Call it a form of “stolen valor,” which happens occasionally when individuals claim to be more heroic in battle than they actually were, or they wear medals on their chest they didn’t earn.
Donald Trump’s effort to cast himself as a “wartime president” offends me on at least two levels.
One is that he worked diligently to avoid service during the Vietnam War, getting a physician to diagnose him with bone spurs. Millions of others of us from that generation didn’t have the wherewithal — let alone the inclination — to wiggle our way out of serving our country. So we served. I served! I am proud of my service, as infinitesimal as my contribution to the Vietnam War effort turned out to be.
Thus, for Trump to seek to be called a “wartime president” offends me at that level. It’s visceral, man.
The second level deals with the timing of the assertion he made. We are in the midst of a presidential election year. Donald Trump is seeking re-election. He wants to wear that label as a cynical political ploy to persuade voters that they shouldn’t want to elect a new commander in chief while we’re “at war” with a killer pandemic virus.
It ain’t the same as being at war with an enemy government, or a vast worldwide network of terrorist organizations.
Thus, Donald Trump, in my view, qualifies as the quintessential chicken hawk.
There. On this matter … I’m out!