Congressman and Iraq War veteran Ruben Gallego took Joe Scarborough to task on Monday after the Morning Joe co-host criticized “young men” of today for staying home “playing video games” instead of enlisting in the military.
“Young men in the 1940s liberated Europe from Nazism and the Pacific from the Japanese Empire. Today, too many stay home playing video games,” Scarborough tweeted on Monday morning.
Gallego, a Democratic congressman from Arizona who served as a Marine in Iraq, fired back hours later, saying: “It is ironic you say this on Purple Heart Day. My Marine Corps Company had 48 Purple Hearts, almost all were millennials. #purpleheartday”
Young men in the 1940s liberated Europe from Nazism and the Pacific from the Japanese Empire. Today, too many stay home playing video games. https://t.co/e7FTe0O20P
— Joe Scarborough (@JoeNBC) August 7, 2017
— Ruben Gallego (@RubenGallego) August 7, 2017
Some critics on Twitter were quick to point out that Scarborough, a former Republican congressman who announced last month that he was leaving the GOP party to become an independent, never served in the military himself.
New rule: You don’t get to criticize people for not serving in the military if you never served in the military yourself.
— Soldier Jane (@sgtjanedoe) August 7, 2017
Since @JoeNBC neither served in the military nor played video games, I assume he spent a lot of time shipping Tails and Shadow or something
— Joe! (@jplepore) August 7, 2017
Joe Scarborough is 54, old enough to have served the US in Grenada, Panama, the Gulf War, Bosnia and Afghanistan, but chose not to.
— Good Fundies Brian (@BrianMets) August 7, 2017
That’s interesting: as a veteran, do you think your experiences in war made you a better man?
— Lev Novak (@LevNovak) August 7, 2017
Oh wait, I’m sorry: you and I have gone to the same number of wars–maybe you’re just talking out of your ass?
— Lev Novak (@LevNovak) August 7, 2017
joe, thank you for your service at the university of alabama
— jason 🦃 (@JasonKirkSBN) August 7, 2017
Others accused Scarborough of glorifying or encouraging war.
Video games are generally better for civilization than war.
— Patrick Thornton (@pwthornton) August 7, 2017
a man who worships war as a necessary character builder is by far a worse threat to humanity than “super mario kart.”
— javi grillo-marxuach (@OKBJGM) August 7, 2017
this is just an angry, old cynical man detached from reality tweet. At no point should we encourage that people would be better off in war.
— Ryan Wyatt (@Fwiz) August 7, 2017
Oh, the glory days of war!
— alexandra halaby (@iskandrah) August 7, 2017
Gallego made headlines late last year for his decision to oppose then-President-elect Donald Trump’s nomination of retired Marine Gen. James N. Mattis as defense secretary.
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Despite blowback from his fellow combat veterans, Gallego told The Washington Post in December 2016 that he stood by his choice, explaining in an op-ed for the newspaper that his stance “was motivated not by political considerations but by concern for the enduring American principle of civilian control of the military.”
“Banning any qualified person from serving their country, because of who they are is both discriminatory and bad national security policy. @realDonaldTrump will never understand complex military needs. He doesn’t have the experience or intellectual capacity to learn,” Gallego said in a series of tweets.
“It is also ironic that @realDonaldTrump who did everything to avoid Vietnam is stopping Trans people who want to serve,” he continued. “Let’s look what is going on here. @realDonaldTrump is an impotent leader. He is using fear of Trans community to score political points. Make sense now why @realDonaldTrump admires Putin. Both use fear of LGBTQ community to keep control of their base.”