Speaking at a veterans’ event on Wednesday, President Donald Trump joked that he wanted to give himself the Medal of Honor, and didn’t do so only because his aides talked him out of it.
Trump made the joke to a WWII veteran and Medal of Honor recipient during the 75th annual national convention of American Veterans, and it was met with laughs by the people in the crowd.
But not everyone thought it was funny.
“It is an honor, but it is an honor for something unimaginable that someone has gone through and he’s cracking a joke about it,” Brianna Keilar, a guest host, stated during a segment on CNN.
Predictably, others on the panel agreed with Keilar that Trump’s joke was egregious. A CNN legal analyst, Jeffrey Toobin, even went so far as to say that the president was not joking at all.
“I’m sure his aides would say: ‘Of course, he was joking about that,’” Toobin said. “But his jokes are not jokes.”
“He does think he should get a medal; he does believe that!” Toobin exclaimed.
What’s more, this panel was far from the only place that we saw outrage over these comments — there was also plenty of it on Twitter:
And now, as if it wasn’t enough to say he’s King of Israel and look to the sky and declare himself the Chosen One, Trump says he wants to give himself a Medal of Honor. He is dangerously unwell. A sick, racist, cruel, unhinged, stupid criminal. We all know this. #25thAmendmentNow
— Bryce Tache 🇺🇸 (@brycetache) August 21, 2019
While in my city, Trump jokes that he wants to award himself the Medal of Honor.
Could we have a more incompetent leader?
— Travis Allen 🇺🇸 (@TravisAllen02) August 21, 2019
Now, let me first of all say that there are plenty of things to hit Trump on; I have done so in the past. I have, for example, been very vocal in my opposition to his plan to build an expensive, ineffective, waste-of-money wall. I have had an issue with some of his comments, such as the “both sides” comments he made in the wake of Charlottesville, as well as the more recent ones where he seemed to compare himself to Jesus Christ. In other words, I am far from someone who blindly defends everything that Trump says or does, and I am not afraid to criticize him when I feel he’s in the wrong.
That being said: When Trump is making an obvious (and it was obvious, Toobin) joke, people really need to relax. What’s more, they should want to — not for the sake of the Trump supporters or their feelings, but for the sake of their own cause. Why? Because liberals’ tendency to gleefully make a mountain out of every single molehill, to turn every obvious joke into some kind of serious outrage, serves only to water down any legitimate criticisms that they may have.
There could not be a more clear example of something that liberals should have let slide than this joke. Trump was obviously kidding, and the crowd — made up of veterans — laughed, showing that they understood this fact and were not at all offended. Trump and his supporters often lambast news sources such as CNN as being the “fake-news media” whose only goal is to take him down, and they’re really doing themselves no favors when they say things that seem to support that. If they really want Trump supporters to listen to their legitimate concerns about the president, then they should avoid bending over backwards to twist everything the president says or does into something that’s concerning — or else the minds that they claim to want to change are going to continue to tune out entirely.