Trump’s Equivalent of Vietnam Service

Why would any veteran support Donald Trump as the next Commander in Chief? Unlike Ted Cruz, he has no interest in rebuilding the military. His leftist rhetoric regarding the Iraq War makes a mockery of those who fought in it. It is doubtful that many take his robotic and insultingly shallow “go vets” rhetoric seriously, or that they enjoy being exploited as props. It is still more doubtful that they respect his Vietnam service, or rather, what he has passed off as the equivalent:

Draft-dodger Donald Trump once said that the danger he faced from getting sexually transmitted diseases was his own “personal Vietnam.”

In a 1997 interview with shock jock Howard Stern, Trump talked about how he had been “lucky” not to have contracted diseases when he was sleeping around.

“I’ve been so lucky in terms of that whole world. It is a dangerous world out there. It’s scary, like Vietnam. Sort of like the Vietnam-era,” Trump said in a video that resurfaced Tuesday on Buzzfeed, “It is my personal Vietnam. I feel like a great and very brave soldier.”

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As for the actual Vietnam,

When Trump had his chance to join the military and fight in Vietnam, he did not take it. Instead, the rich kid got multiple student deferments from the draft and a medical deferment. Meanwhile, men like John McCain were being tortured as prisoners of war, but Trump has said that is dishonorable.

“He’s not a war hero,” Trump said of McCain last year. “He’s a war hero because he was captured. I like people that weren’t captured, OK?”

Despite or rather because of his contemptuous attitude, Trump thinks he can dupe vets into backing him.

Since running for office, Trump has made a show of fundraising for veterans—offering veterans groups six-figures to be props at campaign rallies. But when vets groups have stood up to him, refusing to be dragged into the campaign, scores of Trump fans have sent them vile and harassing messages.

The fundraising efforts are for show. As of Sunday, only three of the 22 groups he supposedly raised funds for had received any money. His site looks like a scam; The Federalist has reported that all funds donated “to help our Veterans” go to his personal foundation.

Before he was running for president, Trump treated vets even worse:

In the 1980s, Trump tried to have disabled veteran street vendors thrown off Fifth Avenue, accusing the Vietnam-era soldiers of ruining how the street in front of Trump Tower looked. Before his presidential campaign, Trump’s charitable foundation gave more to the Clintons than to veterans organizations.

But now that he is a candidate, he is bending over backward for the vets:

In July 2015, Trump announced that he would be setting up a hotline for veterans to share their stories about the need to reform the VA. Today, a call to the hotline leads merely to a voicemail box, which instructs the caller to send them an email.

We could do better for a Commander in Chief.

McCain and Trump, back in the day: quite the contrast.

On tips from Varla and Torcer. Cross-posted at Moonbattery.

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