I thought I could get through this election with beer. Then Trump won the nomination. Then I thought I could get through it with hard liquor. Now we’ve got Democrats positioning themselves as the Party of Patriots. Where do I go to cope with that? The Netherlands?
It’s not true that Trump has “trash-talked” the troops in his spat with the Khans, of course. (Telling people last year that McCain’s not a true war hero because he got captured, now that’s insulting the troops.) This is self-serving spin from Obama but it shows you why the left and the media are so interested in Trump bickering with a Gold Star family. It’s a proxy fight over patriotism, and Democrats are counting on disgust with Trump as their ace in the hole this fall to help voters forget for a few months that they’re also deeply disgusted with Hillary Clinton. (“On Rust Belt bus tour, Clinton casts the election as a referendum on Trump,” reads a WaPo headline this morning.) Convince a working-class voter that the other candidate is unpatriotic and there’s a fair chance his disgust will put his vote in play for you. That was the point of the Democratic convention. Convince him that the candidate is unpatriotic while that candidate is criticizing a fallen soldier’s mother and you’ve potentially struck electoral gold. Obama’s doing his part here.
One could argue that “trash-talking” the troops does less damage to them than letting them die on VA wait lists, neglecting readiness for their units, and sending them into harm’s way year after year in an aimless war in Afghanistan. But that might be unpatriotic.