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Local Voices: Trump’s Tribute Was An Embarrassment

On 28 February President Donald Trump delivered his first address to a joint session of Congress. Trump, reading from a teleprompter, sounded what some say Presidential. But many felt that upon examination of the narrative of his presentation it was filled with lies and promises that seem to be impossible to accomplish. He received a standing ovation from Republicans on almost every promise but few Democrats were impressed.

Disturbing to me was the embarrassing moment when Trump commented on the death of a Navy Seal and gave tribute to William Owens who was killed in a raid against terrorists in Yemen. Trump used Owens’ death in his speech to promote the President’s own political agenda.

It was reported that Trump ordered the raid without having a serious conference with his intelligence security professionals. The raid was bungled and, in addition to Owens being killed, three other military personnel were injured. To gain sympathy and support for his deadly mistake, Trump invited Owens’ wife to be in the chambers for his speech. He introduced her to Congress and she received a five-minute applause during which pain of her grief was written on her face. How embarrassing!

I wondered what many of my military comrades and the families of the deceased must have felt when they heard Trump’s bragging about the heroics of Owens’ death. Many of our soldiers, marines and other military personnel are killed daily in battle somewhere. Therefore, for Trump to make such revelry about one military person killed in battle breeds some suspicions.

In his praise of Owens’ life-sacrificing death, he said the raid in Yemen was a success. He said that important information was gained from the raid. We as citizens have not and will likely never hear or see the information and we will be told it’s secret data and cannot be shared with the public. Therefore, confirmation of Trump’s assertion that the raid was a success will never be revealed.

I was intrigued when I heard how Van Jones, an active commentator and critic of Trump, was taken by Trump’s tribute to Owens. I have been a follower and supporter of Jones since he served as Special Advisor to President Obama on Green Jobs. Filled with emotion, Jones said Trump’s tribute to Owens was “one of the most extraordinary moments you have ever seen in American politics, period” and it was the moment Trump “became President of the United States.”

I really got upset at Jones and felt he had been duped by Trump’s attempt to gain support for his goof-up in Yemen. His first attempt of blaming Obama for the failed Yemen incident did not work so he was trying a new tactic. I lost some of my zeal as a supporter for Jones. I thought he would have seen through the act. Then I thought perhaps Jones has never served in the military and witnessed other members of the military being killed, so it may have been easy for him to get emotionally caught up in Trump’s rhetoric.

Jones and others who were emotionally moved by the tribute should have know what several people who have been interviewed on TV, including psychiatrists, say: that Trump is narcissistic and therefore conniving.

If Trump did not need to recognize Owens to cover up the blunder in the Yemen raid for his personal political benefit, he would not have mentioned him in his address to Congress.
If Trump is a narcissist, he wears a mask and rebuffs any information about him that he doesn’t like. I see why his supporters stick by him. He may not help their causes but he does give them a show.

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Shedrick Byrd is a frequent contributor to the New Journal and Guide, and a retired U.S. Navy veteran.

By Shedrick Byrd

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