Letters for Thursday, September 7, 2017

• Let the truth of Trump be known

Let the truth of Trump be known

We are seeing more of the true color of Donald Trump. He hid in the wave of media coverage for the horrible storm Harvey when he pardoned Sheriff Joe Arpaio who illegally detained American citizens — just because they were Latino. He abused them by creating outdoor detention facilities that he bragged were “concentration camps.”

Arpiao was convicted of violating a federal order to stop profiling Latinos, which he ignored. A pardon for Arpaio is a presidential endorsement of institutional racism.

In the same time period Trump also announced reconfirmation of a ban on new transgender recruits in the military and news leaked confirming that a contentious far-right aide to the president, Sebastian Gorka, has left his job.

Banning a transgender in the military is a horrible mistake that will not only handicap the military but potentially compromise national security. All our troops do a fine job regardless of their orientation. Trump avoided the draft with five deferments including a medical one for a sore foot — he could not remember which one.

During the campaign Trump implied that he would fire current generals — who, in the American tradition, are avowedly nonpartisan — and replace them with retired generals who have supported him politically. His advisers on defeating the Islamic State will “probably be different generals” from the current ones.

Again, he has no understanding of the military or how it functions. When I was in Navy ROTC and active duty in the 50s and 60s, one of the major security concerns was that if an individual was not of “normal” sexual orientation then they were ripe candidates for blackmail with the threat their status would be released to their superiors.

The concern was this blackmail could be used to obtain classified material from the subject of the blackmail. When I was receiving my pre-commissioning physical by a Navy doctor he asked straight out if I liked girls or boys — honestly.

When the military was opened to all during the Obama administration this risk was completely eliminated. Banning transgender troops in the military will certainly recreate this threat to our national security. A strange goal for a president.

Most understand that Trump’s actions on the sheriff and transgender solders are strictly to reinforce his standing with his shrinking power base. He is will throw anything under the bus to further his agenda and strengthen his base. Very sad and to have one of the elements of our government so dysfunctional is truly a test of the foresight of our Founding Fathers.

If we can survive Trump we can, in my opinion, survive anything!

John Gordon, Princeville


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