“The willingness of America’s veterans to sacrifice for our country has earned them our lasting gratitude.” – Jeff Miller
“I look at it, I view it as, in a sense, a wartime president. I mean, that’s what we’re fighting.” – President Donald Trump, referring to the COVID-19 pandemic in mid-March
“It was clear that the Veteran support was key to the victory of the Trump MAGA Movement.” – Veterans for Trump website
Fifty years ago, National Guard troops opened fire on Vietnam war protestors at Kent State University in Ohio. Four unarmed protestors were killed. Those protestors were voicing their opposition to America’s military being used to fight and kill people in a country halfway around the world—a country that had never attacked our nation. Whether America’s participation in the Vietnam War was justified is a topic for another article (read Jeff’s May, 4th, 1970). Evaluating our participation in that war is not my purpose here.
Instead, my purpose is to show yet another hypocritical inconsistency among Trumpists. Trump enjoyed widespread support from military veterans throughout his campaign, and onward since his election. Trump’s support from non-veterans who wave the same flag and chant the same patriotic choruses is likewise deep and wide. Many Americans now equate Trumpism with patriotism. And patriots do not protest against America’s involvement in wars.
Or do they? President Trump, the nation’s Commander-in-Chief, said he is “a wartime president,” clearly referring to the fight against COVID-19. The Trump administration’s federal guidelines for this COVID-19 war state, in part,
ALL VULNERABLE INDIVIDUALS should continue to shelter in place. Members of households with vulnerable residents should be aware that by returning to work or other environments where distancing is not practical, they could carry the virus back home. Precautions should be taken to isolate from vulnerable residents.
All individuals, WHEN IN PUBLIC (e.g., parks, outdoor recreation areas, shopping areas), should maximize physical distance from others. Social settings of more than 10 people, where appropriate distancing may not be practical, should be avoided unless precautionary measures are observed.
Yet now we see photos and videos of the new protestors marching on state capitals, carrying weapons, standing inches from guards, spewing spittle along with their angry outbursts. Yes, many, if not most, of these folks who now march, chant, and even imply armed insurrection over this war against a deadly virus adamantly opposed those who protested America’s involvement in the Vietnam War. Those Vietnam War protestors were unpatriotic, these new protestors proclaim.
So what would be the appropriate term for these new protestors who oppose the war against COVID-19?