Women and men who risked their lives and health in service to our country have more than earned our support; they also deserve our admiration and gratitude.
For the present discussion I would like to focus on the reciprocal commitment we should demonstrate to those who have put all they have, and all they may ever have, on the line for us.
Most of us have heard news reports of veterans who were forced to wait for needed health care. Treatments have been delayed—sometimes, apparently, until the veteran had died. It takes no level of genius, and one need not be a moral titan, to say this is wrong.
We should expect this situation to be fixed speedily. There must also be investigations into how the deplorable conditions at veteran’s hospitals developed.
It is my personal belief that, as tax cut mania took over the Republican Party and swept much of the country up in a “grow the economy by shrinking government” fantasy, many valuable functions of government were underfunded. Not providing resources for the care of veterans who did their bit is unconscionable—just as were many of the other penny-wise, pound foolish “savings” claimed by so-called conservatives.
As the economy slowly recovers from the supply-sider’s attempt to “revitalize” it we are already hearing claims that they want to carve away yet more waste, fraud, and abuse. Our most potent rebuttal may be to examine what has been “trimmed” in the past, and ask our fellow citizens, “Is this waste?”
The Republicans loyalty (fealty isn’t too strong of a word) to the interests of the richest .1% is obvious, but such blatant disregard not only for the rest of us but for veterans as well may help to temper any lingering appetite for tax cuts without limit.
I don’t think we should hesitate to “use” our advantage here, at least partially because the Republicans—having mostly created the problem themselves—have shown such gleefulness in exploiting their imagined opportunity.
Democrats do share some of the blame. Not only were some eager cheerleaders for the reckless tax cuts, all should have pointed at the spending cuts needed to match the reduced revenue. Both of those errors should be addressed at the highest levels within the party.
Major pain has been inflicted upon those least able to bear it so that the most affluent can have ever more. Anyone complicit in this grotesque abuse deserves to be exposed.
Author note: In the comments section I wish to avoid blaming the victims. We may have supported few, if any, of the “military actions” engaged in by our veterans—that shouldn’t reduce our esteem for them. The Republicans treat the military as if they were mere props, no need for us to do the same. If you feel that veterans are getting what “they deserve,” please feel free to write that diary—this diary is not that diary, though.