Trump and his illusions

11/15/2018, 6 a.m.
Overheard after President Trump blew off last Saturday’s planned visit to Aisne-Marne American Cemetery and Memorial in France during the ...

Overheard after President Trump blew off last Saturday’s planned visit to Aisne-Marne American Cemetery and Memorial in France during the commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I because it was raining:

Q: What do President Trump and most women have in common?

A: None can stand getting their hair wet.

President Trump once again showed the world that he’s the despicable person we Americans know him to be when he canceled his visit to the cemetery located about 50 miles northeast of Paris where 2,289 U.S. troops are buried. Many were killed in the Battle of Belleau Wood during World War I; the names of 1,060 more who were never found are inscribed on a wall there.

The president’s spokesperson said weather forced the cancellation — that Marine One, the presidential helicopter, couldn’t make the trip because of “near-zero visibility.”

Oddly enough, Gen. Joseph F. Dunford Jr., chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and White House Chief of Staff John F. Kelly visited the cemetery on that day. 

Both Gen. Dunford and Gen. Kelly are Marines, and they walked around the site on the edge of Belleau Wood where a Marine brigade fought with such fierceness in 1918 that their German opponents called them “Devil Dogs.” It’s a nickname for Marines to this day.

The president’s excuse for not attending the weekend ceremony honoring the war dead reminds us of the shallow “bone spurs” excuse he employed to get out of serving in Vietnam.

We know from what French President Emmanuel Macron said during the ceremony in France that the world sees President Trump for the hypocrite he is and the fake message he delivers. People around the globe understand that President Trump’s jingoistic and racist “Make America Great Again” nationalism is eerily akin to the same concept that fostered the rise in Germany of Adolf Hitler after World War I and nearly brought the world to its knees a few decades later with World War II.

The millions of soldiers who died in World War I fought to defend the “universal values” of France, President Macron said, and to reject the “selfishness of nations only looking after their own interests. Because patriotism is exactly the opposite of nationalism.

“By putting our own interests first, with no regard for others, we erase the very thing that a nation holds dearest, and the thing that keeps it alive — its moral values,” he said.

In a clear rebuke of President Trump and a warning to the world, President Macron denounced the extremist ideologies that have become more mainstream, unleashing troubling forces on a “sinister course once again that could undermine the legacy of peace we thought we had forever sealed.”

During the Armistice commemoration, President Trump visibly appeared both physically and emotionally estranged from many of the global leaders America has long counted as allies. He has alienated many with his insults and actions since taking office, including withdrawing the United States from the Paris climate accord, tearing up the Iran nuclear deal and re-imposing sanctions and canceling all U.S. funding for a United Nations program aiding Palestinian refugees.