CAN WE TURN AMERICA’S “STEP CHILDREN” INTO A UNIFIED FORCE?
RESTORING RESPECT FOR MILITARY AND VETERAN VOTERS
By Gordon Duff STAFF WRITER
Every special interest group from the doctor’s union (American Medical Association) to the US Chamber of Commerce and National Association of Manufacturers (the “starvation wage”/no insurance lobby), not to mention “big tobacco” or “big oil,” owns a big chunk of our government, bought and paid for with the kind of money no veteran’s group will ever be able to match.
The Hatch Act, a law ignored when the illegal lobbying is done to help the boys in the last paragraph, is supposed to outlaw political activity in the military and federal agencies. Veterans groups push here, push there and spin their wheels with “big show/no go” controversies like “flag burning” but too often back political candidates that are neither veterans nor supporters of military and veterans issues, real “quality of life” issues.
With many members of congress getting military and veteran votes but taking the wrong side on our issues and too many of that support our legislation but fail to assist the veterans in their own districts, we have become “America’s stepchildren.” Let’s leave fighting the “boogeyman” to those best armed for that war, the TV and radio “talking heads,” and begin standing, united for once and for all.
OUR HISTORY OF “BLINDLY” GIVING VOTES AWAY
The military and veteran vote has always been considered as going to Republican candidates. The officer corps, especially graduates of the service academies, as Dave Hackworth called them, “the perfumed princes of the Pentagon,” range from “conservative” to well into the “totalitarian” and even “feudal nobility” range.
Following them politically is like voting yourself back into 10th century serfdom.
Our primary veterans groups, the VFW and American Legion used to be opposites, with the VFW being Roosevelt Dem’s and the Legion being very right wing. Now they are both rubber stamps for any flag waving politician who is both “blustery” and very right wing, no matter how they vote on veterans issues.
VETERANS ORGANIZATIONS AND THE “CHEATER’S SCORECARD”
With members of the military and veterans groups breaking with their leaders and voting Democrat in the last election, we may have elected a party more willing to “fund” our needs but also one that has never heard our voice.
We don’t have a voice.
Some groups, like the American Legion, give high ratings to politicians who continually vote against veterans funding. Others, like the DAV, are more selective and supportive of military families and veterans. How can organizations that say they support veterans and the military be so much at odds and have nobody know it?
When John McCain pointed out he had received awards from nearly every veterans group but had one of the worst voting records in Congress, not only on issues for military families and veterans but, insanely, on POW issues, some of us began taking notice.
“THE LULL IN LYING:” WITH ELECTION YEAR POSTURING OVER, A CHANCE FOR US TO RALLY AND ATTACK
The election is over. We won but we also lost. The VA is still the VA. Secretary Gates, though appointed by President Bush, is reforming many practices in the military but as with the VA, we suspect too many things will be “painted and saluted” but quickly return to “business as usual.”
Until we are ready to end exploitation of members of the military and veterans community by political special interest groups that control some of the most influential veterans organizations, and get real information and real accountability into play, we will always be abandoned and forgotten like the POWs of Vietnam.
VETERAN’S GROUPS ARE “THE TAIL”…..WE ARE “THE DOG”….AND WE CAN BITE
Organizations that support candidates who vote for new expensive and useless weapons but could care less if a veteran and his family lose their homes or a returning reservist is pushed out of his job can no longer be allowed to pretend to speak for anyone but their puppeteer masters.
The only answer is the truth, shining the light of day onto the problem and the problem is our own government, Congress, the VA and the Pentagon. Every decision needs to be HONESTLY evaluated as to how it effects the lives and welfare of veterans and the military.
If they take care of us, as they had promised, we will take care of America. We have been doing it for well over 200 years.
VERIFICATION: SEEKING OUT WMD’S IN THE DC “SEWER SYSTEM”
Every bill, every budget item needs to be evaluated with common sense, reading thru the subterfuge and “weasel words” that make black into white and up look like down.
Every representative needs to account for the veterans they have helped in their district. How many were really helped and how many were ignored in favor of helping country club buddies with fat checkbooks?
Military and veterans need honest information, not propaganda or phony flag waving. With the truth in our hands, we can weigh our own interests in an honest manner for the first time and vote as we will, informed, not “disinformed.”
Gordon Duff is a Marine combat veteran and regular contributor on political and social issues.
Gordon Duff posted articles on VT from 2008 to 2022. He is a Marine combat veteran of the Vietnam War. A disabled veteran, he worked on veterans and POW issues for decades.
Gordon is an accredited diplomat and is generally accepted as one of the top global intelligence specialists. He manages the world’s largest private intelligence organization and regularly consults with governments challenged by security issues.
Duff has traveled extensively, is published around the world, and is a regular guest on TV and radio in more than “several” countries. He is also a trained chef, wine enthusiast, avid motorcyclist, and gunsmith specializing in historical weapons and restoration. Business experience and interests are in energy and defense technology.