We should all gratefully honor our veterans — not just today, but every day — for their incredible sacrifices in defending our country and the United States Constitution. What baffles me is the 63 Republican members of the House of Representatives, themselves veterans, who support the presidential candidacy of a man who not only avoided the draft with a bogus medical condition, but as president refused to visit the American Cemetery north of Paris saying “Why should I go to that cemetery? It’s filled with losers.” This was confirmed by his former chief of staff John Kelly, a man the former president has vowed to arrest upon returning to office.
John Kelly enlisted in the Marines during the Viet Nam War, retiring as a U.S. Marine Corps general in 2016, prior to making the worst decision of his life.
Meanwhile, the former president has vowed to immediately terminate the Constitution upon reelection. That’s the same United States Constitution that every member of the armed forces takes an oath to preserve, protect and defend. That’s the same Constitution that every member of Congress has sworn or affirmed to preserve, protect and defend.
I would have preferred to not make this day an occasion for political advocacy, but the upcoming presidential election is filled with peril. It will decide the future of American democracy.
Patriotism is not about lapel pins and renaming French fries in the cafeteria. Patriotism means ‘love of country’ and our country is a nation of laws as embodied in our Constitution and its Bill of Rights. The Founding Fathers, having just overthrown monarchical rule, made it clear that in this new nation no man would be above the law.
(A minor additional point: I suspect that many of these House Republicans swore their oaths on a copy of the Bible. That makes them all oath breakers, condemned to Dante’s ninth circle of Hell, a frozen wasteland occupied by history’s greatest traitors. This is the lowest you can go . . . say hi to Judas Iscariot.)
This copy of the U.S. Constitution is on display in the State Library in the RI State House.