There are a lot of things combat vets don’t like: omelet MREs, running out of beer, ultra-light cigarettes – but I don’t know if anything tops our disdain for politicians. They’re the epitome of what famous Navy Seal Dick Marcinko refers to as ‘pencil-dicked paper-pushers’. Their canned statements and speeches unilaterally demonstrate that they care more about agendas and getting re-elected than they care about our lives or our success. Their plastic smiles get under our skin, their fake laughs and fake outrage make us nauseated. The bottom line is that we hate bullshit, and politicians have made a living peddling it.
We don’t generally suffer from the same outrage complex over insensitive comments or language that plagues the American public because we thrive on it; we communicate almost exclusively in insults. We mess with new guys to test and break them in, we screw with our friends to maintain bonds. Learning how to banter and develop thick skin is a primary barrier for entry into the platoon. If you can’t handle being part of the team then you don’t deserve to be in it.
It’s the polar opposite from political, especially liberal, culture. With liberals and politicians, running to the American people to tattle and act butt-hurt makes you popular and scores you points. In academia there are entire disciplines dedicated to inventing new and creative ways to be offended. Hollywood makes film after film attempting to convince us that weakness is a virtue and that being a victim is something to take pride in. It is 100% antithetical to everything we know and respect as Americans.
When Donald Trump took the stage during the debates we finally saw a man who had the raw honesty and banter that we could relate to. We saw a man who refused to play their game, who refused to be silenced for speaking like an actual human being. He said real shit, he said what everyone was thinking and no one would say in public. We are tired of people dancing around ‘radical Islam’, no shit it’s a problem. We are tired of people dancing around illegal immigration, no shit it’s a problem. We are tired of people pretending to be offended to silence their opposition and push their own agendas.
In the past it’s been the DNC playing that game exclusively, but when Donald Trump went after Republicans they stooped to the same, pathetic bullshit. They called him racist and xenophobic, they called him crass and whined about his temperament. Everything we hate about leftist tactics were adopted by Republicans, and they did not hesitate to utilize them while giving us nothing but repetitive, routine pandering.
When they attacked Trump for the exact reasons that we liked him, they effectively attacked us. They explicitly tried to draw veterans into it when he went after John McCain. I respect what McCain went through for our country but I’m not going to faint with outrage because someone dared to send some banter his way.
But really, screw McCain. He’s spent his years squandering the deference and respect he rightfully deserved to become more of a politician than a war hero. What disgusted us wasn’t Trump’s comment, it was the way Republicans and the media tried to manipulate us in the wake of it. What disgusted us were their attempts to pervert our sense of brotherhood for the sake of political profit via separation. We don’t appreciate using the respect and admiration we have for prisoners of war and Vietnam Veterans to pressure us into abandoning our beliefs and ideals.
Trump consistently spoke in defense of everything we care about in a way that we understand and relate to. He did not waver on strengthening our military, he did not waver on repairing the broken VA, he did not waver on protecting the 2nd Amendment, and he did not waver on combating ISIS and radical Islam.
When he consulted with the military it wasn’t with Pentagon bureaucrats but with men that warfighters respect and admire. “The Brass” or “Big Army” are the go-to individuals for the media, for politicians, for most of the public – almost everyone but the actual men and women on the ground fighting their wars. Donald Trump recognized that simple fact, acted on it, and in turn earned our respect. He didn’t ask us to change who we are or sacrifice our values, he embraced, embodied, and celebrated them.
When you stand shoulder-to-shoulder with men wearing the same flag, brotherhood becomes very real. Weather a few fights and your love for your men and country becomes a very visceral thing. Honor, loyalty, and duty stop being words or ideas and they become a way of life. America First is a given for most of us and it’s mind-boggling that there are Americans offended by the concept. Politicians and leftist professors spinning the idea as racist or bigoted is tragic and frankly unacceptable for anyone looking to govern Americans or teach our children.
Watching Trump stand in front of crowds of Americans, reminding them that it’s alright to love your country and to hold it above all others, gives us hope for our future. It reminds us that we aren’t alone- that the blood and sacrifice was for something real.
While liberals and leftist professors spend their time attempting to convince everyone that the nation-state is a figment of our collective imaginations, Trump reminds us that America is built on real principles and on the effort and sacrifice of real men and women. While the left tries to convince us that our loyalties lie with the color of our skin, our sexual orientation or what’s between our legs – Donald Trump reminds us that none of that shit matters. What held us together was the flag on our shoulder, always marching forward. We owe our loyalty to America and Americans, not whatever divisions politicians and professors use to conquer us.
We love Donald Trump for being the anti-politician. He thoroughly rejected everything that makes us hate politicians. Finally we have a leader that doesn’t grovel to weak men and overly-sensitive women. Finally we have a leader that doesn’t pander to liberal arts majors that make a living crying about nothing. Finally we have a leader that holds America in as much esteem as we do.
We did not just vote against the alternative, we voted for Donald J. Trump.