A bomb goes off and kills an Army officer. It also pierces the heart of his family, and it should also pierce the heart of the nation when it becomes known. Apparently it does not pierce the heart of Donald Trump.
The mother and father of the fallen are to be questioned in their motives rather than honored in their grief. It seems that Mr. Trump has a list of religions that do not rise to the level of American.
Instead of seeing the people who become Americans as Americans, he seems to conflate terrorists with anyone he doesn't understand.
The exception would seem to be our own homegrown terrorists with guns, who are characterized often as of Christian background. Shall we begin to bar incoming Christians?
Let me be clear that I am not naive about terrorism. Nor am I overtly anti-guns. I am, however, deeply opposed to not giving proper deference to those who serve and even more disgusted by disrespect for their grieving families.
And by “serve,” I mean those who take time out of their lives to train, leave home, go to others states and other nations prepared to fight and kill and die for us and our form of government. They make a sacrifice.
I do not include in that category anyone who, as Mr. Trump, said about himself, “works really, really hard,” nor even when “creating thousands of jobs.” This is not sacrifice. It is part of the package sacrifice buys for all of us. Many things that are hard do not equal sacrifice.
Mr. Trump keeps telling us exactly who he is, and many are not listening. The dislike of Hillary Clinton runs so deep with many folks that actually paying attention to what he tells us about himself has been replaced with a blind and deaf attitude.
Disagreement on Federalist vs Republican is fine. But when someone thinks that working is sacrifice, that all nonwhites are a threat, when a woman in grief becomes a question mark about the rights of Muslim women, enough is enough.
The hatred-fueled rhetoric about our “failed” country — which, by the way, is not failing — is his motto.
What reality are we in? Change is not failure, even recessions are not failure. They come and go with some regularity. Our military is the best in the world, and jobs are growing, slowly, but growing.
On top of Mr. Trump's disrespect of fellow Americans, recently on ABC News he revealed, by his poor answers about foreign affairs, that he was unaware that the Ukraine had been under Russian control for over two years.
He speaks in terms of near-adoration for Mr. Putin. Mr. Putin, who rolls over his neighbors, may well sanction the killing of journalists and longs for the return of the KGB in full bloom.
Mr. Trump admires him. That should trouble everyone who does not want to see Europe have a despot on its borders. Mr. Trump implies that he would do nothing to help those countries. Nice. Good thinking. There surely can be no way that those actions could have an adverse effect on the USA, right?
So. Here you have a billionaire who has “sacrificed” for his country by working, not serving in the military or even in lower government positions. Here you have a man who reveres Putin but does not revere Gold Star parents talking about their son and their frustration with how he speaks about their faith. Here is a man who does not know what Russia is doing. Here is a man who tweets with rancor at the least criticism. Diplomacy should be a snap for him.
He sent me over the edge by disrespecting Mr. and Mrs. Kahn, who chose our country as theirs — who gave the life of their son so that we may keep our lives unrippled by depravation and real threats and can enjoy peace at night.
They know the meaning of sacrifice. Trump’s acknowledgement of that came after his attack, side-by-side with his little dig at Muslim women. Mrs. Khan’s initial silence spoke of her grief and her sacrifice and her support of her husband, who could find a shaky voice.
Trump yells like a bully and lacks substance and principles. He attacks what he does not like. As Mr. Welsh said to Joe McCarthy:
“You’ve done enough. Have you no sense of decency, sir, at long last? Have you left no sense of decency?”
Joyce Reehling lives in Pinehurst. She retired here from New York after a 33-year career in theater, TV and commercials.