The hour-long delay in the start of the Trump Gettysburg speech at the Eisenhower Complex today didn't exactly bode well for Donald Trump, the speech, or its contents. While Trump supporters were no doubt hoping for something as stirring as Lincoln's original Gettysburg Address, all Trump delivered was more of the same tired attacks, insinuations, and racism.In speaking at Gettysburg, Trump was attempting to tie himself and his campaign to his Republican predecessor, Pres. Abraham Lincoln. Unfortunately – in the Donald Trump Gettysburg speech – the parallels don't quite ring true. Certainly, when Trump says "of, by and for the people," he clearly didn't mean the same thing that Lincoln did in the Gettysburg Address.
Lincoln and the Trump Gettysburg SpeechIn Lincoln's Gettysburg Address, Abraham Lincoln referred to the "proposition that all men are created equal." But Trump made it quite clear in his own Gettysburg speech that he feels some people are – and should be – more equal than others.As reported by the Associated Press, Trump once again regaled us with questionable statistics supporting his views about the criminal nature of Mexican immigrants in the United States. As with every other speech he's given on the topic, the Donald Trump Gettysburg speech makes it clear that Trump sees Hispanics as "other." This ties directly to his absurd conspiracy theory that 14 percent of illegals are registered to vote in the United States.
This position in Trump's speech no doubt appeals to the racists making up a sizable proportion of Donald Trump's deplorables. But it's not likely to win Trump the independent vote or bring back those Republicans who have abandoned his campaign.Another major problem with the Trump campaign's attempt to tie the Trump Gettysburg speech to Lincoln's Gettysburg address is that Lincoln would have almost certainly despised Trump's views about Mexico. Trump's attempts to blame Mexico for our drug problems, crime, and unemployment wouldn't have gone over well with Lincoln, who opposed the Mexican-American war and felt we stole Mexico's land.
Of course, the Trump Gettysburg speech also ignored statistics indicating that, not only has illegal immigration from Mexico dropped over the last decade, the Obama administration has actually sent more illegal immigrants back to Mexico than did the Bush administration. Whether this is a sound Obama policy or not, it is nevertheless a fact.Donald Trump's statement in his Gettysburg speech that his goal was to "heal divisions" within the country might have seemed a bit uncharacteristic. Until you realize that, as reported by CNN, Trump would heal divisions by eliminating the people on the other side of the divide, either by blocking their entry into the United States, shipping them off to Mexico, or putting them in jail.
The Military and the Trump Gettysburg SpeechObviously, delivering a speech at Gettysburg makes it inevitable that Trump would talk about the military. Unfortunately for Donald Trump, the military and military service isn't exactly his strong suit.
The Trump Gettysburg speech saw Donald Trump once again pretending he understood military matters, military service, and military strategy better than politicians or the military itself. This is why he accused them of engaging in "misguided military adventures" they don't know how to win. This is very strange to hear in a speech by a man who avoided the Vietnam draft several times by claiming he had a heel spur.When Donald Trump says in his Gettysburg speech that "… our veterans are not treated properly," he's both right and wrong. He's right that their health care is often inadequate and that the nation hasn't always met its promises to them. But Trump's wrong if he thinks he's the right one to do anything about it.
The Trump Gettysburg speech was at its absolute worst in the area of military matters when he began speaking about care for our veterans. He essentially proposed a plan which would ultimately end up privatizing military care for veterans, which would seem like a backdoor way of shutting down military hospitals for veterans.Even worse, Trump had the gall in this speech to bring up the subject of military suicides. He said there are "22 suicides in a day" among our military veterans. He failed to bring up the fact that only weeks ago, according to the Associated Press,Trump suggested that PTSD sufferers were too weak to stand up to the rigors of combat.
When considering Donald Trump and the United States military, it's startling to think that the Republican candidate for president of the United States has suggested that Sen. John McCain, who spent years being tortured in Vietnam, is not a hero. As Trump put it, "I like people who weren't captured." Certainly, if avoiding the draft counts, Trump knows a good deal about avoiding capture.When Lincoln gave his Gettysburg Address more than 150 years ago, he referred to the land he was standing on as "hallowed ground." The Donald Trump Gettysburg speech allowed a man who bragged about getting a Purple Heart the easy way – and who is almost the very antithesis of Abraham Lincoln – to stand on that hallowed ground and suggest things that Lincoln himself would never have approved of.
[Featured Image by Mark Makela/Getty Images]