Reading the reactions from some veterans to Donald Trump’s “support the troops” rally last night, you would think that the Grand Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan was trying to give money to veteran’s charities.
It’s worth noting right out of the gate that I don’t particularly care for Trump’s brand of “scream louder than the other guy” politics. But it should come as no surprise that hypocrisy abounds in some of the negative reactions to the Donald’s event.
One of the more notable critics of Trump, and the rest of the GOP field, is Marine Corps veteran Sean Sorbie.
In a piece posted to Medium.com, he rhetorically brutalizes Trump, Cruz and Fiorina for using veterans as pawns in their political chess match.
Sorbie then goes on to claim that Republicans in general would hurt veterans because of their opposition to raising the minimum wage and Obamacare, among other Democratic Party platform talking points. The last half of the article is some kind of odd victory lap touting the supposed success of the Democratic Party in improving the quality of benefits and access to veterans.
"My brothers and sisters in arms deserve so much more than the pandering and cheap political stunts being pulled by today’s Republican presidential candidates. It is insulting that America’s veterans are being used as a bargaining chip by candidates who want to get air time next to Donald Trump."
By now, you are probably having the same thought I had after reading the article: “What is this guy’s deal?” The truth about Sorbie, however, is where the egregious hypocrisy begins to reveal itself.
Sorbie works for the Democratic National Committee, a fact he conveniently omits from the article.
While Democrats are tripping over themselves to knock Trump for “politicizing veterans,” the DNC is carting out their own veteran to push their politics.
I can only presume that Sorbie is an educated and intelligent person. This leads me to believe that he knew he was using his status as a veteran on behalf of the DNC to bolster the credibility of his argument and shield it from criticism. Who’s going to knock a veteran?
There’s certainly nothing wrong with appealing to your time in the service as part of building an argument. There is, and should be, an added level of credibility when a veteran puts forth a case on veteran’s issues. However, Sorbie wasn’t just making a case for veteran's issues, he was criticizing Republicans for doing the exact same thing he and the DNC are doing–which is politicizing veterans to score points against the other side.
It’s certainly no coincidence that Sorbie penned the hit piece for the DNC against Trump and the Republicans. He knew it would be virtually impossible for anyone in politics or the media to openly criticize the actions and words of a veteran, unless of course that person was also a veteran.
I too served in the United States Marine Corps. I was on active duty from 2010 to 2014 and completed two deployments to Afghanistan.
I don’t disagree with most of what Sorbie says in his article about the actions of some GOP candidates. Trump has insulted veterans. It is ridiculous that candidates are using donations to veteran’s charity as bargaining chips in a political race. We do deserve much better than cheap political stunts.
None of that, however, changes the fact that he is hammering Trump for using veterans as political pawns, while himself being used as a political pawn by the DNC.
The last paragraph of the article is painful to read once you are aware that Sorbie is a paid employee of the DNC.
Whether or not Sorbie was directed to write the piece by the DNC, or took it upon himself, doesn't really matter. I'm sure he'll argue that he found some spare time to draft and copy edit a lengthy column for his employer all out of the kindness of his heart. Regardless, The DNC benefits from the use of a veteran's service to push their political agenda.
“Once again, it’s insulting that Republican presidential candidates are using veterans like myself to get media attention. Instead, they should look to Democrats who have delivered on their promises to veterans and will never exploit our service and honor to this country.”
"My brothers and sisters in arms deserve so much more than the pandering and cheap political stunts being pulled by today’s Republican presidential candidates and the Democratic National Committee."