“You salute the rank, not the man.”
Maj. Richard Winters to Capt. Herbert Sobel
Dialogue from the TV series“Band of Brothers”
Exit polls indicate that only 37 percent of voters thought President-elect Trump “qualified to be president.”
Only 34 percent, said he had “the right personality and temperament for the office.”
In many states voters simply refused to choose between Clinton and Trump. In Michigan, for example, some 90,000 voted, but refused to make any choice at all for President.
As was the case for Al Gore, Clinton had the support of more voters than her opponent.
Nevertheless, under our constitution, Donald J. Trump will soon take the oath of office as President of the United States of America.
We as citizens will be honor bound to salute the new President’s rank, despite all his failings as a man. Both President Obama and Hillary Clinton have already done so, with grace and style, as was their duty.
That said, saluting Trump’s new rank does not mean one must ignore the man or condone his behavior, either as President or as a private citizen.
Under our own Uniform Code of Military Justice troops who must literally salute rank are also honor bound to refuse to obey orders that are illegal.
They are also morally bound to do everything in their power to see that such orders are not executed by other, more willing, executioners. Indeed, we as a people honor those with the courage to do so: hence the medals awarded to those who confronted Lt. William Calley, a superior officer and his men, to bring an end to the massacre at My Lai during the Vietnam War.
The same standards hold true for ordinary citizens, civilians, in a democracy.
As every Boy Scout swears, we must indeed “do our best to do our duty.” But, as we learned at Nuremberg and in Vietnam, only up to a point.
What, then, is the honorable thing to do until the new President actually does something illegal or immoral (or is found guilty of high crimes and misdemeanors committed before he became President,)
What policies or actions promoted by President-elect Trump can we all agree on and support for the greater good of our country?
The following 14 points, all given voice and supported by Trump at some point during the his mean-spirited campaign, would seem to form a basis for moving the country forward in a positive and bi-partisan spirit.
A massive inititiative to rebuild/improve/repair our infrastracture(s).
Improve the military but reduce the defense budget (Oct 2015) . . .
Accept gay marriage (Aug 2015)
Agree that Stop-&-frisk is unconstitutional (Sep 2016)
Support paid family leave. (Sep 2016)
Serve as an honest broker and negotiate a lasting treaty of peace between Israel and her enemies. (Feb 2016)
Condemn Russian & any other country’s involvement in our elections. (Oct 2016)
Promote maximum representation and maximum voter participation. (Apr 2016)
Educate the public on value of comprehensive vaccinations. (Oct 2016)
Institute some form of universal health care. (Jul 2000)
Fix veteran’s hospitals, and pay private doctors to treat vets in the meantime. (Sep 2015)
Raise minimum wages, nationally and in the states. (May 2016)
Get rid of carried interest deduction for brokers (Oct 2016)
Support the exploration of space (Oct 2016)
Let’s hope, and work hard to make sure, that the new President’s first 100 days are both productive and bi-partisan. There is at least some ground for agreement.