It is, essentially, the question asked of Trump and his supporters all the time. As for Trump, it appears that the best answer would be, “not much”. But I would like to point out that the people who are using Captain Khan against Trump are the same people who called Captain Kahn and his fellow soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines War Criminals. Have you forgotten? Don’t you remember from about late 2003 until January 20th, 2009 that our military was derided as full of stupid people who couldn’t get into college and thus got “stuck” in the military? Don’t you remember the endless stories about how our soldiers were behaving like beasts? That the overly-soft prison at Gitmo was compared unfavorably to GULAG? Does Code Pink strike a bell? ANSWER? Does anything that happened as far back as last week matter to anyone any more?
I’d much prefer we lived in a polity where common decency was observed – you know, where people at least tried to tell the truth; didn’t exaggerate and/or flat out lie for political advantage; treated the opposition with respect due to all human beings. But, we don’t live in that sort of polity. I date the vileness in American politics to the Bork confirmation hearings where Ted Kennedy – the liberal “Lion” of the Senate – actually got up and said that Robert Bork would approve laws which allowed Gestapo-like cops to break down American doors at will. From that point on, for the left, there have been no standards of decency – you can say whatever you want about your opponents, launch the most disgusting slanders, and it is up to the opponent to prove it isn’t true. Of course, this only works one way – only liberals are allowed to be disgusting…non-liberals have to just sit there and take it and never, ever answer back in kind.
When the TEA Party emerged in 2009, it was made up of excessively polite, middle class Americans who would never hurt a fly. It was presented as a racist, fascist, violent organization out to destroy all that is good and true. No surprise at all that a good number of those TEA Partiers have taken the measure of things and figured out that if you’re to be hanged for a sheep, might as well go for it all. Trump is the long-delayed response to the unfair, nauseating way the left has operated for decades.
I don’t like this, at all. There was a time in the past when I would have gotten right into the insult-fest, but I’ve come to realize that getting down in the muck with Progressives just gets me dirty. But I’m also not going to wring my hands in horror over what Trump and his people say – whatever they say, it doesn’t hold a candle to the things Progressives say, and have said for ages, for all the world as if insulting people is part of normal, political discourse. Maybe Trump’s mouth helps him get his clock cleaned on November 8th, maybe it helps him to victory. I don’t know, and I don’t much care. I’d like to see a return to decency – but any such return will now require both sides to quit it…and given that the left has been doing it longer and worse, I think it is up to them to realize they’ve gone too far, for too long.