In the summer of 1968, The Vietnam War was reaching its bloodiest phase. Young and healthy American men were being called up in their thousands - drafted into military service. When the final arithmetic was done after the war, it was determined that over 58,000 had died. Many more bore injuries both mental and physical that would affect them for the rest of their lives.
But this was not an issue for Donald J.Trump. As a student at The Wharton Business School in The University of Pennsylvania, Trump had been able to defer the draft on four previous occasions but in the summer of 1968 he graduated and so the old excuse he had used was no longer valid. Instead, supported by his father, Trump claimed that he was suffering from bone spurs and should not be enlisted on medical grounds.
It worked. But the truth of the matter is that he never suffered from bone spurs. It was all made-up. Perhaps it was fear or a self-preservation instinct but Trump was not prepared to fight for his country. Like many other rich kids he dodged the draft - plain and simple. Trump's peers at The University of Pennsylvania hardly remember him and it is clear that he lit up no lights with his modest academic performance.
The family of the doctor, who provided Trump with a letter to obtain the medical deferment, stated that their father, a podiatrist, often told them that he issued the letter as a favour to Trump’s father. At that time, Trump’s father was the landlord of the podiatrist’s office building.
I recognise that nearly all of the above will be familiar to well-informed Americans. It will come as no surprise to discover that what Trump said he was and what he did is invariably at odds with historical reality. He is what in this country we used to call a romancer. Truth isn't top of his agenda and it never has been.
What I find quite flabbergasting is how a blatant and unashamed draft dodger could ever consider running for the highest office in America. In his position how could he even consider running to be mayor in some hick town in The Mid West. Wouldn't it be an automatic insult to all those boys who came home in body bags? And what about Trump's core supporters in their "MAGA" caps and pick-up trucks, how can they still cling blindly to their draft dodging hero? What could be more un-American than refusing to fight for your country?
By the way, as far as I can deduce, having a heel spur must be a rather painful condition but Trump never had one. He was athletic and as fit as a butcher's dog when he was twenty two years old. The truth is that he just didn't want to go to Vietnam.
50+ years ago dodging the draft was a defining action for many US citizens, many fled across the border to Canada, it was by no means limited to rich kids with daddy buying an excuse. Some of the US students that I met at uni were well aware of ways to avoid getting called up. Likewise, the anti-war sentiment cut across political lines, and I am sure that both Democrat and Republican parties have skeletons in their closets in this respect.ReplyDelete
But the thing is Will that the men you speak of did not later have the audacity to stand for president! There were no principles behind Trump's draft dodging He was just thinking about Number One.Delete
Probably ficticous bone spurs is not the only fictional ailment Trump has had.ReplyDelete
They say that he suffers badly from megalomania.Delete
Thing 45 is a bone spur on the heel of America.ReplyDelete
In the summer of 1968 I was about 3 months old and had more important things to do than listen to the news about wars in faraway countries; I was busy learning everything I could about how my four limbs work, how to get my parents' attention and to get to know the stuff my small world was made of.ReplyDelete
As for dodgers, I guess that many simply didn't see the point in that war - it wasn't really about fighting "for" (or in defence) of their own country, was it. Like Will says in his comment, anti-war sentiment was widespread. After the world had seen those two horrible world wars, who could ever want to go to war again?
All this makes of course no difference to Trump's weird (or none-existent?) relationship with truth.
I admire men whose consciences told them that The Vietnam War was just plain wrong and avoided the draft for that reason. But this was not the case with Trump. Besides, the morally driven draft dodgers did not stand for President.Delete
Because he was, is, and always will be, a coward.ReplyDelete
He sent the mob to the US Capitol but then watched it on TV, probably punching the air and grinning widely.Delete
What you're trying to tell us YP, is that not only is he a liar but a coward too.ReplyDelete
Yes. You have got the gist of it Carol.Delete
Well justice does still remain in America, the FBI are after him. Can you throw an ex-president in jail I wonder. He is a lowdown crook who needs bringing down, not sure about the draft-dodging caper. Remembering all the fuss and protests about Vietnam, some people had good reason not to want to fight.ReplyDelete
I remember my late father in law, asking some American friends to leave the house one evening when they started talking about American bombers bombing the Vietnam. It was so strange because he was a courteous man but he just stood up, asked the rather shocked Americans to leave and escorted them to the door...
What a great memory to have of your father.Delete
Unlike conscientious objectors.Trump was just thinking about himself. Years later when he said very precisely. "America First!" what he really meant was "Trump First!"
I have never paid much attention to the man but I watched a presidential debate when he was very obviously trying to intimidate Hilary Clinton. Then and there I knew he was sub-human. Lots of people have character deficits but he didn't bother to even try to look decent when he was being watched internationally. That's a special kind of dirty.ReplyDelete
The blind faith of his followers seems to know no bounds. Trump could be a mass shooter in a shopping mall and still they'd follow him.Delete
Not to defend Trump -- God knows -- but I can't blame him too much for dodging the draft to avoid Vietnam. It was an unjust war that had nothing to do with fighting for our country. Many, many people worked various schemes and contacts to avoid being sent to Southeast Asia, and in their shoes, I would probably have done the same.ReplyDelete
Why the MAGA folks seem so readily able to excuse Trump's draft-dodging is more of a mystery, but then, they're able to excuse many, many aspects of his odious personality. If Stormy Daniels and "grab 'em by the p---y" didn't convince them, nothing will.
Of course I admire the true conscientious objectors but Trump was not one of those. The Vietnam War was crazy but draft dodging seems to me to be unforgivable for any would-be President. His country asked him to serve but he refused and even lied about the reason.Delete
I think he has always been an ass and I look forward to the day when I don't have to read about him or hear about him anymore.ReplyDelete
It would be interesting to see say in fifty years time, how history has remembered Trump. I sincerely hope that there is no sugar coating.Delete
Bone spurs don't just disappear. Trust me, I know:)ReplyDelete
Trump is a shit stain on the underpants of America.