The day Donald Trump promised to withdraw our troops from Syria, he pointed skyward—apparently invoking veterans who had fought and died—and proved yet again that he has absolutely no shame when it comes to exploiting Americans for political gain. That’s what “they” would have wanted, he said.
He and his bone spurs have no idea what “they” would have wanted, but let me hazard a guess: “they” would have wanted to stop the current situation in the U.S. where just over twenty veterans commit suicide every day, while the millions of dollars allocated to help them goes untouched because this president has not filled vacancies in the Veteran’s Administration. Outreach programs, even public service announcement advising veterans where help is available, have been curtailed.
The shamelessness of Donald Trump knows no limits—the venality of his recently shuttered “foundation” proves that—but there is something uniquely horrific about dishonoring the memory of people who have given their lives for a country whose very essence he is trying to destroy.
Yesterday Defense Secretary Jim Mattis resigned his position, leaving behind a letter that can be interpreted as nothing more than a scathing assessment of his putative commander, while Trump—like some modern-day Lear—raged about the castle screaming about steel slats on the southern border.
There have been countless dark days in this presidency, none darker than yesterday. But every time we think we have reached the bottom, Trump hands his flunkies more shovels, and we go a little deeper. And all the while—basically without public outcry—twenty more veterans will mark this day, December 21, as their darkest.