Has the Military had Enough of Trump?

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We’ve been told for years now that the military loves the current president. Well, if the latest poll from The Military Times is any indicator, it appears that narrative might be a pipe dream, at least as it pertains to active-duty members.

Based on results from 1,018 active-duty troops surveyed in late July and early August, nearly half (49.9 percent) had an unfavorable view of the current president, compared to about 38 percent who had a favorable opinion. Even more disheartening for the White House’s current occupant, a whopping 42 percent said they “strongly” disapprove.

And when asked who they would vote for in the 2020 election, Joe Biden had a slight lead – 41.3 percent to 37.4 percent. That’s right, Joe Biden, a Democrat, leads an incumbent Republican president in a poll roughly two months before one of the most critical elections in our nation’s history. You’re probably right to assume that alarm bells are going off in the West Wing.

Because folks, not only has the current president touted his ‘strong’ approval from the military, but the Republican Party as a whole has always puffed out their chest as being the party of choice for service-members – consistently a significant and robust historical base of support.

In previous years, the party’s assessment of such a strong base of support has played out. In 2012, a non-scientific poll had Mitt Romney favored over Barack Obama by a 2.5 – to -1 margin. In 2016, an October poll showed Donald Trump with a 2-to-1 margin over Hillary Clinton, although roughly a third said they would vote for a third-party candidate.

To be clear, the Times notes that the survey is not a perfect snapshot of public opinion within the entire military force. For example, more than 59 percent of officers said they have a poor view of the current president, while 47 percent of enlisted members said so. And it’s also more than probable that if you include retired members, those numbers might look a bit better for him.

But these numbers are troubling nonetheless. We know how the current president loves to talk the talk – that he’s been fabulous for the military, loves them, and is taking care of them better than any other president in history. Many of us out here in the real world know that’s a bunch of bloviating hyperbole.

So what’s the deal? Why is this particular president so unpopular with active members of the military?

Yesterday, Jennifer Rubin of the Washington Post wrote the following in an op-ed piece explaining why the military may have soured on him.

There are plenty of reasons that military and ex-military might dislike Trump, who famously got five deferments to get out of serving in Vietnam. Trump failed to confront Russian President Vladimir Putin on bounties put on the heads of U.S. troops. He has smeared the intelligence community, betrayed national security by extorting Ukraine, used the military as props for border security, attacked our NATO alliance, groveled before Putin, abandoned the Kurds when bugging out of Syria, pulled troops out of Germany and attacked voting by mail – a principal way in which troops overseas vote. He commuted the sentences of convicted war criminals, an insult to every military man or woman who upholds his or her oath. He smeared and removed Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman from his White House post after testifying truthfully about Trump’s call with Ukraine’s president. He skipped a commemoration ceremony for those killed in WW1 because it was raining. He used the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen. Mark A. Milley, to try to legitimize his gassing of peaceful protesters.

You get the idea. Like the rest of America, many service-members, active and non-active, are sick and tired of this presidency. The idea that Donald J. Trump loves the military is a joke. He thought nothing of dissing the late Senator John McCain, saying he likes people who “didn’t get captured.” He similarly went after gold-star Pakistani-American parents Khizr and Ghazala Khan, who lost their son in combat in 2004. There are countless other examples.

Maybe it’s all finally catching up to the so-called commander-in-chief. Perhaps the folks who risk their lives for the country have had enough. The overall military indeed skews conservative. It’s been that way for years. But that doesn’t mean they’re blind to reality. They see what goes on every day in America – on our streets and in our homes. We all know about the chaos and incompetence. Indeed, those in the military do as well.

And when you look at what the current president has actually done for and to the military – not what he brags and boasts about – it’s hard not to think that the man doesn’t give a rat’s ass about our men and women in uniform – unless he can use them for his own personal and political benefit.

The Military Times poll is, of course, a snapshot in time. There are still two months to go until the election, so those numbers could quickly turn the other way for the current president. But make no mistake, he can’t be happy about it, nor can anyone working on his campaign.

Time is running short for the current president. He’s down in the national polls overall, and now we have the recent Military Times poll saying the same thing. What could he possibly do in the final two months to tip the scales in his direction?

