First of all, to Chris Baldridge, father of Army Sgt. Dillon Baldridge, who was killed in Afghanistan: I am very sorry for your loss. I have a son, and I can’t imagine what you are going through.
However, you have now chosen to make yourself part of the crusade against President Trump waged by Democrats, who attack him not only when he screws up but when he’s trying to do good things, like give comfort to Gold Star families and help Puerto Rico — which he rightly points out contributed to its own destruction by not managing its affairs but which will still receive billions in federal aid.
The president of the United States spent 15 minutes of his valuable time talking to you. You complained during the conversation, obviously hoping the president would somehow get you some cash, that your wife was the beneficiary of your son’s $100,000 death gratuity, and that you don’t have much money. Trump apparently graciously offered you $25,000 out of his own wallet to help you out. But the check never arrived.
Instead of contenting yourself with a decently long, obvious more-than-pro-forma phone call from the president, you went to the Washington Post and joined in the anti-Trump pile-on, complaining that an additional condolence he provided in the form of a letter had no money with it.
“I opened it up and read it, and I was hoping to see a check in there, to be honest . . . I know it was kind of far-fetched thinking. But I was like, ‘Damn, no check.’ Just a letter saying ‘I’m sorry,’” you told the Post, which of course put six reporters on this vital story.
Sure, Trump should have sent the money he promised. But he has more than fulfilled his obligation to you. It is quite possible that he was being sincere in his offer, and that his failure to get you your check was simply an oversight. To allow yourself in this context to become part of the media feeding frenzy and systemic Democrat effort to take down the president is disgraceful, even for someone who is grieving terribly.
The federal entitlement state and the various grievance lobbies that support it have helped create a general sense of entitlement — and grievance — in the country. The notion of generosity to others has been transferred over the past several decades from victims’ friends, neighbors, and countrymen to the impersonal, cold hand of the state, and so everyone thinks they are entitled to things and nobody is particularly thankful.
Socialism steals the soul of a nation and ultimately makes it poorer too. In an effort to immunize society from all pain and random consequence, the Left has created a culture in which giving is an obligation — that is, paying lots of taxes — and taking is a right. And so a man can run to the press demanding $25,000 from the president. And the mayor of San Juan can sink her teeth into the hand that is trying to feed her city and demand to know why billions of dollars in generous aid aren’t getting to her faster — without a hint of shame over her island’s prior condition or gratitude for the help.