“Wouldn’t you want a female president?” she asked, almost pleading.
“Yes!” I exclaimed. “But not her! She’s responsible for Benghazi,” I spouted defiantly.
Those words echo with me to this day.
Four years ago, I was sitting in a journalism classroom on USU Eastern’s campus, debating the validity of Donald Trump being president.
In 2016, I was a few years out of the Army from a hypermasculine and confrontational environment. So, I assumed that was the best way to live and therefore the best way for a leader to behave. I could not have been more wrong and for that I am sorry.
I am sorry that I was unable to differentiate between war and peace, because while that devil-may-care attitude may be beneficial in a chaotic situation, it does not fit well in a position that requires thoughtfulness and patience.
Trump has shown neither, he pulled the U.S. forces out of a region of Syria that was both tactically and geopolitically significant to the U.S. and its allies.
But Trump did not care, he was more worried about how it looked on TV. His top generals advised adamantly against it and when Trump went against the advice of his top military advisor, retired general and now ex-secretary of defense, Jim Mattis, resigned immediately.
I am sorry that I blindly followed a political party that would support and obvious authoritarian such as Trump.
Being in the military, we only saw those that we thought served us and our survival best. The Republican Party was throwing money at us for gear and training, and in no small part was this responsible for my survival in the three different combat tours I went on in the Middle East.
I was unaware of the blindness that my party would exhibit when following Trump’s orders.
I am sorry that I was a charismatic proponent of Trump. I feel partially responsible for this political chasm in this country created by the hate speech and rhetoric of the man who is supposed to unite us as a country. His blatant siding with hate groups and the social media sensation and conspiracy theory Qanon.
These actions have torn to the very fabric of our society, so much so that the idea of America as a prosperous place where huddled masses come to reclaim their lives and strive for better now has become an isolated hot bed of hatred racism and bigotry.
And I am sorry for my part in being a willing participant in his disbursing messages of corporatism, while over 170 million people died due to his lack of response and proclamation of hoaxes and plots directly against him, the world’s richest companies have nearly doubled their wealth.
While Jeff Bezos, owner of Amazon, became the first person to amass a fortune of $200 billion, 25 million people filed for unemployment and millions are being evicted from their homes.
While Elon Musk becomes the third richest person in the world, food banks are running out of food for the starving.
The gap between the wealthy and the poor has grown to catastrophic proportions, yet Trump says the economy has never been better.
A true and fair country should measure its success on how it treats and views its poor, not how well it idolizes and worships its rich. We have lost sight of that and for that I am truly so sorry.