Another Reason Trump Isn't Fit to Be President

Yesterday, I dropped a tweet into the comments of the We Resist thread:

That quote didn't get much attention. And in the barrage of daily indecencies and indignities that define Donald Trump's despicable presidency, it's understandable that his boasting about how he has Made the Troops Proud Again registered as a mere blip on the radar.

But I have been thinking about that quote ever since I read it.

It's not that I believe it's impossible some military veterans are prouder now that Donald Trump is the president. Of course that's possible. (Especially since there are white supremacists in or veterans of the U.S. military, including neo-Nazis.) And it bothers me that some veterans are pleased to have an authoritarian white supremacist as their Commander-in-Chief.

But it bothers me even more that Trump bragged about it.

Trump often makes incredible claims about things people have told him, which no one else seems to have ever heard anyone say. So we have no idea if there are actual, living, breathing veterans of the U.S. military who looked their president in the eye and told him they are much prouder these days, or if Trump asked some vets he met an inappropriate question about their levels of pride and they murmured whatever they thought they should, or if he made up the whole thing altogether.

But it doesn't really matter — because more important than whether it was a lie is the fact that he would say it at all, even if it were true.

Because Trump isn't just flattering himself here; he's insulting President Barack Obama (again). Implicit in his comment is that U.S. military veterans couldn't be proud of the former Commander-in-Chief. (There's also the parallel implication that they wouldn't have been proud if Hillary Clinton had won.) They weren't so proud "last year at this time," but now they're "so proud once again."

This is just an extraordinary thing to say. It is something that Presidents of the United States just don't say. Ever. I cannot recall a sitting president ever saying anything even close to the suggestion that veterans did not respect their predecessor.

It is aggressively disrespectful to insult a former president this way, and it is aggressively disrespectful to use veterans to do it, and it is aggressively disrespectful to the office he holds.

There are so many reasons that Trump is unfit to be president, and here is yet one more. He has no respect for his office, which has always been abundantly clear, and further no respect for the discretion regarding its other inhabitants required to ensure the continued respectability of that office.

It's not that presidents are disallowed from criticizing other presidents — although, truthfully, that is very rare outside of campaigns. But what Trump is doing is not "criticism." It is a smear.

It is a smear designed to suggest that the military did not respect its first Black Commander-in-Chief, and wouldn't have respected its first female Commander-in-Chief, and only now that they are once again being commanded by a white man has their pride truly been restored.

That is ugly. That is not presidential. It is sinister.

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