I am anti-war. I think at least 95 percent of all armed conflicts the US has been involved in were avoidable and only served to secure resources for private industry.
But I also know that many people join the military because they believe, and are told, that they are defending our freedom. Buddhism has taught me that intention is as important as action. In other words, why you commit action is equally important. Buddhism also taught me about atonement, but that is not why I am writing this post.
I am against war, violence, and killing other humans, yet I still have respect for people who join the military and fight in foreign wars. I have met some great people who are or were in the military. I have met some shitbags as well. The military can help shape the person you are or drive you to misunderstand freedom and liberty (and what you are fighting for). I come from a military family where some of my family are good people and some are complete shitbags. But that is a story for another time.
I am writing this because we have a president who does not understand sacrifice. He does not understand why someone would join the military. This president thinks transactionally, which explains a lot about him. President Donald Trump thinks that anything someone does should result in a gain, otherwise that person is a loser. This alone explains why he will suck the dick of any dictator. This alone explains how he rationalizes his own behavior, the lies, the hostility towards the poor, the corruption, and cronyism.
Trump’s immediate denials of his treatment of veterans and soldiers is not happening because he does not agree with the statements attributed to him. He is vehemently denying saying these things because he wants to win re-election mand continue reaping the rewards of being the leader of the free world. He likes power and money above all other things. He has also usurped constitutional authority in unprecedented ways; piece by piece, seemingly daring us to stop him. In fact, Trump has goaded his “Base” to violently defend his actions and words.
I am also sure that Trump realizes that once he is out of office, he will face legal battles the likes of which he has never fathomed before. These facts lend credence to my belief that if Trump wins a second term, he will drastically alter the structure of our democratic republic to allow him unprecedented power with no end in sight.
This post is not just about stopping this ignorant and power-hungry man. And make no mistake, Trump is incredibly stupid. But he is also driven to gain more power (and seems willing to share that with Putin). This post is about what I would do if I were president and faced with honoring veterans, soldiers, and the many graveyards that are filled with the fallen. I would be human. I would be able to muster words of condolence to the families and gratitude for service. I can do that because I understand why most people join the military and I know what it is to lose someone you love. I can do that because, regardless of ideological differences I can see the person or persons I am talking about. I have empathy and love.
When I say, “All Lives Matter”, I am saying it because to me, all lives do matter. Yet, in our society all lives do not actually matter. Therefore, racism still vibrantly exists, homelessness is increasing at alarming rates, immigrants are being separated from their children, immigrant children are being locked in cages and neglected or abused, opiate addiction is stealing our loved ones, and a pandemic is out of control in one of the wealthiest nations in the world. All lives do matter, but we cannot realize that ideal as a society until Black Lives Matter as much as anyone else’s.
If I were president, I would pay my respects to soldiers and veterans, regardless of the weather. I would do that because even though I would have critics and some of them would be those same veterans and soldiers (potentially, since I am a socialist and critical of military spending, aggression, and war) I would be everyone’s president. I know and understand that the job is not about pandering to your base and blatantly lying your way out of things. The job is to be president of the United States, for all people in the United States, and for the world.
For the record, I never want to be president of the united states.
Trump is incapable of this level of empathy. Trump is the least patriotic and the least human of all presidents. It is a sad day when I have to write these words in response to a lying piece of white trash disrespecting the office of the presidency, disrespecting the soldiers, disrespecting the veterans, disrespecting the fallen, disrespecting people of color, disrespecting the poor, and s[pitting on the idea of humanity.
I did not agree with everything John McCain said or did. Hell, I was going to vote for him if he had not selected Sarah Palin to be his running mate. And I am proud to say I voted for Obama rather than against Palin (it took me some time, but he won me over). However, John McCain came from a respected family and had the opportunity to be released from the POW camp he was imprisoned and tortured in. He chose to stay until all his men were also released. THAT is sacrifice. THAT is deserving of respect. THAT is why I will always speak fondly of McCain, even when I criticized something he said or did while in the legislative branch. Let us not forget that McCain, while on the campaign trail, corrected a supporter who called Obama an Arab. Trump would have piled on that racist baloney and incited violence towards his opponent. McCain did not do that, and I will forever respect him for that as well.
It is with a sad heart that I must talk about all of this because, not only do we have white trash occupying the White House, but because we have Americans who still support him violently.
Your vote matters, make sure you exercise that right in November.