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Sorry, But That’s the Rule: President Asterisk Is A Draft Dodger

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of
Saul Loeb/Pool Photo via AP

I didn’t want it to come to this, but I am compelled by my loyal adherence to the rules and norms and cultural regulations put into effect by our glorious, competent, and not-at-all-inexplicably-smug ruling caste to characterize President * as a cowardly draft dodger of cowardice.


I think it is stupid, but I am bound to these New Rules. As are you.

Say it with me: President * is a cowardly draft dodger.

You should also know that Asterisk is also not an Army Ranger, which became a fake issue when a bunch of liberal media hacks, led by some toad-like reporter who looks like Ron Jeremy’s less attractive fraternal twin, recently began talking out their Schumers about who is and is not a Ranger with regard to Tom Cotton. It is indisputable that * is nothing, having – as the New Rules compel me to characterize it – cheated his way out of Vietnam.

I sure think these New Rules are dumb, but what can you do? In fact, I have always hated the whole chickenhawk thing, the idea that, rather than military service being a character resume plus, its absence is a minus and some sort of character flaw. Only about 30% of people can qualify physically and otherwise for service, so right off you are consigning about 70% of folks to some sort of second-hand moral status. That’s stupid. Further, the idea that an American citizen who did not serve has some sort of disqualification from opining on military issues is utterly unAmerican.

Now, there are times when playing the military service card is an appropriate flex, and on those occasions, I will certainly play my undistinguished, but existent, hand. When your patriotism is questioned, voluntary military service is a pretty good bit of evidence of patriotism, and it is by no means unfair to deploy it to counter lies to the contrary. You get those a lot now that the people calling the United States a hellish dictatorship built on white supremacy and general badness three months ago are collectively wetting themselves over the peril posed by Viking-costumed “insurrectionists.” It’s always amusing to observe that the only thing the lefty patriots du jour on social media who usually 1619 all over America but, when convenient, rally ‘round the flag, ever served were pumpkin spice lattes at the Common Grounds coffee house. 


The other proper occasion for using your military service is when expertise is involved. If you were in the military, you know and have done stuff other people have not, and that credential is properly offered to demonstrate your competence to offer a useful observation or opinion on relevant topics. It’s not determinative, but when I talk about civil support operations it’s relevant that I served in them, commanded large formations in them, planned them from platoon to above division level, and wrote both law review and military journal articles on them. I might just have more useful things to say about them than @BidenFan69.


The big secret about military stuff is that not all of us are war heroes like Audie Buttigieg and Saigon Dick Blumenthal. I ran a heavily armed carwash in one war, and did civil affairs on another deployment. If you want to know about nuclear-biological-chemical defense, or starting up mushroom canning factories so locals have jobs to distract them from killing each other, those are two of the perspectives I can probably help with. Navy stuff, somewhat less so, though having commanded (including acting) at every level below a division probably gives me some leadership insights. You should take my, and every vet’s, views for what they are worth and decide issues for yourself.

But my preferred rule – military service should be offered only to dispute personal attacks on one’s patriotism and as a credential demonstrating expertise – has been repealed. The New Rule is that if, via legal procedures in conformance with existing regulations, you did not serve in Vietnam, you are a coward and a draft dodger. I oppose this New Rule, but this New Rule was been enacted in January 2016, and I am sadly bound by it.


President * is a cowardly draft dodger. Sorry, not my rule. It’s *’s fans’ rule. And they can live with it.

This was demonstrated with the whole “Cadet Bone Spurs” thing about Donald Trump. The “cadet” part relates to him having gone to military school, which I guess the New Rules decree is something to be ashamed of now. As with shifting attitude toward the National Guard troops from violent threats to the literal safety of oppressed people to heroic defenders of the country from Thor-wannabes to tiresome eyesores to be consigned to a Congressional parking garage, you need constant updates on whether military stuff is good or bad at any given moment. 

Anyway, the “Bone Spurs” part was the medical diagnosis that kept Trump from draft eligibility. For some reason, this diagnosis strikes people who have never had to do a long ruck march over rough terrain with half their body weight on their backs as hilarious.

Now, I have some military personnel experience too – you get a lot of experience in 27 years – and back in 2016, when I was Trump Skeptical (I was never Never Trump, in large part because I eschewed bow ties and virginity), I was provided his Selective Service records and asked to review them with an eye to digging up dirt. I found none. It was all in order. Trump got four student deferments as an undergrad. Then the Army – not anyone else – decided he as not physically fit for military service. No shock – go to a MEPS (Military Entrance Processing Station), tell the doc you have bone spurs on your paws, and see how fast you get transferred back to Fort Living Room. 


And here’s another thing, and maybe I’m a bit technical, but Trump was never drafted. So, it’s kind of hard to “dodge the draft” when you weren’t drafted. Draft dodgers typically got their induction notices and split to Manitoba. That was draft dodging – and St. Jimmy Carter pardoned them all, so it’s weird that draft dodging is now bad again. Regardless, the New Rules are the New Rules and I am helpless to alter them. * is just as much of a draft dodger as the Bad Orange Man. 

The Asterisk-In-Chief got five student deferments as an undergrad. Then the Army apparently decided that he had a history of asthma and that was that. Putting aside that he’s more known for gaffes and wandering about aimlessly than coughing fits, President * was disqualified, just as a huge percentage of potential recruits are. And like Trump, he was never drafted, making it hard in any but the most meta way to fairly consider him a “draft dodger.” But none of that matters because of the New Rules.

The New Rules decree that * is a cowardly draft dodger unfit to hold the office of president, so there you are. Sorry.

Again, I think this is stupid. This is not a rule I support. I think it’s stupid, bordering on an outright lie. But I was outvoted by our glorious ruling class, which changed the rule when it became useful to apply it to Trump. And, to the extent observing that exactly the same rule must be applied to * as it was to Trump constitutes “whataboutism,” well, yeah. What they call “whataboutism” is a moral necessity. For too long we’ve allowed ourselves to be Muh Prinicipled into supine surrender in the face of double standards, and that must end.


They enacted these stupid, dishonest, and obnoxious New Rules, and we should obey them. If they want to change the rule, great – that’s a terrific idea. They just have to first clearly and sincerely exonerate Donald Trump from liability under the New Rule. Until then, sorry folks. 

President Asterisk is a cowardly draft dodger.

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You know what else rules? Why, my newest novel Crisis, as well as my other four novels of red and blue America, People's Republic, Indian CountryWildfireand Collapse! What a segue!

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