I have tried to write this three times now.
There is so much B.S. surrounding the Trump Condolence Call Controversy that I keep getting sidetracked trying to include all of it. Here’s what I want to say: John Kelly is a dinosaur, and his defense of Trump is dishonest at best.
He says it’s a “sacred” thing to join the U.S. military. Of course he thinks so — he’s been in the Marines all his life. He doesn’t know better. All those young people have their reasons for joining, but it’s absurd to call it sacred. The army represents mankind’s worst failure — the failure to figure out a way to come together in peace. No doubt this was not on the minds of enlistees, but that just goes to show the pervasive influence of patriotic thinking.
Kelly and Trump have both said they knew what they were signing up for, but those kids couldn’t know what they were signing up for. No kid thinks s/he is ever going to die, much less get blown up or torn to pieces by machine gun fire. Snap out of it, General. They are not engaged in a “sacred” mission. Whatever they may think they are doing, you and I know they are defending our right to rule the world. I suppose you could call that a “sacred mission.” But honorable? Maybe not.
Kelly says the people around his son and the four who were killed two weeks ago were “the best people on earth.” How the hell does he know that? No doubt some were great people and some were assholes, but Kelly is telling us that simply by virtue of their participation in the U,S. military, they are sainted.
General Kelly also spent a little time waxing nostalgic about the place of women in the good old days, saying they were “looked upon with great honor.” Who knows why he brought that up, but could any public figure be more out of touch with the reality women have faced and continue to face in this country, from casual sexual harassment to unequal pay and treatment in the workplace? We have a long way to go in this regard, but even though we’ve made some progress Kelly seems to think women were better off in the past.
Kelly also took the opportunity to attack Florida Congresswoman Frederica Wilson on bogus grounds, which she easily refuted the following day with video evidence. To be clear, I don’t think he was lying about the congresswoman. He probably got misinformation from a staffer in the White House, someone who long ago lost sight of the difference between fact and fiction.
The victim here seems to be the good standing of General Kelly himself, heretofore seen as a stabilizing force amid the chaos of the Trump White House. At first he looked like the life preserver we could cling to for safety from the ignorant, childish president. Now it looks like he’ll be going down with the ship, too.