Question: How do we oppose a Trump war?
Answer: In every possible way.
I've spent the last 24 hours hearing about the "Mother of all Bombs" that blew up in Afghanistan, a piece of hardware that costs as much as a Michigan city's water budget. It disgusts me as an American taxpayer that I'm responsible. Most of my fellow Americans feel the same way: we stand with the innocent victims of this bomb attack, not with its perpetrator.
We the people can never, ever, ever support Donald Trump as a wartime leader. Not now, and not in any future circumstance. I personally would not stand with Trump against an alien invasion from Mars. If there is a new American war, I believe a majority of my fellow citizens will actively refuse to support Trump's leadership. This presents a severe crisis of public loyalty in an already badly divided nation.
We the people do not, can not and will not respect Donald Trump enough to follow his leadership in any military action.
But it's a dreadful fact that our country seems to be tilting towards war right now, already, even though we're only in the first few months of the surreal constitutional crisis known as the Trump presidency. (Some people sincerely believed that Trump was a dove, that he wouldn't abuse his military power if elected. We always knew this would happen, which is why we've bitterly opposed Trump since 2015.)
Well, we all hope this next war doesn't happen, even Trump's most enthusiastic supporters. Because we all remember 2003, and we remember all the damage that overeager rush to war caused.
But Trump is tilting our country towards war, just like George W. Bush did. We're not sure if the next enemy Trump and his "war room" will stage a televised attack on will be ISIS, or Syria, or North Korea, or Afghanistan. That decision appears to be in the hands of Jared and Ivanka. But it is clear that Donald Trump is enjoying the applause and distraction he gains with every new military action.
Many misguided Americans support a Trump war, and this is no joking matter. We are a badly divided country, and it seems possible that a foreign war would become a civil war.
Civil War? Sure, this sounds like hyperbole. But it's actually a sane reaction to the possibility of an American war managed by Donald Trump. That is an immoral option that we the American people do not accept, cannot accept, will never accept.
Donald Trump has openly supported the use of torture. He has pledged in public, televised speeches that he will do "worse than waterboarding, believe me". This is a dealbreaker for the American people. We will not stand for this.
It's espcially a dealbreaker, we hope and believe, with the proud soldiers of the United States Army, Navy, Marines and Air Force. Our soldiers and sailors and pilots are used to being firmly managed by leaders they respect. Our honorable military personnel understand the damage done in wartime by war crimes such as torture, and will not rally behind a leader who talks glibly about such matters.
Among other war crimes he has pledged to commit is to plunder the oil in the Middle East, stating flatly that "next time we'll just take the oil". He has also stated that he believes the people of Iraq owe the United States of America gratitude for the Iraq War, even though it killed 600,000 Iraqi people and led to the brutal split of the country between Iran and ISIS.
Trump also offends every American who loves freedom, because he violates the most basic rule of a free democracy: he doesn't tell the truth. He is a blatant, obvious, shameless liar, a liar far beyond the boundaries of any previous American politician, including Richard Nixon. Trump has not even been able to defend himself against charges of gross and ridiculous lying, to the extent that his associates have to explain that his dishonesty is a feature and not a bug. The idea that we the proud American people would be led into war by an admitted and known liar is absolutely insane.
Another reason we will never follow Trump to war is that he is a known and admitted racist, male chauvinist, sexual predator. He has badly insulted many groups including blacks, women, Mexicans and Muslims.
Finally, as if all of that were not bad enough, Trump has an embarrassing history of failure. He has admittedly also had many exciting successes, and yes, Trump does have a capacity for spectacular victories along with the failures. But a moral failure in wartime is not a failure the American people will accept.
Also, as both Napoleon Bonaparte and Adolf Hitler found out the hard way, it's all too easy to have a bunch of spectacular victories and then lose the war.
Trump's pattern of incompetence and showmanship is all too well established, and it's nearly a sure thing that a Trump war will spin off into chaos like most other things he's done. A few weeks ago, during the GOP healthcare fiasco, Trump mumbled into a microphone that "nobody ever knew healthcare could be so complicated".
Americans are an intelligent people. We will not be led in wartime by a man this dumb.
But the threat of a Trump war is real today, so all of this is no joking matter. We have been in the midst of a constitutional crisis for months, but as we tilt towards war we are escalating into a loyalty crisis. We may all need to look in the mirror and ask which side we're on, good or evil.
I am pledging right here and now that I will never be loyal to the military leadership of Donald Trump. I am a free American, and I oppose Donald Trump with great pride.
I hope that Americans who voted for Trump will also listen to their consciences and now stand against Trump, because I know that all Americans, whoever they voted for, are humane and moral people.
Still, Trump will always have a loyal follower base, and I hope to continue to live at peace with those fellow Americans of mine even if our country is further torn apart. The fabric of trust that makes us all proud of our country is something that this crisis cannot fully tear to shreds, though it will try.
When I argue with pro-Trump friends of mine, I am often asked to accept the fact that Trump won the presidential election. I do accept that Trump won by electoral vote, and I do accept that he has a strong base of support.
But if we are tilting towards war, it's important to remember that Trump did not win the popular vote, and does not have a wide or well-entrenched base of support among the American people as a whole. Yes, he has a lot of enthusiastic fans. But the majority of Americans, including many who voted for Trump, are increasingly opposed to everything he stands for. And we who oppose Trump aren't really aren't in any mood to back down. Much less are we in the mood to "make a deal".
I'm writing this on Friday afternoon, after a strenuous week at work, the week between Passover and Easter. A good time to pray for a quiet weekend around the world.