Everyone can agree on how difficult it is to lose a loved one; it’s even an unimaginable feeling for some. Some have had to endure getting told their son, daughter, spouse or friend who have served in the military had passed. This was the case between President Trump and Myeshia Johnson’s loved one. Myeshia’s husband, Sgt. La David Johnson, was one of the four American service members who died in Niger. The conversation was brought up in an emotional press conference first by the congresswoman and then in one featuring General John Kelly. Even though this had been the situation for General Kelly and his son, to bring a private conversation about the death of a loved one into politics is the wrong way to go about a controversial issue. General John Kelly was wrong in politicizing the conversation between Trump and Gold Star Wife Myeshia Johnson.
Although Myeshia Johnson first spoke about the conversation in the press and criticized Trump, the issue shouldn’t have been retaliated by General Kelly. Khizr Khan, who is a Gold Star member himself and came to fame in the convention, weighed in on the issue. He said Gen. Kelly should have handled the issue with dignity and restraint instead of turning the issue into a political one. Gen. Kelly being a Gold Star member and father let his emotions get the best of him and used it as a way to bring politics into the issue. It’s understandable why he felt the emotions he did, having a son who was tragically a fallen soldier. However, being so he should know better than to highlight and politicize a situation where someone lost a loved one close to them.
General Kelly wrongly denied President Trump’s inappropriate and insensitive lies toward a grieving widow and a sitting U.S. congresswoman. He has been known to defend President Trump in the past for a lot of his comments or just blatantly ignore certain situations when he could have stepped in. He allowed himself to turn a highly personal issue into a political one. Imagine grieving over a loss of someone you love while the issue has been turned into a political situation. Khizr Khan, who also has tragically lost his son, felt the issue could have been silenced.
Kelly discussed that when a phone call is made to a Gold Star member’s family about a fallen soldier, there is no way to prepare for it or make it any better for the family. It was a line that resonated with everyone who watched the press conference. No one wants to have to go through such a shocking and devastating situation. Khizr Khan and General Kelly both had to endure that phone call. Their sons were dedicated soldiers with pride and love for their country. We should respect all those who put themselves in the line of duty and fight for us Americans. Even more so we should leave politics out of very saddening situations like the death of loved ones and respect the family’s during their time of grieving.
This editorial was written by Abigail Chmelka based on the opinion of a JAMS 504 Media Milwaukee Editorial Board.