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The editorial cartoon for Dec. 28 – by Jeff Danziger of the Rutland Herald – shows a gigantic caricature of President Trump embracing two U.S. soldiers in full combat gear, complete with AR-15s. Caption: “Commander-in-Chief shares war stories with the troops.” Trump’s words: “Bone spurs to the right. Bone spurs to the left.”

The cartoon was hilarious but not for the reason that Danziger imagines. Is it really such a big deal that Trump never served? Obama didn’t serve, either. George W. Bush did, but never saw combat. Clinton didn’t serve – thanks to a deferment at least as spurious as Trump’s is imagined to have been.

And so on. And so on.

Our president during most of World War II never served. Of course, he had a pretty solid medical reason – but it’s not clear that he would have served in any case.

However, all this is idle carping. The really funny thing about this cartoon by Danziger – who did serve, and with some distinction – is the contrast it displayed when compared to actual photos of the troops as they met Trump in Iraq.

They loved him. They didn’t care that he never served. They didn’t care about deferments, exculpations, or bone spurs. They cheered as if for George Washington, posed for selfies, and asked the Commander-in-Chief to sign their MAGA hats. (Predictably, leftist pundits tried to get our nation’s heroes into trouble for even owning MAGA hats – that is, for having other-than-leftist political opinions.)

Reportedly, one service member even said he’d joined up because of Trump.

It was a scene to warm the heart. And it was the complete opposite of what surfaced in Danziger’s imagination.

Of course, Trump had two unfair advantages on this occasion. Number one, he was famous before he ran for president. (Second oppositional observation: Trump used his status as reality star to become president, whereas Obama used his status as president to become a reality star.) Trump might have been just as popular with the troops if he’d visited before he became president.

Number two, the troops were also meeting Melania – certainly the best-looking first lady in living memory, if not the best-looking of all time. Ouch. Troops like to meet women who look that good.

Please don’t consider this letter a complaint. I enjoy demonstrations of how out of touch the mainstream media can be. Keep them coming. They are food for my cynical soul.

Tom Riley

Napa

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