Apparently someone—not Trump!—asked the military to hide a Navy destroyer during the president’s visit to Japan on Memorial Day. It’s not easy to hide a massive ship, so the people in charge did the next best thing—they hid the naval officers and sailors assigned to that ship. Also, they may have tried to use a tarp to hide the ship’s name. Why? It’s the USS John S. McCain and the name makes Trump cranky. Seriously.
Look, I don’t believe Trump had nothing to do with this bizarre request. First, this is a man who puts his name on everything. He cares about this sort of symbolism. Second, if we’ve learned anything about Trump, it’s that his denials are really affirmations. He’s the Bart Simpson of the first family. “I didn’t do it!” is his knee-jerk way of confessing.
But, whatever. If President Bone Spurs wants to spend Memorial Day weekend siding with dictators, trashing Americans, and trying to erase the legacy of people who actually served—well, that seems on brand. But can you imagine what the world would be like if our leaders began to demand that everything they find offensive or inconvenient be removed from sight?
Maybe we could put tents over our homeless shelters, our domestic abuse centers, our food pantries, our rape crisis centers, and our cancer wards. Does anyone really want to be reminded of the presence of the homeless, battered women, hungry children, violent crime victims, and illness? And what about all those underperforming schools? If we didn’t have to look at them, we might be able to forget that we aren’t doing one damn thing to make them better.
Most of us understand that we have to face the inconvenient reminders of things we’d rather forget. Trump would rather not be reminded that McCain was a decorated war veteran, as was his father and his grandfather. The fact that that McCain is dead makes the whole thing even more ridiculous.
And look, maybe Trump was telling the truth when he said the request didn’t come from him. But someone on his staff assumed the request would please Trump. And Trump did seem pleased by the ask, calling it “well-meaning” and taking yet another opportunity to disparage John McCain. No surprise there. It’s easier for a coward to keep fighting a dead man than to face up to the fact that his own legacy will likely be one of disgrace and failure.
The whole incident is just one more silly reminder that America’s current president is, at his best, short tempered, infantile, and petty. But if we’re making the world a better place by putting tarps over offensive things, I have a request: someone throw a tarp over the West Wing and all of its occupants. I’m sick of looking at them.