What Trump got wrong, and what he got right. (Follow the links in the headlines.)

Trump’s prepared remarks on D-Day were excellent (June 6):

Give President Trump credit. His prepared remarks on the 75th anniversary of D-Day were eloquent and inspirational. His words represented the United States quite well.

Any president who speaks in Normandy faces the tall order of trying to live up to former President Ronald Reagan’s 40th anniversary D-Day address (“These are the boys of Pointe du Hoc”), which to my mind is one of the greatest speeches ever given in the English language. The comparison is not a fair one, because sequels can never have the freshness of originals. What a sequel can do, though, is to add texture and resonance, while renewing the lessons and depth of feeling that came before.

Trump’s words succeeded splendidly at that task. The president did a great job of telling individual stories of courage and perseverance….

Two Vietnams: Trump acts like a heel. A hero healed others. (June 5).

President Trump’s comments Wednesday about his lack of service in the Vietnam War are among the most offensive remarks imaginable, especially in comparison with the service of a guy I know who served in a particularly honorable, perhaps even heroic, way.

Here’s what Trump said, to excuse his almost certainly bogus use of “bone spurs” in his feet to be adjudged physically unable to serve: “I thought it was a terrible war. I thought it was very far away, and at that time nobody ever heard of the country. So many people dying, what is happening over there? So I was never a fan.”

So, because he was not a fan, he thought it was okay to avoid the draft that ensnared others far less privileged than he, by claiming bone spurs that made such an impression on him that now he can’t remember which foot was affected.

Well, the guy I know, one who went on to great professional accomplishment, is almost exactly Trump’s age. He graduated college at the same time as Trump. He, too, thought it was a terrible war…. [But in a way entirely opposite from Trump, he chose service — in an inspirational way. Read on]


Tags: , , ,