Florida Congresswoman Frederica Wilson holds nothing sacred in her constant attempts to discredit President Donald Trump. Most recently, she decided to use the death of an American soldier as a political weapon. The depth of depravity to which Wilson dived on this occasion can hardly be overstated.
If the Democratic Party is still unable to grasp the meaning behind its continued drift away from mainstream American values, it should consider the vileness of individuals like Wilson.
Representing Florida’s 24th congressional district, Wilson was, until very recently, known for two things, besides her obsessive loathing of the president. She insists on wearing the tackiest and most ridiculous hats and she put a lot of energy into spreading blatant lies about the 2012 shooting death of Trayvon Martin. Despite all evidence to the contrary – including at least one eyewitness account – Wilson described Martin as having been “hunted down like a rabid dog.”
Wilson Way Out of Line
Given her talent for distorting reality, it seems hardly surprising that Wilson chose to completely and deliberately mischaracterize the President’s recent phone call to the wife of a fallen Special Forces soldier.
The backstory to the call does not need rehashing. Suffice to say, a young man, La David Johnson, died serving his country overseas and the President chose to call Johnson’s widow to offer his condolences. This is the kind of phone call that no living person ever wants to place. Such a thing is difficult enough for a military commander. For a president – especially one who has never served in the military – it is immeasurably harder, and some previous presidents have chosen not to do it.
Wilson, who took it upon herself to listen in at the other end of the line, decided to portray the president’s remarks in a way that fits her agenda. In so many ways, Wilson was way out of line. Many of her Democratic colleagues, as well as left-leaning pundits, are almost certainly aware of this. Trying to deflect from Wilson’s appalling behavior, they are playing the ‘he started it’ game by pointing out that Trump, himself, made the call a political issue.
In earlier remarks, the president mentioned that some of his predecessors had not called the loved ones of fallen soldiers. This did not politicize the issue, however; Trump merely described a difference in approach and was not criticizing the choices of former presidents.
Even without Trump’s own remarks on the subject, it seems very likely that Rep. Wilson would still have made the accusation against him. She was not reacting to anything the president had said; she was looking for an opportunity to paint Trump in a negative light. She would have done what she did regardless of anything Trump had said. Wilson chose to politicize the issue. The president did not.
Wilson is, apparently, a friend of the Johnson family. Be that as it may, it is almost sickening to think that she thought it appropriate to listen in on the phone call between the president and the grieving family of a soldier killed in action. That she is clearly unaware of how reprehensible this action, alone, was is a testimony to her own lack of human decency. General John Kelly, the White House Chief of Staff, delivered some powerful remarks on the subject during Thursday’s press briefing. Kelly addressed this very thing:
“I was stunned when I came to work yesterday morning and broken-hearted, at what I saw a member of Congress doing — a member of Congress who listened in on a phone call from the president of the United States to a young wife…It stuns me that a member of Congress would have listened in on that conversation, absolutely stuns me. And I thought at least that was sacred.”
What We Signed Up For
As for the call itself, what was it the president allegedly said to Johnson’s widow that was so disrespectful? According to Wilson, Trump said that La David Johnson “knew what he signed up for.” There is no disrespect in this statement. It is, in fact, an acknowledgment of the bravery of those who volunteer to enlist in the military. Those of us who are combat veterans understand this. More specifically, those who become members of special operations units understand very well that they are likely, at some point during their service, to see combat.
Radio host and former C.I.A. officer Buck Sexton discussed the controversy surrounding Trump’s phone call on his show Wednesday. A gentleman identifying himself as a former Airforce Colonel and fighter pilot called the show to weight in. Referring to that very phrase, “knew what he signed up for,” the caller said “If I had died while I was serving in the Airforce, I would want those words spoken at my funeral. We knew what we signed up for. Those are words of honor, not disgrace.”
Frederica Wilson, of course, could not possibly understand that because she would never put her own life on the line for her country. Worse still, she has nothing but contempt for those who do.
The president denied saying what Frederica Wilson accused him of saying. Perhaps he made a poor job of denying the context in which he spoke those words. Nevertheless, the words themselves were not disrespectful, but merely a statement of fact.
Wilson is clearly implying that Trump called Johnson’s widow with the specific purpose of demeaning her, her fallen husband and the loss she had suffered. Even if one dislikes Trump, or believes that he is a terrible president, the idea that he would have deliberately set out to disparage a fallen warrior to the man’s grieving wife is both absurd and horrific. Wilson herself has no love for the military nor for the nation’s veterans, as her congressional voting record demonstrates.
Wilson is a disgrace to Congress, a disgrace to Florida and a disgrace to the United States. Residents of Florida’s 24th district would do well to remember this when next she runs for re-election.