Fabric of a nation

Saber-rattling puffery demeans us

Posted: February 9, 2018 at 1:54 a.m.

Over two centuries have passed since the foundation of our nation was spun into the early fabric of our nation's democracy and its evolving institutions. The warp and weave of our national fabric has grown tighter, and her colors have flown proudly in the breeze, enduring the howling tornado-like winds of war, and rustled mildly in the ebb and flow of dilemmas in peace.

But this year, threads are being pulled ... yanked from the fine weave, leaving tatters, in a new and ongoing assault by none other than this uncouth thing in office referred to as our president. Threads with names and ideals such as truth, honesty, morality, and ethics.

Military veterans have been attacked, along with institutions such as our courts and judges, the FBI, the CIA. The thread of one of our largest safeguards of the republic--the press, under constant abusive attack--is like ripping stars from the blue field of our flag.

We are squandering our leadership on the world stage in politics, economics, world health, and the environment, and turning our backs on our long-standing allies and friends.

In December I visited the Vietnam Memorial, the Naval Memorial, the Korean War Memorial, along with the Lincoln and Washington Memorials, to name a few. I also witnessed the Changing of the Guard at Arlington National Cemetery, among a sea of headstones marking our nation's fallen lying beneath. One of many oceans of headstones across the nation, around the world, where men and women have sacrificed to serve and bind the fabric of our nation.

Trump--"Private Bone Spurs"--now wants to drag out the military toys from his play box, polish them up and hold a grand, great, big (the biggest and best, I'm sure) parade in those hallowed streets of the capital to outdo "Rocket Man" in North Korea, the Russians in Moscow and the Chinese in Tiananmen Square.

This angers me as a veteran, as with our world military stature, we need not "saber rattle" and flex our military muscle to prove our strength, as it belittles us further on the world stage, and brings the U.S. down to the same level as China, Russia and North Korea. Perhaps worse still ... that of a Third World dictatorship!

We need not waste our taxpayer money for "Private Bone Spurs" to puff out his chest and hold a parade at his whim to honor him and show off his inflated narcissistic ego. Spend the money, if we must, on badly needed military spare parts, on military pay and benefits--something of use and lasting value.

Theodore Roosevelt is known for "Speak softly and carry a big stick." We now have leadership that rattles the saber from his high-chair, amid his daily fits, tweets and tantrums.

We need to work for a more peaceful, stable world, and avoid the creation of freshly overturned mounds of earth in the image of Arlington, not parade to defile the honorable Mall of our capital.

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John Lambert, a Vietnam veteran, lives in Conway.

Editorial on 02/09/2018