November 21, 2019 7:19:58 AM
Disheartened by weakening virtues
Regarding President Trump's support of veterans, the President did sign a bipartisan bill, extending for one year the 2014 Veterans Choice Program (a bipartisan action signed by President Obama). In addition, the new bill expands the availability of services outside VA facilities. President Trump has issued helpful executive orders, including one that improves protection for whistleblowers. Most important, the President acknowledges the sacrifices of people in the military, doing so with fanfare. But the depth of this esteem is not the same for some in the military. Those who are members of small religious groups (such as Muslims) are often disrespected. Immigrants are less welcome, in the military and the nation, though over 65,000 members of the military are either non-citizens or naturalized citizens. Transgender members have been explicitly told they do not belong. Veterans critical of the President are made unwelcome, shown by the President's responses to unapproving military leaders and his dishonorable treatment of Senator McCain.
This disregard extends beyond the military to people in the Intelligence offices, the State Department, the Judiciary, federal and state agencies, organizations of environmentalists, medical and legal advocates, scientists and academics. President Trump holds in disdain anyone who challenges him. Inclusion in his country is small.
But the worst offense is to values of decency and gratitude. Civility is discouraged and contempt for public service and the law is promoted. I am saddened by how people are being treated, and I'm disheartened by the weakening of these virtues. It took generations of hopes and efforts, learning and reform, to achieve what we have and are now in the midst of tearing apart.
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