GOP convention scared this veteran more than Afghanistan
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Watching the Republican Party's slow implosion unfold over the past months recently culminating with the Republican National Convention strikes me with fear I cannot ever recall having. This after two combat tours in rural eastern Afghanistan with the 101st Airborne Division, the premier division in the U.S. Army, synchronizing truly herculean combat power and destroying the enemy. Nothing has ever yielded fear as close to my heart as the Republicans' weeklong event. Blind partisanship, misplaced bomb-the-hell-out-of-them militarism and just plain hatred are not qualities that whoever is occupying our nation's highest office should ever embody.


The thought of a commander in chief wielding all the power of the Oval Office with the nuance of a child honestly scares me. Republican nominee Donald TrumpDonald TrumpVeteran accused in alleged border wall scheme faces new charges Arizona Republicans to brush off DOJ concern about election audit FEC drops investigation into Trump hush money payments MORE has been crassly offensive to the cultures with which I was charged with partnering, and I do not see how this gives us a strategic advantage. He has said that he will bomb "the hell" out of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS), ignoring the high numbers of coalition aircraft coming home laden with bombs for want of military targets to destroy. All this while regional powers Iran and Saudi Arabia have recently ceased formal diplomatic relations. Several Saudi satellites have also followed suit in breaking their relations with Tehran.

Southwest Asia is a complex area of the world that needs the level leadership and the correct, subtle and steady application of American power. I do not think Trump will be able to accomplish this with his freight-train persona.

Let me be clear: Democratic nominee Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonMcConnell: Taliban could take over Afghanistan by 'the end of the year' Hillary Clinton: There must be a 'global reckoning' with disinformation Pelosi's archbishop calls for Communion to be withheld from public figures supporting abortion rights MORE is not without her flaws. Her email scandal is, to this veteran, head-smackingly thoughtless and a violation of the great trust that the United States placed in her. That being said, she is an accomplished and dedicated public servant whom I hope will continue her efforts.

To me, Trump is the man who could not remember which foot medically disqualified him from service in Vietnam, then insulted Sen. John McCainJohn Sidney McCainDOJ: Arizona recount could violate civil rights laws Cheney fight stokes cries of GOP double standard for women Conservative Club for Growth PAC comes out against Stefanik to replace Cheney MORE's (R-Ariz.) personal valor in combat and subsequent capture. To me, Trump is the man who muddied legitimate security concerns about fulfilling our nation's promise to accept huddled masses by advocating for prejudiced policies blocking entry on religious grounds.

To me, the Republican Party is not the party of responsible limited government, but the party of those who — save a select few — would not stop Trump's nomination before it happened. Republicans are members of a party that played to our lowest common denominator, our intolerance and our fear. It does not matter if those considering themselves to be Republicans in the classic sense hold these new views; the Republican Party has unequivocally codified them as a national platform and placed their standard-bearer, and de facto new leader, as their representative on the national ballot.

I spent the last year balancing the increasing commitments of a demanding full-time job and a world-class executive master's program. I am a gun owner. I am a combat veteran. I do not understand why I am not low-hanging fruit for Republican membership, something that I cannot ever see committing myself to.

Without presenting any policy details, Trump is claiming that he can fix everything: win the war, save the economy and "Make America Great Again." This is eerily reminiscent of what my father remembers as President Nixon's "secret plan" to win in Vietnam, and if brought into office, I believe Trump's plans will have the same success as Nixon's.

Carey is a graduate of American University's School of International Service, where he studied East Asia and U.S. Foreign Policy. He served as an artilleryman and fire supporter with the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), deploying twice to Afghanistan's Regional Command East.

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