Yes, I’m late to this particular party. But Tom Kratman’s post to Donald Trump is something that he should definitely pay attention to. I’ve been in a strange position, personally, both disliking Donald Trump on a very deep level, and grudgingly accepting that I’d rather have him and a three-day old taco fart running the country than Hillary or Bernie. I have no horse in this election, to be honest with my readers here. Cruz? Maybe (he’s not so terrible). Rubio? No way. Kasich? Over my dead body. Trump? Well, I guess if I MUST. I’m very disappointed in the GOP, and that’s no great secret.

But leave all that aside for a moment. Tom Kratman brings up a very important point:

My first bit of totally unsolicited advice, in any event, is don’t ever again say anything even remotely like your alleged belief that your five years of military high school gave you more military training than someone who actually served.1 The sound you hear in the background whenever this comes up is the yawning of a million veterans, who just might have voted for you, deciding to sit this election out. It is preposterous nonsense, insulting to men and women who actually did serve, and, far worse, if you actually believe it, which I hope you do not, it is a very strong indicator that you’re completely unfit to be commander in chief because you will not know, and will refuse to admit, what you do not know.

Let me be perfectly clear on this. I come from a family in which I am the first male Railey to not serve in the military in our family’s known history. Even my mother was in the Air Force (yes, I know, there are heads shaking and face palming going on, but bear with me please). One grandfather was in Korea, the other was at Pearl Harbor and Midway. My father, my brother, my uncles… all military. Different branches all, mind you — we weren’t strict on that — but all military nonetheless.

I have studied military history for most of my life. It is, next to Byzantine history, the topic which most interests me. Mostly Western military history, mind you, stretching back to early antiquity. But I’ve been known to read other military texts, also. Most of my friends either are serving, or have served. My compatriot here at The Declination, who goes by KodeTen and is known to post a rant or two from time to time, is currently serving in the Army.

I grew up with this. I was as close to the military as a someone who did not serve could possibly be. I was a quintessential military brat. So when I say that there are times I just don’t understand military men, or military culture, or what it means to fight a war, understand my full meaning. And if I do not get it, I don’t imagine a few years of high school ROTC, or military school, or whatever the hell he actually did, is going to magically give Donald Trump a greater understanding of it either.

Honestly, this goes for any of the candidates, really. If you didn’t serve, that’s fine. There is no requirement for military service in our political offices (though whether there ought to be one is a different question). But, at the very least, find a man who really gets it, not some mushy political appointee, not a boot licker, but someone who has been in the shit. And get that man to advise you on military matters.

Tom Kratman explicitly tells us he doesn’t want to do it, unfortunately. But I’m sure someone can be found.

Trump would be wise to consider this for next time, before inserting his foot firmly in his mouth.

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