Does President Trump Really Love The Military?

Ethan Suquet/Guest Columnist

On FIU’s campus and across Florida, we pride ourselves on being the most military-friendly state in the nation. We value the bravery of soldiers and veterans, and have implemented many laws, programs, and benefits to help support military members within our community. Among these protections are pro-bono litigation for civil service matters, health insurance and less restrictive absentee voting. We recognize the sacrifices our military makes to keep us safe, and these protections are meant to serve as a thank you for their service.

But as FIU students and all Floridians celebrate the military, our president consistently treats them with disrespect. In 2015, Trump infamously said Senator John McCain “was not a war hero” because he got captured. In a matter of seconds, Trump belittled the five and a half years McCain spent as a prisoner of war.

As a draft-dodger, it is clear that Trump knows nothing about sacrifice. But McCain respected his fellow soldiers so deeply that he turned down the chance to be freed early because he knew he was not the next man in line to leave. He underwent years of torture in order to honor his country and stand by his fellow men. For Trump to not only diminish, but ridicule, McCain’s service to our country is evident of his immoral character.

Unfortunately, Trump’s attacks on McCain did not end there. He ridiculed McCain for graduating “last in his class” (a false claim—he actually graduated fifth from last). Following the senator’s death, Trump spent the better part of a year attacking the dead war hero, demonizing him for voting against repealing the Affordable Care Act. By continuing to belittle McCain even after his death, Trump revealed his lack of compassion that has poisoned his presidency.

Continuing in his cruelty, Trump outraged veterans and conservatives alike when he chose to abandon the Kurds in Syria. This decision left the Kurds, our longtime allies, open to attacks from the Turks. It also meant that, with a tweet and hardly a thought, he was saying to all the Americans who had served and were serving in Syria: What you fought and died for doesn’t matter. This betrayal leaves a taint on Trump’s character, but it also has lasting implications for the future of America’s foreign relations.

Trump’s lack of loyalty to the Kurds will cause other countries to hesitate in trusting America in the future. It plants seeds of doubt in the minds of our current allies. By going back on his promise to the Kurds, Trump has left us vulnerable on the international stage. His lack of character and poor leadership puts the lives of our soldiers at risk.

With each moral failure in office, it is clear the only thing Trump is willing to fight for is his own political survival. 

Trump’s immorality has been offensive to civilians, but it has been disastrous for our service members in Afghanistan. When Russia placed bounties on the heads of American soldiers, Trump did nothing. He ignored his briefings in an act of carelessness, and then refused to confront Putin out of cowardice. Our soldiers – brothers, sisters, mothers, fathers, wives, husbands – are being targeted and Trump didn’t talk about it because “many people said [it] was fake news.”

Trump does not care about us. He is unwilling to fight for our soldiers or our country. With each moral failure in office, it is clear the only thing Trump is willing to fight for is his own political survival. 

As the party of constitutional values, Republicans know how important it is to elect a leader with strong morals. We value honor and decency, and we expect our president to lead with these values. Unfortunately, throughout his presidency, Trump has proven to be a man devoid of character. The list of his moral failings towards our military is endless, and, as a Floridian, I find this unacceptable.

Given the devotion by past conservatives to elect honorable and decent men to the presidency, it is unsettling to see so many stand firmly behind a president with such well-documented moral failings. In 2020, it is time for us to get back to these lost roots.

This election, we must band together as a campus and as a state, and stand by our military servicemen. That means rejecting Donald Trump at the ballot box.

Ethan Suquet is a sophomore political science major at Florida International University. He is also the Regional Director for Southeastern Florida at the American Conservation Coalition.


The opinions presented within this page do not represent the views of PantherNOW Editorial Board. These views are separate from editorials and reflect individual perspectives of contributing writers and/or members of the University community.

Featured image from Johnny Silvercloud on Flickr. 

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