President Trump is notorious for eschewing the advice of experts and professionals in favor of the advice of his friends, or people he likes on TV, or his family members.
Proud and unrepentantly ignorant, time and time again we have seen him clash with his advisors and career officials over the right course of action, preferring to call up people like FOX opinion host Sean Hannity or his son-in-law Jared Kushner for solutions on incredibly complex and consequential issues like the coronavirus crisis and peace in the Middle East.
He continued that bizarre trend on Tuesday, when he announced that if he was ever faced with a “military battle” he would not turn to the Joint Chiefs of Staff or any of America’s military generals but instead call up New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick, saying he would be as “good as any general out there.”
Trump then called in to Hugh Hewitt, who also began with football questions. Trump said of Bill Belichick: "If I ever had a military battle I'd call up Belichick and say, 'What do you think, what do you think? Give me a couple of ideas.' He'd be as good as any general out there."
— Daniel Dale (@ddale8) August 11, 2020
His words are utterly mystifying. As the commander-in-chief of the United States, he has, in fact, had very many “military battles.” His very military action as President was a covert SEAL team raid on the village of Yakla in Yemen, which led to the death of an American SEAL and the massacre of thirty-five civilians, including ten children under the age of 10. Trump cared so little he was not even in the Situation Room for the op.
Since taking office, his “military battles” have killed at least 8,000 innocent civilians in just the war against ISIS alone, not to mention the thousands more killed in Afghanistan and the countless Kurdish civilians murdered by Turkish troops since he greenlit their genocidal invasion of Syrian Kurdistan (Rojava).
It just goes to show how little he thinks of America’s military leadership that he assumes a football coach — the most successful football coach in history, but a football coach nonetheless — could jump in and help plan a “military battle.”
He’s a “winner.”
“I’ll tell you, Belichick is an incredible coach, and I think he’s going to do really well. This guy just knows how to win. And he’s a very good friend of mine. He’s a winner,” said Trump to Hugh Hewitt.
A nepotistic oligarch to the core, Trump clearly values his “friendship” with Bill Belichick as more of an important qualifier than, say, decades of military experience and training — an approach he has applied to his entire administration, with drastic consequences for the American people.
Colin Taylor is the editor-in-chief of Occupy Democrats. He graduated from Bennington College with a Bachelor's degree in history and political science. He now focuses on advancing the cause of social justice and equality in America.