For years, people have been pissing on Trump for being a draft dodger in Vietnam. And you know what? That isn’t even close to being one of my biggest problems with him.
My father was drafted. His parents, concentration camp survivors, urged him to flee to Canada. But with a pregnant wife at home, a life on the run wasn’t a feasible option for him. He tried to get a student deferment. Failed. Tried to be a conscientious objector. He failed that too when the brass asked him this trick question: If someone broke into your home, raped and murdered your pregnant wife, your sisters and your mother, would you kill that person? He answered yes, and there went his ability to be a conscientious objector.
My dad grew up poor to refugee parents. He, like many other poor people and people of color, didn’t have the opportunity to claim bullshit and get exempted, or to get cushy jobs that were stateside. He was sent to fight and probably die in a country we had no business being in. He even saw his best friend step on a landmine, and all there was to send home to his family was his foot in his boot. That’s all they found of him. Dad has PTSD from that war. His Type II diabetes that doesn’t run in the family, that occurred to one of the healthiest and most active people I know, was probably due to Agent Orange exposure. Because that’s another fun side effect of that awful chemical.
In the meantime, rich, young assholes got to avoid the draft or get easy positions because of who Mommy and Daddy were and the amount of money they made. And not only that, these days, they get to brag about how they dodged the draft, whether by not changing their clothes for weeks and shitting their pants, or just being a proud dick about it. My father didn’t have that option. Most people didn’t have that option. And had he fled, he thought he’d live a life on the run. He left in 1971. He didn’t know in just a handful of years, all of the draft dodgers would be pardoned.
So my issue with the draft dodging of the rich like Trump isn’t the draft dodging itself. Fuck the draft and fuck that unnecessary war. It’s the fact that people like my dad were sent to be cannon fodder for no good reason, while rich people like Trump got to play varsity sports, when their alleged bone spurs are what kept them from going overseas in the first place. And that’s not even mentioning the fact that people like Trump have never come across a country they didn’t want to bomb. So he’s a draft dodging, imperialist hypocrite. Shocking, I know.