Independent Journal Review (IJR) contacted Benghazi survivor and former Army Ranger Kris "Tanto" Paronto for his take on celebrity "courage" in standing up to Donald Trump.
In case you haven't read the book or seen the movie 13 Hours (and if you haven't, you should do both right now), Paronto is a hardcore American warrior and knows a thing or two about real courage. Here is how he responded to IJR:
In the last eight years, the office of the president has turned into an office of celebrity. Obama was so concerned with how many times he could be on 'The Jimmy Fallon Show' and what he looked like on TV.
He turned the position of Commander-in-Chief into a pop culture thing and pulled away from what the office of the president is all about — leadership.
He wasn't supposed to be a celebrity, he was supposed to be a dignified leader. Still, Hollywood was all over celebrity Obama.
At the same time, I don't want to lump all of Hollywood together. Because you got guys like John Krasinski and Pablo Schriver, who played us in the movie. Sure they are liberal, but they are extremely, extremely, respectful of veterans and our sacrifices.
But then you have these other celebrities. And you know what, you're a monkey and somebody is turning the crank. You're here to entertain us. When you're gone, we don't give a sh*t, we will find another monkey to do the job you were doing.
The only time I have a real issue with this at all is when these people are looked at as role models. When they back out, and publications like the New York Times or CNN put them on a pedestal for dropping out, it does a major disservice to Americans.
They're not role models. There's nothing courageous about sitting in your five million dollar mansion and looking down upon us. It's arrogant, it's pompous, and it's not bravery.
They're all actors pretending to be someone else. Just because you played a police officer or military veteran, doesn't mean you understand what it's like to be in our shoes.
So you know what, Meryl Streep, stop putting others down and go do something else. Be like Pat Tillman, drop everything you're doing and put your life on the line. Robert De Niro, you played a cop in the movies, go be a cop on the streets.
The same principle applies to these other celebrities. You wore a uniform as a costume. Try putting one on to serve your country."
Paronto concluded by pointing out who the real role models are: “The real role models are the guy who goes and puts his life on the line for his country, the police officer who jumps in front of a bullet, and the EMT who treats the wounded on the scene, people who put others before themselves. Those are the true celebrities.”