I again struggle in finding a starting point. I think a part of it is because, well, I never in my twenty-one years imagined that I would be writing anything concerning politics, especially concerning President Trump. The greater aspects of my struggle though, are the innumerous misgivings that I must now not only to recognize, but acknowledge, admit to, and share… with all of you.
I’ll begin by telling that I have frequently been acquainted and associated with difficult men. You know, the ones considered assholes. Cold. Grim. Those that laugh about things that kind of make you want to call the police? Or maybe an asylum? Those men. I’ve always considered myself more than able to deal with them, but I hardly realized until now how many of those dealings were so incredibly miscalculated on my part. Ugh, and in reference to the romantic dealings I’ve had with such men… I-I’m an asshole. There. I said it.
Anywho, I posted on Facebook, about a week ago, asking for people to share with me their thoughts and feelings and memories and any other lovey-dovey-sappy stuff they had to give. I had such high hopes,… and yet no one – not even a family member nor any of my closest friends (eh-hem) – gave me what I asked for. An answer to my call came from a long-time friend of my father’s, a stranger to me, known on Facebook as Harry Von Redpigs. I assumed from first glance that he was yet another big-headed meanie jumping at the opportunity to shove his doctrinated opinions down my neck. When I read his eager comment, I sunk deep down into my chair and let out an exasperated and elongated groan, of displeasure. But! Being the [at times too-] optimistic person that I am, and defiant of failure, I followed suit and was soon discussing politics and good ‘ole President Trump with Mr. Redpigs. With every passing message, I found that I was the one shoving things down my neck – a case also known as foot-in-mouth.
This is what I learned.
Harry was a Green Beret in the U.K. Royal Navy, serving in numerous stations as a trauma medic, countering narcotics and assisting in Hurricane Relief along his way. He, like many other military members have and do, saw staying things. Particular for him was an occurrence in the Al Faw peninsula, amidst Kuwait, Iraq, Iran, and the Persian Gulf. Yikes. Contrary to how our conversation began (regarding Trump), his words turned to short burts when I asked him to share something more personal, which I found telling of the nature of those memories.
“Bit of shooting back and forth… artillary was landing on and around us. Cobra came over and lit up the artillery that was shelling us. All went quiet.”
“Sure you want all the details… ?”
“Next day we walked past it, and there was an arm just laying on the sand, it didn’t look real, I picked it up, looked at it, the neck of the humorous was bright white. Smell of metal in the air.”
“Years and years go by. I’m in Gibraltar. I wake up screaming, convinced the arm was in bed with me. Go to see the CPN. Usual bollocks of: normal reaction to an abnormal situation. So I thought: What does she know!!”
“Anyway, life goes off the rails slightly, drinking etc, back out to Afghan, finally it all gets too much. I end up as an inpatient, as I self refer’d due to recognizing that I wasn’t “right”; complete apathy, no empathy, no sympathy, no joy, no sadness. Just void of any feelings and not the sligtest care about anyone else’s.”
“Honest to the point of rudeness with people. It’s not that I wanted to offend people – just didn’t, still don’t, care if they were or not.”
While I had seen where the story was to climax, and was well-prepared for gore, it was his consideration for me and his self-admission to the hospital that caught me off guard. It was so contrary to the apathetic man he told me of.
“Hence why when I say about Trump being good, I don’t mean he’s good in the true sense of the word.”
“Compartmentalize things is what I do. Life vs. work. Home vs. away. If I need to go away, home gets put in a box. I’ll open it when I’m back. Small things don’t matter as they don’t effect me.”
“It’s not that we want to be rude, or purposefully offend you (you being the wider population) we just don’t care if you get upset as we work in black and white, and more importantly we work in fact and evidence.”
All he had said fell into place, and all the headaches I had had with difficult men, along with all of the bad things I had heard about President Trump, were being flipped upside-down.
“Family pet older than the kids are, how can you just kill it?! Without a thought?! Well. There was a thought. The thought was it suffering. It didn’t deserve that. So I ended it’s suffering. I felt nothing doing it. Felt ok that it wasn’t in pain anymore. Does it make me a bad person? In some eyes probably.”
I began to adore the self-sacrifice I saw. Yeah, these hardened men did and do things that I certainly never would or likely ever will, but their intentions were good, truly, and they were not only knowingly, but willingly taking the brunt of people’s opinions for the better of a situation.
“People are starting to see past click-bait and source their own truth.”
“He’s [Trump] an absolute maniac but he’s good in the long term as people will engage in the political process more and actually pay attention to what the people in power do, and call them out on it.”
“He’s an Arse. A narcissist, borderline xenophobic, borderline racist, borderline sexist. I say borderline as there’s shades of grey with this. He’s an old man, despite what his surgeons may tell him, and not caught with 20th century thinking yet.”
“But….. he’s under the microscope. Both personally and politically.”
“Yes, because they’ll scrutinize him.”
My mind, blown. I, taken aback. My previous beliefs about meanie men, well…. they were no more. I thank Harry Von Redpigs for his courageous and forthcoming words, for everything he gave me in that conversation – namely a bit of shame. Truly, I thank you and all who wear the burden of goodness and leadership for us. Us; the people, the soft-hearted, the self-proclaimed-victims who never can imagine the effects of such bravery. Thank you.
“He’s scrutinised like no other before him and for me that’s amazing, since Bush Jr declared “The War On Terror” its gotten worse. A lot worse. Obama dropped more ordinance than allied forces combined during WW2. Which is crazy! The drone programme was out of control, they were run out of 29 palms and people were on 8 hour shifts, blowing people up. Then going home. Not cool. The suffering in mental health was extreme as the operator had to zoom in on a face… then release their ordinance. Most operators are in their mid 20s. They will suffer for life. Never mind the destruction left behind in Iraq and Afghan.”