President of the United States, according to a number of unnamed sources, referred to fallen and captured U.S. service members as “losers” and suckers.” Not only that, he also reportedly asked that wounded veterans be kept out of military parades and out of the public’s view.
Trump denies he ever made such statements, despite confirmation by Fox News, and the Associated Press. “Everyone Knows It’s True,” The Atlantic reported again, with an in-depth report of Trump’s most glaring “middle fingers” to the military throughout his presidency.
Despite the bad press, the president is showing no signs of stopping. He continued his attacks on the military on Labor Day, accusing military leadership of waging wars to boost the profits of defense manufacturing companies.
“I’m not saying the military’s in love with me — the soldiers are, the top people in the Pentagon probably aren’t because they want to do nothing but fight wars so that all of those wonderful companies that make the bombs and make the planes and make everything else stay happy,” Trump told reporters at a White House press conference.
His comments come as several defense officials have told CNN that the president’s relationship with Pentagon leadership has become tense.
These are not relationships the president wants to lose with a general election less than two months away, especially as Trump’s administration and campaign is already navigating an unprecedented situation: A once-in-a-lifetime pandemic that no one could have expected.
One could argue his situation would be much stronger had the pandemic not happened, or rather, had his administration approached the situation with more urgency at the start of 2020.
Now, he faces scrutiny at an all-time-high because of his handling of COVID-19 — his first and perhaps only true test of leadership.
What the world has learned is the president is not equipped to respond to such a situation, and his ever-changing cabinet has also failed in advising adequate steps forward. Now, the U.S. continues to navigate a situation from which parts of Europe have already moved past.
But with these recent reports of Trump’s disparaging remarks towards the military, the President faces perhaps a more pressing issue to his campaign: Military support.
Veterans are now divided upon hearing the comments Trump made towards the military, with some service members irked by the remarks and others questioning their truth despite multiple sources of verification.
Reports from as far back as the 1990’s are resurfacing, cementing the presidents’ history of disparaging military service.
He once even attacked a man many now consider a hero, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), for being captured while serving in the Vietnam War. McCain died in 2018.
“I understand what The Atlantic reported is probably painful for the president to hear, retired Maj. Gen. Paul Eaton told the Military Times, “But it’s not a surprise to anyone in uniform after watching how he behaved towards Sen. McCain.”
The president has no respect for service men and women of the United States.
He is the Commander-in-Chief of the U.S. military. The very premise that he would make such remarks on the consequences of selfless service demonstrate that this line of duty is beyond his comprehension.