Right Opinion

Perspective

Gary Bauer · Oct. 21, 2017

Perhaps you are burned out from the work week and maybe you’ve already tuned out as well. But I would really like your attention today.

In yesterday’s report, I referenced the remarks of White House Chief of Staff John Kelly in defense of President Trump. General Kelly said he was “stunned” and “brokenhearted” by efforts to politicize the president’s call to a grieving widow. But there was so much more to what he said, and I want to focus more on his remarks.

In my four decades in Washington, a city that revolves around the getting and keeping of power, I have seen a lot of press briefings. For the most part, they are routine, mundane and unremarkable — and that’s generally considered a good thing. If a press briefing makes news, it is usually because something terrible was said at the podium.

General Kelly’s briefing Thursday was newsworthy not because he said anything terrible but because his remarks were so profound. He put everything into its proper perspective.

You’ve probably seen the photo of the four soldiers who were ambushed in Niger — Staff Sgt. Jeremiah Johnson, Staff Sgt. Dustin Wright, Sgt. La David Johnson and Staff Sgt. Bryan Black. They look like America. They gave their lives fighting evil.

General Kelly knew all the details of how their remains were handled. He knew that because he lost his own son in Afghanistan. You can watch him explain those details here.

General Kelly knows the seriousness of that sacrifice, the pain experienced by parents and family members. His tone Thursday was pained, almost as if he was delivering a eulogy. Hopefully, it was not a eulogy for America, but Kelly is clearly very concerned about the state of our union today.

In a particularly poignant moment, he talked about how much things have changed in America, and not always for the better. He talked about how women are objectified by the popular culture, how life is no longer sacred, how faith is disrespected. Watch it here.

General Kelly was talking about the America I grew up in. He was talking about the America my father, Spike Bauer, loved and fought for in the Pacific. He was talking about the America that elected Donald Trump.

Not surprisingly, General Kelly had some words for Rep. Frederica Wilson of Florida. He referred to her as an “empty barrel” that makes a lot of noise. She certainly is making a lot of noise. In fact, she’s laughing about how much attention she is getting.

“You mean to tell me that I’ve become so important that the White House is following me and my words?” Wilson joked. “This is amazing… That is absolutely phenomenal. I’ll have to tell my kids that I’m a rock star now.”

She’s so excited that she has made the rounds on all the talk shows for having politicized a soldier’s death. What a sorry cackling excuse for a representative of the United States. Is any Democrat leader going to demand that she back down?

How dare she! Wilson is laughing about how important she has become because she listened in on the most private, most painful phone call from the president of the United States to a grieving widow.

Sadly, our soldiers can’t even die in peace without these jackals trying to use their deaths to pull down our government.

In a healthy America, we would not be reading about restaurants harassed to the point of closing because they think millionaire football players should stand during the national anthem.

Instead, we should be reading about how this politician was forced to resign due to overwhelming outrage from veterans and the Americans who support them.

Men like those who died in Niger preserve America. Politicians who exploit their deaths are doing everything they can to destroy America, whether they realize it or not.

Closing his remarks Thursday, General Kelly said this:

“As I walk off the stage, understand there’s tens of thousands of American kids, mostly, doing their nation’s bidding all around the world. They don’t have to be in uniform. You know, when I was a kid, every man in my life was a veteran — World War II, Korea, and there was the draft. These young people today, they don’t do it for any other reason than their selfless sense of devotion to this great nation.

"We don’t look down upon those of you who that haven’t served. In fact, in a way, we’re a little bit sorry because you’ll never have experienced the wonderful joy you get in your heart when you do the kinds of things our service men and women do — not for any other reason than they love this country. So just think of that.”

I hope the millionaires who have been taking a knee during the national anthem will think about that before the games this weekend. How wonderful it would be to see them all standing in honor of Staff Sgt. Jeremiah Johnson, Staff Sgt. Dustin Wright, Sgt. La David Johnson and Staff Sgt. Bryan Black.

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