A Republican War Vet’s Angered Response to Bush, Perry, and Trump

I’m sure by now we have all heard the roaringly stupid remarks made by Republican Presidential candidate Donald Trump in regards to John McCain.

I like people who weren’t captured.

This was obviously a foolish statement for any Presidential candidate to make, let alone one who is running for the party of “God, guns, and the military.” The expected outcry from the Republican party was not quite as vociferous as I thought it would be. Then again, the hypocrisy from the current GOP is so staggering that I am often left to wonder if there is even room for critical thinking Eisenhower Republicans like myself left in the party.

I certainly haven’t voted for a Republican at the national level in a long time.

As a Marine veteran who served in both Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom, I’m quite put off by Trumps comments. I wrote on my facebook wall

Trump just lost any veteran or military support. I might not agree with McCain, but I respect him. He was a true hero and leader in uniform while captured.

To impugn a POW because he was a POW? That’s reprehensible and low.

McCain received nothing but accolades from the other POWs with whom he was captured with. McCain’s father was an Admiral and the US brokered a deal to bring him home early from the prison camp.

McCain refused. He would not leave his fellow POWs to rot in prison while he got to go home because he had a family with connections. He stayed for his troops.

Trump needs to be shamed by the veteran and military community.

While the veteran community came out in full force against Trump by the comments leveled against Senator McCain, so too came the Republican vanguard. Rick Perry and Jeb Bush, in a brazen display of hypocrisy, publicly shamed Trump for his attack against any who served in uniform.

Both of those gentlemen, however, were instrumental in supporting the same types of shaming efforts against John Kerry by refusing to speak out against the Swift boat advertisements, which questioned Kerry’s war record. I say this not because I like Kerry (I don’t), but because I don’t like people who pick and choose which veterans to defend. You either support us all regardless of political ideology or you support none of us.

One of them, Governor Bush, even wrote a letter thanking the members of the Swift boat campaign after his brother secured a reelection.

Swift Boat

The staggering hypocrisy from people who scream about veteran’s issues, honoring military service, and continually beat the drums of war while disregarding the same people in uniform by voting down legislation designed to help wounded warriors angers me.

I’m an Eisenhower Republican. I’m a Marine combat veteran. And I’m just disgusted at people taking aim at veterans. There are two ways this is done, and at least one of them is honest. Trump is honest. I can respect that. He’s a dirtbag, but he’s honest about it. He openly and brazenly attacks veterans, even highly decorated war heroes like John McCain. Scumbag move but I can respect the honesty.

Then you have career politicians like Bush (the whole damn family) and Perry who pretend to care about veterans, and jump into the fray to defend their honor when said veteran is a member of their political party. However, when it’s someone who doesn’t agree with their ideology, all bets are off.

The veteran community should be angry at Trump, but I think it’s more important to look at the people who wave flags and publicly support the troops one minute and then turn their backs on them when the cameras fade. That would be most of the politicians I have seen elected these days, and quite frankly many of them running for President.

Bush and Perry have displayed their true colors in the past and I think they should be held accountable for that. I’m not advocating negative attacks against them. I’m just asking for accountability.

*Disclaimer: Paul Loebe is the Co-founder of Veterans for Bernie Sanders*

H/T ThinkProgress

Featured Image: Wikimedia Commons

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