When Donald Trump was a little boy, his father enjoyed watching him fight back. That may be where he learned his guiding principle. As he told CNN, “If they screw you, screw them back 10 times as hard.” After he was a tot, that was not cute any longer. In fact, the president’s family was having trouble controlling him, so they sent him to military school. The future president loved it. The school did not remove his urge to fight back, but it did leave him with a great appreciation for generals.
Now, the man in the Oval Office has three generals surrounding him. They are Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis, National Security Advisor H. R. McMaster, and White House Chief of Staff John Kelly. In another administration, people would be concerned with so many military generals in positions of power. In this instance, these three men give the public a sense of comfort, because they instill a sense of dignity, ethics, order, and thoughtfulness.
However, all is not well in the White House. The president sent out a tweet that he was banning transgender military personnel from enlisting and from continuing to serve, if they were already part of the military. At first, Mattis indicated that a tweet was not a presidential order. After that, Trump sent him a real order that read no transgender people could enroll, and the country would not pay for any transgender-related medical services. He left the question of how to deal with people already in the military up to Mattis.
Mattis halted the order from going into effect. Instead, he released a statement of his own that indicated that the military had been studying the effect of the transgender issue and would continue to do so. Actually, one study has already been completed, and it concluded there was no statistically significant effect.
Trump refused to condemn the neo-Nazis’ rally violence in Charlottesville, Virginia, which resulted in the death of one woman, a peaceful counterprotester. Then five of the Joint Chiefs of Staff posted messages denouncing it on social media, indicating that the violence was diametrically opposed to the military’s chief values, according to the New York Times. Those individuals represented the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, and the National Guard. Left unanswered, the president’s reaction would have eaten away at the teamwork that is crucial to any military action.
The president never served in the military, even though the Vietnam War was in full force when he was of age to be drafted. He took four education deferments, and when those ran out, he took a fifth one due to a questionable bone spur. That was when most of his generals began serving in the military. Yet, 45 compared his time in military school to theirs. The New York Times wrote that the president told the author of his biography that even though he did not serve, due to his schooling:
‘(I) always felt that I was in the military.’
Trump said that his expensive military-themed prep school:
‘(Gave him) more training militarily than a lot of the guys that go into the military.’
The president attacked a Muslim Gold Star family while he was on the campaign trail and accepted a veteran’s real purple heart. Then, there was the incident of mocking the decorated Navy pilot Senator John McCain of Arizona. On the campaign trail, the New York Times quoted the billionaire:
‘He’s not a war hero. He’s a war hero because he was captured. I like people that weren’t captured.’
The biggest problem for Donald Trump, though, is that he thinks Mattis, Kelly, and McMaster are his generals. He does not understand that they work for this country.
Featured Images via Getty Images/Mark Wilson.