President Donald Trump was blasted on Saturday for "performative patriotism" as he claims to support the U.S. military, but uses the troops as "props."
"President Donald Trump isn't the first president to use the military as a prop, but it's become clear that he's the most brazenly cynical in doing so," Anthony L. Fisher wrote in a Business Insider column.
He reminded how Trump invoked killed-in-action Army Staff Sgt. Christopher Hake and Sgt. 1st Class Townsend Williams at his State of the Union address.
"To recap: Trump used a Gold Star family as a prop to boast about an assassination that he ordered, then followed it up by using another family in a made-for-TV stunt to extol the sacrifices made by 'extraordinary military families,'" he explained.
"Nationally televised tributes to military families are lovely gestures, but by using what should have been a humble show of respect to a widow and her child to justify a military action he ordered, Trump explicitly politicized a soldier's death," Fisher noted.
"Trump loves to bask in the reflected glory of veterans, but his tune changes as soon as military personnel don't conveniently fit with his narrative," he explained. "Throughout his decades in public life, Trump has epitomized the idea of hollow, performative patriotism."
The commander-in-chief's actions are part of a pattern.
"He's had a lifelong love affair with military pageantry. Despite receiving five deferments to avoid serving in Vietnam, Trump said he felt as if he truly was in the military because he attended an upstate New York military prep school," he reminded. "He's repeatedly touted the idea of military parades. As an adult, he was known to swoon in the presence of high-ranking generals."
"So while Trump attempts to use the military to polish his political credentials, he does so only when it suits him. When it doesn't, the president insults the dead, brushes off the wounded, uses the living as political pawns, and venerates the war criminal. It's a perverse way of showing respect for the military," Fisher concluded.
Trump loves to bask in the machismo of military cliches, but his "respect" for those in uniform is hollow. When vet… https://t.co/GECS4eKy2e— Anthony L. Fisher (@Anthony L. Fisher)1581188701.0