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Donald Trump is a chicken-hawk and a hypocrite: The real story about Vietnam and the draft


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The “pattern” that Barrett refers to is a bit more complicated than he lets on. For one thing, it was only “commonplace” among those of certain economic classes. The working class and the poor had no clue, for the most part, about how to go about getting the 1-Y classification that Trump was given. Among those trying to avoid the draft, it was gold-star status, but it was only one of many ways of getting out of serving—all of which were options for the rich, not the poor.



Phil Ochs catalogued these in his scathing satiric song “Draft Dodger Rag,” ending the last verse with:



So I wish you well, Sarge, give ’em Hell!
Kill me a thousand or so
And if you ever get a war without blood and gore
I’ll be the first to go.

Not many who were evading the draft were doing so out of conscience. Maybe they threw a word or two in that direction, but their primary concern was themselves. As Trump’s was, and Clinton’s.



Most of us boys, on graduation from high school in the 1960s and turning 18, registered for the draft and were, fairly soon, classified 1-A—or prime cannon fodder. Each draft board was given a number it had to meet from those in the 1-A category. That meant each deferment shifted the burden onto a smaller group of potential draftees. Each time a Trump or Clinton got out, in other words, another had to go.


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