Saturday, September 24, 2016

“The dream of a nine-year-old boy”

In The New Yorker , Roger Angell writes about the upcoming presidential election. After recounting various well-known Donald Trump insults and crudities, Angell turns to one more, Trump’s comment upon receiving a replica Purple Heart from a veteran. “I always wanted to get the Purple Heart. This was much easier,” Trump said. Angell writes:

What? Mr. Trump is saying he wishes that he had joined the armed forces somehow (he had a chance but skimmed out, like so many others of his time) and then had died or been scarred or maimed in combat? This is the dream of a nine-year-old boy, and it impugns the five hundred thousand young Americans who have died in combat in my lifetime, and the many hundreds of thousands more whose lives were altered or shattered by their wounds of war.
Roger Angell is now ninety-six. He is a veteran of the Second World War. He calls his vote in the upcoming election “the most important one of my lifetime.” You don’t need to share his confidence in Hillary Clinton to agree that it’s necessary to vote for her.

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