logo


no avatar

Trump and Patton: A comparison of rhetoric and patriotism

Larry French • Feb 7, 2018 at 8:45 AM

It's not what someone says that upsets the masses, but rather who says it.

Case in point: On Nov. 8, 1942, Operation Torch, the Allied invasion of French North Africa began. During this operation the Sultan of Morocco appealed to Gen. George S. Patton (U.S. Army) for as little bloodshed as possible in his country.

Patton, who was always direct, outspoken and to the point, replied in writing on Nov. 10, 1942.

"Your majesty must realize the painful sentiments which I entertain in contemplating the necessity of shedding the blood of my friends, but the stern necessity of war demands that if the French armed forces continue to demonstrate the hostility they have already shown, it is my military duty and purpose to attack by air, by sea, and by land, with the utmost violence known to modern war."

Insofar as my research can deduce, no one made any adverse comments.

Now, fast forward to August 2017, when President Donald J. Trump (likewise direct, outspoken and to the point) warned Kim Jong Un, chairman of the Workers Party of Korea and supreme leader of North Korean with these words.

"North Korea best not make any more threats to the United States. They will be met with fire and fury like the world has never seen."

Immediately after Trump said this, he was criticized from every political corner and by every left wing news organization imaginable as they rushed to discredit him without once giving any thought to keeping our nation safe.

One wonders if those who continue to fall under the guise of journalists perhaps soiled themselves as they raced to see who could be first to continue to smear the reputation of the commander in chief.

Patton had a comment regarding this type of behavior. "If everyone is thinking alike, then somebody isn't thinking," which leaves little doubt that those journalists with their anti-Trump agenda aren't thinking.

Now back up, and with an open mind (provided open minds exist) look at the comments again.

"(I)t is my military duty and purpose," Patton said, "to attack by air, by sea, and by land with the utmost violence known to modern war." Profane, direct and to the point.

"North Korea best not make any more threats to the United States," Trump said. "They will be met with fire and fury like the world has never seen." Profane, direct and to the point.

So I ask you, gentle readers, what is the difference between "utmost violence known to modern war" and "They will be met with fire and fury like the world has never seen," other than the individual who made the remark?

There is no difference.

And to advance the argument one step further, another case in point.

Sticking with North Korea, Sen. John McCain, (R-Ariz.) during an interview with MSNBC's Greta van Susteren, in March 2017, called Kim Jong Un a "crazy fat kid that's running North Korea."

And no one spoke up.

But when President Trump referred to Kim as "Little Rocket Man," the same criticism from every political corner and every left wing news organization imaginable erupted again.

Not much difference in what was said; only who said it.

In his November speech in South Korea, President Trump said, "North Korea is not the paradise your grandfather envisioned. It is a hell that no person deserves."

To say this took moral courage, which defined by Patton, "(I)s the most valuable and usually the most absent characteristic in men."

The entire world — other than the people of North Korea — is well aware of what goes on in that country. There is no absence of moral courage in what the president said.

In the assembly hall that November day of Trump's address was Lee Hyeon-seo, an escapee from North Korea who said, "I wanted to stand up from my seat and shout 'Yahoo!' We just don't hear people talking about North Korea in this way in South Korea, so I was very emotional during the speech. I was very impressed."

The president ended his speech — not only to South Korea — but to the world with these words.

"Do not underestimate us. And do not try us. We will defend our common spirit, our shared prosperity and our sacred liberty."

This is morally defined as saying the right thing even if the decisions may result in adverse consequences.

At the end of his 35-minute speech, President Trump received a standing ovation.

I'm certain General Patton would have approved of the president's speech, too.

It's about patriotism and keeping a free nation free.

Larry French lives in Butler. He is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists, National Society of Newspaper Columnists and teaches composition and literature at East Tennessee State University. You may reach him at FRENCHL@ETSU.EDU

Recommended for You