Whenever I hear Donald Trump discuss matters of service to country or commitment to something bigger than himself — if that’s possible — I always am left with the feeling of insincerity.
Such as when he talked about the bone spurs that kept him out of service during the Vietnam War. He spoke of that time with Piers Morgan, the former “Celebrity Apprentice” contestant with whom Trump is quite familiar. Trump is traveling in Europe this week. He sat down with Morgan, who’s now a British TV personality.
Morgan asked Trump about Vietnam, the war and the bone spur-induced medical deferment he sought and received to avoid service.
“I was never a fan of that war,” Trump told Morgan. He said the war was being fought “far away” in a land that few Americans knew about at the time.
Not a “fan,” eh? Well, I wasn’t a “fan” of that war, either. In 1968, though, I damn sure knew where it was. I knew what was going on there. I accepted induction into the U.S. Army that summer. I swore an oath to protect the nation, boarded a bus in downtown Portland, Ore., and rode about three hours to Fort Lewis, Wash., to begin my basic training.
I completed that training. I flew to Fort Eustis, Va., where I learned how to service OV-1 Mohawk surveillance aircraft. My training company got orders for South Korea. However, I stayed behind to take care of a medical matter. They canceled my orders for Korea. I got well, then volunteered for duty in Vietnam. The Army granted my request. I arrived in the spring of 1969, served my time there and came home.
Let’s remember that according to Michael Cohen, the former lawyer/friend of Trump who’s now in prison for lying to Congress, Trump once declared that he “wasn’t going to Vietnam.” Cohen said during a congressional hearing that he implored his friend to get ahead of the Vietnam story, but said Trump responded, “Do you think I’m stupid?” and then said he wasn’t about to serve in Vietnam.
Did he declare himself to be a conscientious objector? Did he cite deep emotional commitments to non-violence? Has he ever participated in marches against the war?
Let me think. I seriously doubt all of it.
Trump’s reported declaration to Michael Cohen serves as a Trump-like insult to those of us who did answer the nation’s call during that time of intense national tumult and turmoil.
Thus, when this clown says anything about that time in his life and its intersection with that time of national crisis, well, I don’t get even the tiniest hint of sincerity about his not being a “fan of that war.”