Donald Trump’s speech last night played well to the uninformed and the militaristic side of America, as he was under control. I wish the media had the guts to call out Trump for his tasteless stunt of bringing out Carryn Owens (wife of Chief Petty Officer Ryan Owens, who died during Trump’s ill-advised raid in Yemen last month) for an extended applause while tears streamed down her face.
Of course, Trump didn’t have Carryn Owens stand so he could apologize to her. Instead it was part of his plot to enact “one of the largest increases in national defense spending in American history.” This makes me sick. We spend more on our military than the next seven highest spending countries combined.
So the United States doesn’t have money for the EPA, education, the National Endowment for the Arts, health care, NPR, or foreign aid, but we have plenty of money to kill more people (thereby assuring more of our own people will be killed as well). Is that what our country is all about now? Polluting the environment and killing people?
And for those who believe that the increase in spending is needed because the United States, as Trump says, “doesn’t win any wars,” you really need to understand why we don’t win. We don’t win because wars aren’t as simple as they are in a board game. If we didn’t care about civilian deaths or other unintended consequences, we could win every war. In a single day, we could turn the entire Middle East into nothing but melted sand. But, at least so far, we’ve been wise enough not to do that. More military spending does nothing to change the facts on the ground.
So while conservative Americans puff out their collective chests about making our military even more bloated than ever, I will continue to look at such thinking as unevolved. Someday, perhaps, if those of us who think rationally continue to speak out and show up at the polls, we, as a country can evolve beyond this madness.