04 September 2020

On Being a Loser

There's going to be continuing controversy over an item in The Atlantic claiming that The Orange One's real reason for not attending a memorial ceremony at a military cemetary in France is that everyone buried there is a "loser." Giving benefit of the doubt where it is undoubtedly undeserved (but nevertheless required by both common courtesy — a concept seemingly outside The Orange One's understanding or ability to mimic — and intellectual honesty combined with a slight distrust of anonymous statements by former government officials precisely because I'm… a former government officer (note the slight difference there)), and notwithstanding the noncredible denials emanating from the built-by-Black-slaves White House, that sentiment is entirely consistent with The Orange One's denigration of John McCain as a "loser." In a literal sense, John McCain was a loser in an election; in a figurative sense, some of his policies were losers, especially related to whom among his "constituents" to trust (later echoed, and with 20/20 hindsight predictably, in his selection of a running-mate); but no one who survives being a POW for five years under any circumstances and doesn't collapse into a quivering ball upon release is him/her/theirself a loser.

So, in no particular order, let's look at a few other losers in relatively recent American history.

  • Lewis Albanese, acting on his own, killed at least eight enemy snipers who were armed with automatic weapons in a fortified position, the last two hand-to-hand. Had he not done so, his platoon would have suffered heavy casualties… opening a gaping hole in a line of advance allowing enemy soldiers to take the remainder of the battalion in the rear.
  • Richard Anderson continued driving back enemy soldiers while being treated for disabling wounds to his legs. Had he not done so, his platoon would have been wiped out.
  • Steven Bennett flew his light aircraft into heavy enemy fire, strafing enemy troops when there was no ground-attack air support available. His aircraft was hit on his fifth pass; he chose to ditch in the Gulf of Tonkin because his observer's parachute had been damaged when the aircraft was hit — even though that type of aircraft had never had a pilot survive a ditching. (The observer survived.)
  • Daniel Bruce caught a satchel (backpack) charge in midair and, rather than drop it where it could hurt others in the encampment, clutched it to his chest and ran.

These "losers" all have two things in common. First, they're all recipients of the Congressional Medal of Honor — posthumously — in the same age cohort as The Orange One. Second, none of them had bone spurs that neither failed to inhibit their daily function nor enabled them to evade unprofitable military service. <SARCASM> It's that second one that really makes them "losers" in the eyes of The Orange One and his class. </SARCASM>.

I guess I'm a loser, too, or at least a sucker: I volunteered (technically, a lot more than once!) because supporting and defending the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic, was much more important and much more urgent than the balance in my bank account. So is Lt Col Vindman; so is Sec'y Powell. The late David Koch, however — one of The Orange One's true peers, both in terms of age cohort and source of wealth (that is, inherited) — was not a loser or sucker. He was… something else