Sacrifice: n. The act of giving up something you value highly for the sake of a higher value, as in, "the doctors sacrificed the patient's leg to save his life," or giving up one's life to save other people, as in, "the captain died saving the lives of his men."
This weekend there was a flap over Donald Trump's attack on a Mr. Khan, whose son, a captain in the United States Army, sacrificed his life to save soldiers in his regiment.
Mr. Khan pointed out that if Mr. Trump had his way, Mr. Khan's son and in fact the entire Khan family, would not be allowed to live in the United States at all.
Mr. Khan said Mr. Trump had not sacrificed anything for the United States, while the Khan family lost their beloved son, for the sake of the the nation.
Mr. Trump, it should be noted, did not respond by saying we should not make a hero out of someone who got killed for his country; Mr. Trump might have said "Hey, the hero is the guy who makes the other guy die for his country. The guy who gets killed is just a loser."
This would be something of a corollary to what Mr. Trump once said about Senator John McCain, who had been called a "war hero" for his actions as a Navy pilot and later as a prisoner of war. Mr. Trump disparaged Mr. McCain's war record as that of a loser--we should extol those who fight and do not get captured, not those losers who get captured. By extension, Mr. Trump would argue those who get killed are also just useless losers.
So we can give Mr. Trump credit for restraint.
On the other hand, Mr. Trump replied that he had, in fact, made many sacrifices, to build his hotels and his businesses. Presumably, he was saying what the successful businessman often says about how much time he has spent away from his family, all the "sacrifices" he had made as a business person.
But, of course, Mr. Trump was not sacrificing for his country; he was sacrificing for his own financial gain.
I suppose Mr. Trump has a point: Mr. Khan said Mr. Trump "had never sacrificed anything," rather than, "Mr. Trump has never sacrificed anything for his country."
|Nathan Hale. Fire that loser.|
The Donald's proclamation was not exactly "I only regret I have but one life to give for my country," but then again, the Donald would likely say, "What a sap. What a loser, giving his life for his country, when he could have built hotels, casinos or golf courses."
This is where the Donald does not play the Democrats' game: The Dems try to appeal to what they think are the heartland values of flag waving patriots, soldiers, people to whom you are supposed to say, "Thank you for your service."
But the Donald says, "Hey, what are you? A loser? Did you make a profit for our country, or for me? If not, you're fired."
Mr. Trump never served in our military; he got a deferment from service in Vietnam, when he was of age to serve. What he is saying, presumably, is he would have been an idiot to join, when he could be making money, living in beautiful places and dating beautiful women. What fool would have chosen to sign up for grunting through malaria infested rice paddies in steaming heat when he could be in bed with super models back in New York? No profit in Vietnamese rice paddies.
|Falstaff: There's glory for you. It stinks.|
Leona Hemsley once observed, "Taxes are for little people."
Mr. Trump has added, "Getting shot is for suckers."
|54th Massachusetts: Glory? What a bunch of losers!|
It mystifies Democrats, who are trying to figure out what white males in Ohio and Pennsylvania think, when they hear the Donald dismiss Mr. Khan, and his family's sacrifice as nothing more important than his own sacrifices for his businesses. After all, it's these high school educated white males who have had to serve in the armed forces because they had no way to avoid it, or no better financial options. Don't they cling to their guns and their religion and their sense of patriotism?
The military is very big on honoring those who served. When they die, the words: "Duty, Honor, Country" ring out. Mr. Trump says, "what losers." Democrats are stupefied when those white males all chorus out, "Amen, brother!"
Maybe, having been in the fight, they are as cynical as soldiers get about war and the "glory" of service and glorious death.
What would Mr. Trump say about Pat Tillman, who left a lucrative NFL career to join the Army after the 9/11 attacks, to fight for his country and was promptly shot to death in the confusion of a firefight , shot to death, it turned out, by his own fellow American soldiers?
Mr. Trump would, I am guessing, say Tillman was a fool and a loser to walk away from all that money, a fun career and a good life to join the Army. Was he really fighting for his country or for freedom? In Tillman's case, you have to believe he was fighting for an idea. He had no economic motive for joining the Army. But Trump's argument is: "How is fighting halfway around the world actually defending America?," Mr. Trump seems to be asking. Or at least, that's the implication. Well, Mr. Khan, your son has been played for a sucker, so he's fired. Or dead. Same thing. What a chump, says Trump.
Certainly, during the Vietnam years, a substantial number of Americans did not believe soldiers serving there were fighting for freedom or for their country. Now we have Mr. Trump saying, essentially, just that. You guys getting killed in the Army, well you are there because it was the best deal you could find. And if if you get killed, well that's just another version of "you're fired."
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