President Trump’s recent trip to Britain and Normandy brought north many stark contrasts. Contrasts between the way most people behaved during the WWII years and now.
Given the number of years between then and now, there should be differences — of course. But the nature of some of the contrasts ought to give us pause.
This was not a political trip. Trump brought no armies of officials to negotiate. This was primarily a state-to-state visit. As evidence, we saw the Queen of the United Kingdom sport her tiara and polish off her best dinner silver. Royal family members donned their silly uniforms and fake medals. This is the routine on state-to-state occasions.
Our president was in the UK to underscore the countries’ historic links. He was in Normandy, obviously, to pay tribute to the brave soldiers who stormed its shores 75 years ago — and to say to the world that we do not forget them or forsake their sacrifice.
If you followed the reporting you saw, of course, a handful of the survivors yet alive, shrunken within their old uniforms. You saw film clips of troops wading ashore. You saw bodies strewn by the hundreds on those bloody beaches.
You read accounts of the war, with its horrors and victories. You read and heard again of the unity of purpose that forged a mighty war machine to smash the German armies.
If you study those years, you will know how most Americans and Brits certainly knew who our enemies were. You will know there was widespread patriotism among the people — broadcast wide by a patriotic media. You will know our leaders could depend upon extensive support from their people — despite political differences.
You will also know how welcoming the Brits were of the support from their American cousins.
What contrasts we see today.
Although this was not a political trip, much of America and Britain’s big media carped and flailed at President Trump. His political enemies cried out for his imprisonment — as soon as they could find a crime to justify it. They rattled on about his new hairstyle and Melania’s fashions. They imagined slights from some royals.
Big media focused on the modest demonstrations and Trump blimps in London. As if they were more newsworthy than the purpose of an American president’s visit.
The Mayor of London openly slimed the president, who slimed back. Parliament’s leader of the opposition insulted the president. He joined a public demonstration against the leader of the UK’s best friend. A stupid move. Trump returned the favor by belittling him.
In contrast to the unity of purpose of the war years, today we have tumult. We are vomit-deep in this age of insult. Politicians, celebrities, and the media take every opportunity to degrade Trump and themselves. One of them claimed he was using the events for political purposes. Claimed the rows of crosses of the American dead were mere props. Some scorned the openly proclaimed prayers — called them partisan.
Unity? In utter contrast to the war years, we today have no unity on the most important issues of the day. Such as whether we should or should not have a border.
We cannot agree on whether or not we should protect Israel from annihilation. Or whether or not China is out to severely damage us. Or whether we should quail or do battle against Iran’s quest for nuclear weapons. Or whether or not climate change will destroy us. Or whether it even exists beyond natural change. Proponents try to squelch the mere debate of this.
In this country, celebrities and the media celebrate the banning of the sorts of prayers our leaders once led. They celebrate the flag burnings and insults launched against our founders and the Declaration of Independence and U.S. Constitution they created.
What label will this era earn? The Age of Carping? The Era of Insults? The Years of Disunity? The Contrast Years?
How would the folks who lived during the war years react to the contrasts that have come about? From what they wrote, said, and did in their times; I doubt they would appreciate or applaud them.
From Tom…as in Morgan.
Tom Morgan writes about political, financial, and other subjects from his home in upstate New York. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org, read more of his writing at tomasinmorgan.com, or find him on Facebook.