Stop Politicizing Dead Soldiers

President Trump has found himself in a new scandal after claims he told the widow of a fallen soldier that he “must have known what he signed up for.” Whether he said this or not, it’s another troubling instance, from both the President and Democrats, to politicize the death of an American hero.

Let’s start with this latest hubbub. The President held a news conference this week and was pressed by a reporter why he hadn’t made a statement on the loss of four American soldiers after an ambush in the African country of Niger. Other than the fact most of us didn’t even know we had troops in Niger, the issue hadn’t caused much of a media spectacle. But, the President, defensive as always, shot back that President Obama hadn’t called some families of fallen soldiers, including now former General, now White House Chief of Staff, John Kelly. This is a textbook Trumpian move to change the story.

The media and Democrats fell for it hook, line, and sinker.

It’s possible we would never have heard about the phone call with the widow if it weren’t for Congresswoman Frederica Wilson, who told a Miami TV station last night what she claims the President said. And never one to miss the opportunity to make a spectacle, she and her silly hat showed up on TV this morning to continue her outrage.

This all comes after the battle during the campaign where Trump attacked a Muslim Gold Star family after their criticism. Democrats, including Hillary Clinton, made the Khan’s a political toy after the media caught hold, even including them in a TV ad.

We, as voters and engaged citizens, can’t allow this kind of politicization of the death of American heroes. We have to respond with anger when a flag-draped coffin is used for political purposes or to attack someone else. It doesn’t matter which side is doing it, it’s wrong. It’s bad enough for these families, why make them pawns, too?

Patrick Pfingsten is an award-winning journalist, political consultant, and PR expert. You can find him on Twitter @pfingsten1 or email him at

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