When a tyrant has his back against the wall, he’s capable of anything.

20 comments

  1. Also, remember back in 2016 when he pledged to donate $1 million to a nonprofit group helping veterans’ families, then didn’t pay up? He eventually did, after being shamed in the media about trying to renege, but it took several months.

    Good post, Jeff, and I hope that by November 90% of the military are fed up enough to vote for Biden!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thanks Jill and thanks for the reblog!
      Me too. I think Biden might do better than any Dems have done with the military, at least in recent modern times. I think many of them, current and retired, are just plain sick of all the crap. All the stuff I mentioned in post, and many that I did not, like your example. If he can bleed just a few percentage points off of the overall military vote, I think it could really make a difference. My God, I’m still flabbergasted that he still is in the low 40s in support. How in the hell can that be?

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Yeah, and while he was teetering on the 40% line just two weeks ago, his “acceptance speech” at the RNC has given him a boost to 43.5% last I looked. Still not a lot, but far more than he deserves! What the Sam Hell is wrong with the people of this nation???

        Liked by 2 people

      2. The question for the ages. Here’s the thing too, as far as the new reporting about him disparaging the military. He’s already denied it, of course, and his cult will not give a shit. Everyone else is lying. The media is fake. They’re all out to get poor King Don. These people are nuts.

        Liked by 2 people

      3. Everyone else is lying.

        From his supporters POV, these are the words they cling to. They long ago took a mental picture of who and what he is — and nothing that anyone says or does is going to change that image. Even if he did the 5th Avenue thing he bragged about … it would totally be the other guy’s fault.

        Liked by 2 people

      4. I am quickly losing faith in humanity, my friend. The rabid 40% have not, it would seem, the capability to think, to reason, to calculate the consequences of their actions. So long as he promises to get enough conservative judges on the Supreme Court to overturn Roe v Wade, it seems they don’t care about anything else.

        Liked by 2 people

  2. Jeff, thanks. I used your Military Times statistic in my most recent blog. Trump also hid the fact that about 70 soldiers had concussion or worse after Iran bombed a site following our assassination of their general. And, he seemed to not care that Putin put a bounty with the Taliban on US soldiers. I do not know why this did not get more air play. Then, using the military on US shores is just a misuse of power. Keith

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I hear you Keith. Like I said in my post…there’s just so many more examples of him dissing the military. I really do think a sizable majority have had it with him. He may try a few things in the next 60 days to try and curry favor. I just don’t know what it could be though. The damage has been done.

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      1. Jeff, now there are two corroborating pieces that have Trump calling the captured and killed losers and suckers. This may or may not be true, but given what he said about John McCain, publicly and his attacks on a Gold Star family, they are believable. When he said McCain was not a hero because he was captured, he was given a chance to correct that statement by the moderator. He doubled down on it. He is now saying he did not later call McCain a “loser” but the audio evidence exists. Keith

        Liked by 1 person

      2. One could make audio and video recordings of Trump and he would STILL deny his words and/or actions. It’s simply part of his nature.

        And yet . One does begin to wonder if he even remembers what he says. More so as he advances in life …

        Liked by 2 people

      3. Nan, Jeff, we do know he said McCain was not a hero for being captured. We do know he ran down a Gold Star family for daring to criticize him. We do know he threw his intelligence folks under the bus to side with Putin in Helsinki (by the way a Republican Senate Committee just confirmed Putin was lying and said the Mueller report was correct, but failed to mention a link between campaign chair Paul Manafort and a Russian agent.

        He did call McCain a loser, which is now denying, even though it is recorded. That was payback for McCain saying what Trump did in Helsinki was traitorous. McCain was right. Trump, of course, was wrong. Keith

        Liked by 1 person

    1. I think it’s yet another example of the autocracy we find ourselves in. And, if we do not defeat him, he will only be that much more emboldened. I fear for our country Scottie.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Hello Jeff. I agree. I just wonder what / who is driving this? We can be 100% sure that tRump is not reading the Stars and Stripes, so who is it that is pushing this? Is it coming from the military brass, or from civilian tRump cult members? Hugs

        Like

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