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 ...

Critics say President Trump is a small-minded man who is so ego driven that he could be a catalyst for World War III.

While we believe his ego is outsized to the point of danger, we hope that cooler heads around the world can avert him from launching another world war.

As friends and acquaintances posted old photographs on Facebook of their relatives and others in military uniforms of days gone by, we are reminded during this Armistice Day centenary of the sacrifices of so many to bring peace to America and to the world.

Between 370,000 and 400,000 African-Americans served during World War I, according to records. While most served as laborers in support roles, about 40,000 to 50,000 saw combat, with about 770 killed. They fought for their nation even as they battled racism at home.

 One painful example of this is Eugene Bullard, an African-American who sought to escape the racism of America in 1912 by stowing away on a ship out of Norfolk bound for Europe when he was only 16. He joined the French Foreign Legion, was wounded at the Battle of Verdun and convalesced, only to get back into the war after training anew as a fighter pilot in the French Air Service. He was awarded the Croix de Guerre, one of 15 decorations awarded him by the French government over his lifetime.

After the war, he remained in Europe. And when Germany invaded France in 1940 during World War II, he returned to duty with the French military and was wounded. After escaping to Spain, he returned to the United States in July 1940, where he lived until his death from cancer in 1961 at age 66. His last job in his home country was as an elevator operator at Rockefeller Center in New York City. Mr. Bullard never received the respect and admiration at home that he did in France.

President Trump will never understand the dedication and sacrifice people of all races and ethnicities in the United States have made and continue to make for the cause of freedom — both individual liberty and freedom at home as well as abroad. Nor does he understand our commitment to the principles of equality and justice written into the Constitution.

Egregiously, he abuses his authority by using the men and women of the U.S. military as pawns for political gain. He sent nearly 6,000 troops to our southern border with Mexico ostensibly to thwart an “invasion” of migrant families fleeing violence and poverty in their native Central America.

Clearly, his intent was to gin up fear — and votes during the critical midterm elections. His actions show he has little regard for the men and women in uniform and their sacrifice as they patrol a ghost threat on the border, spending Veterans Day, and soon Thanksgiving, away from their homes and loved ones.

Earlier this week, he insulted the very basis of democracy by insisting that Florida authorities announce a victor in a closely contested U.S. Senate race without counting all the ballots, including those submitted by registered voters living outside the United States. That includes active duty military personnel.

President Trump’s incapacity to look and act beyond his narrow self interest has flummoxed the world. Yet, we remain hopeful that in the grander plan, he is but a temporary logjam in the world’s river of righteousness, progress and peace.