Stewart L. Beall: Our Manchurian president — a veteran’s perspective
November 14, 2017
"I only regret that I have but one life to lose for my country." — Nathan Hale, Sept. 22, 1776, hanged by the British for Continental Army Intelligence gathering.
Nov. 11 is my holiday, along with millions of other veterans beginning at Lexington and Concord, April 1775, continuing through today. After Ranger school in July 1968, I served in Vietnam from August 1968 to August 1969. I realize the turmoil caused in the United States by Vietnam, but I am proud I had the opportunity to serve our great Nation.
Thank you, Steamboat Springs, my home since 1971, for your warm recognition of American servicemen and women on Memorial and Veterans Days.
I was born near Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. School trips were Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell. I showed off, on a motorcycle, for a girlfriend. I took her riding in Valley Forge National Historic Park, the 1777-78 Continental Army's Winter Camp. I bleed the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution.
I was dismayed, again, when President Donald Trump, on Nov. 11, 2017, agreed with Vladimir Putin and expressed empathy for Putin being insulted about meddling accusations in our elections. He further called the former head of the CIA and National Security directors "political hacks, and the former FBI director a liar. How many Nathan Hales compile intelligence information — hundreds, thousands dedicated to our safety?
I saw both Manchurian Candidate movies and liked their fantastical, but thrilling, drama. I never believed that I would see a "Manchurian" President. He insults American public servants, the leaders and people of democratic countries, our allies, while praising dictators dedicated to the destruction of our democratic Republic.
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My values are different. When Donald Trump said John McCain was not a war hero because he was captured, he could not have shown more ignorance. John McCain refused early release from the "Hanoi Hilton" because he would not go home until all the captured were returned home. That is the definition of "hero."
I know, in my soul, if the President doesn't like captured, he thinks the service men and women that gave the "ultimate sacrifice" for our country are losers — pathetic.
“So nigh is grandeur to our dust,
So near to God to man
When Duty whispers low, 'thou must'
The youth replies. 'I can'"
"Voluntaries" by Ralph Waldo Emerson, 1863
Stewart L. Beall