I first want to thank you for your patriotism, heroism and your brave service to America. You do what few others won't, which is to put your own lives on the line to protect ours. You place yourselves at grave risk every single day abroad, nationally and locally. For that we are forever grateful and in your debt.
It's no great secret that many of you, if not a majority, are Republicans. And as Republicans, I must ask you, how can you support Donald Trump? How can you support someone who has such utter disdain for the principles on which our nation was founded, and who has no respect for those courageous individuals like you who's job it is to uphold the law and defend our Constitution and homeland?
When Trump incessantly bellows that we must "make America great again," what he's actually saying is that she is not great now. Is that what you believe? Do you believe that America is not the greatest nation on the planet right now?
When Trump says that we are "losing the war against terror," is that what you believe? Do you believe that the Taliban, al Qaeda, ISIS and other vicious enemies are beating you? That you are losers?
When Trump says that America is a "disaster," is that what you believe? Do you believe that we are living in a state of chaos?
When Trump says that crime in America is "out of control and rapidly getting worse," is that what you believe? Do you believe there's lawlessness in our cities and local communities?
Because if you believe all of this gloom and doom you're admitting colossal personal failure. You're letting Trump accuse you of not doing your jobs. With each and every one of these statements he's disrespecting you and everything you stand for and risk your lives for.
When Trump mocks decorated veterans like Sen. John McCain because he was "captured" and is therefore not a "real" war hero, is that what you believe? Do you believe that our soldiers who are captured, tortured and imprisoned for years are not heroes?
How do you feel when you hear Trump threaten not to support our NATO allies (who, for example, valiantly and loyally stood with us post-911), acting instead like some two-bit mobster holding out for protection money? Do you believe we should waiver in our support of our allies and hold an economic gun to their heads?
How do you feel when Trump talks of murdering the families of terrorists, and of torturing prisoners despite clear violations of the Geneva Conventions? Do you believe this is the sort of American exceptionalism you're fighting for? That these actions will make America great again?
How do you feel when Trump arrogantly boasts that he gets his military advice and foreign policy experience from watching tv shows and through hosting the Miss Universe pageant? Do you believe these are qualifications for Leader of the Free World?
How do you feel when you hear Trump compliment brutal dictators like Vladimir Putin, Kim Jong Un and Saddam Hussein? How do you feel when he unconscionably invites Russia to hack into our State Department because he "hopes" they "find" the missing Clinton emails, a request so bizarre and not just ethically irresponsible and reprehensible but, more so, a grave threat to our national security. Treasonous, in fact, as many believe. How about when he back-peddled the next day and said he was joking and being "sarcastic:" do you think it's funny to suggest that one of our biggest enemies commit espionage against our government and its citizens for Trump's personal political gain?
Trump's claims of catastrophe can only be translated to one thing: If America's not great, if America is a disaster, if crime is out of control, if terrorists are winning, then our military, homeland security, FBI, CIA, police and prosecutors are doing a horrible job. I don't think that's what you believe, do you? Then I ask again, how could you vote for someone who so disrespects the job you do and is calling you a failure? Think about it. It simply doesn't make any sense.
Trump is counting on your support to usher him into the Oval Office. But do you really believe his behavior is worthy of being president of the greatest nation on Earth and commander-in-chief of the world's greatest military?
When you go into that voting booth on November 8th please remember Trump's dark, dystopian, doomsday view of America, and his obvious opinion that your dreadful performance is responsible for it. Also remember that when Trump had a chance to serve side by side with you in Vietnam, he chose instead to hide behind the cashmere coattails of his wealthy daddy, who secured four deferments and an exemption for him through the kind of "personal rewards" afforded the "rich, powerful and well-connected." The kind of elitism which Trump blasted Democrats for on Wednesday.
You are dutifully suiting up and proudly and bravely serving. You're fighting and bleeding on the battlefields of war and on the streets of our cities and small towns. You are heroes and you are selfless. You deserve better than someone who deems America and you, it's protectors, a failure.
We all deserve better than Donald Trump.