Like a stopped clock, Trump is occasionally right. I don’t see much to disagree with in this statement:
When you talk about the mental health problems, when people come back from war and combat — and they see things that maybe a lot of the folks in this room have seen many times over and you’re strong and you can handle it, but a lot of people can’t handle it. And they see horror stories. They see events that you couldn’t see in a movie. Nobody would believe it.
The “you’re strong and you can handle it” sounds like pandering to the audience. But leave that out and what he’s saying is that war is hell and it breaks people. This idea doesn’t play well with Clinton, who’s generally more enthusiastic for wars than Trump is.
Vice President Biden blasted Trump’s statement without making any coherent point. Here’s a sample:
The vice president recalled being asked to award a Silver Star to a military member who had been injured pulling a fellow soldier from a Humvee that had been damaged by a roadside bomb. Biden said the soldier told him “I don’t want it.”
“That kid probably goes to sleep every night with a nightmare, and this guy doesn’t understand any of that,” the vice president said, pivoting the conversation back to Trump. “How can he not understand that? How can he be so out of touch? He’s not a bad guy, but how can he be so out of touch and asked to lead this country?”
That certainly sounds to me like someone who saw “horror stories” and “couldn’t handle it” — in fact, like someone so disgusted with the whole business that he re4fused a medal from Biden. But Biden’s point, if there is one, seems to be that these people are heroes for suffering from nightmares and that we should keep sending them out to foreign wars. As for Trump, it’s unsafe to credit him with any good intention beyond the literal meaning of his words. He’s certainly not against continuing foreign wars, he just occasionally mixes it with suggestions that other governments should bear more of the burden.
It’s significant that it’s the people on the left who are most outraged at the idea that the suffering of war is more than many people can take. Both the Republican and Democratic parties have become war parties.
Addendum: Yesterday I got some Trump trash in my mailbox about how he would defeat ISIS (which I still say should be called Daesh) once and for all. That reminded me that his victory plan is based on atrocities and war crimes. At least Clinton has noticed and commented on that.