President Trump gave a Thanksgiving day speech to American Armed Forces today, but one retired general called his remarks “insulting” in an appearance on CNN.
Retired Lt. Gen. Mark Hertling, a CNN military analyst, said that Trump’s speech, focused on the economy, recent military successes, and tearing down his predecessor’s legacy, “would not have rung very well with me had I been a deployed soldier.”
“We’re really winning. We know how to win. But we have to let you win. They weren’t letting you win before,” Trump said to the troops.
General Hertling explained why he thought the troops would react negatively to the President’s self-serving comments:
“We have been winning. You’re talking to soldiers and military personnel around the world who have been in this fight for 17 years, and to suddenly be told they’re winning now when they weren’t winning before is somewhat insulting.”
Hertling says that the typical soldier, sailor, and marine are pretty much unconcerned about the stock market and the general state of the Wall Street-driven economy. Instead, they want what Trump seems to think he deserves but never wants to dole out: thanks for their service.
“The comments about the economy and where the economy is growing, deployed soldiers don’t want to hear about that, they want to hear, ‘hey thanks,’” he said.
The extent of the tone-deafness of the President was further demonstrated when he told the members of the U.S. Coast Guard at a station that he visited a bit later after his speech that the Coast Guard “brand” had improved since their work during the hurricane relief efforts in Texas, Florida, and Puerto Rico.
In case you’re listening, Mr. President, service members don’t work for a “brand”. They work for our nation. These are people all willing to do what you’ve never done: put their lives on the line in service to the American people. This is not a business and it’s not a competition. Your failure to keep this in the proper perspective is the reason why you are so completely unqualified for the job that a minority of the American people voted for you to do. Any retired general can see that.
You can watch General Hertling’s commentary below.