Friday 28 Oct 2016

Support Them, Too
AJ Robinson

I remember people using a certain phrase back during the Iraq War. Anytime anyone questioned the war effort or suggested that the administration wasn’t acting in the best interest of the nation, others slammed those that spoke out, with: “You just don’t support the troops.” That silenced them, which I thought was a real tragedy. I thought back to something my dad taught me. He said that it’s easy to carry a gun, but it takes true brains to know when to use it. If you possess that wisdom, you’ll figure out how not ever draw it from its holster.

He said the same was true of troops. It’s easy to train them, boast and grab about them, but it takes brains to know when you should deploy them. If you’re truly wise, they’ll never leave their barracks.

When Bush rushed to war, I knew he lacked true wisdom. Then I saw that a great many of the GOP didn’t even have brains. After they caused the government shutdown, some of them had the audacity to stand with veterans and complain that war memorials had closed. Just how dumb were those politicians? Ah, but then I thought of something else: those veterans. I was even more disappointed in them. After all, didn’t they know, the same smiling Republican lawmakers caused the shutdown.

My dad also told me about another term: chicken hawk. When I was a kid, a chicken hawk was a baby bird that chased after Foghorn Leghorn, in the cartoons! My dad taught me it was a politician, quick to bang the “drum of war,” although they didn’t serve, nor did any member of his or her family serve. They were always a person who had never served a day of their life in actual combat. Among the top chicken hawks of recent years are Bush and Cheney.

Recently, I again saw these GOP chicken hawks show their true metal. Congress was voting on benefits for veterans, everything from healthcare to job training to education and food. What happened? Oh, all but two Republican Senators voted against the bill!

This is how the GOP goes about giving them support?

Although I’m very disappointed in the Republicans, I’m actually more disappointed in the veterans and their friends and family. Well, maybe that’s not fair. Let me put it this way, I might be more disappointed in them, after the upcoming election. I have to ask them one very important question: Are you going to vote for the GOP in the coming election? If the answer is yes, then yes, I will be more disappointed in them. It is one thing for the Republicans to be cold, unfeeling clods who truly don’t support the troops. It is quite another thing for the veterans and their families to support politicians who treat them so shabbily!

I can’t help but remember how badly the veterans of World War I were treated: promised benefits that never materialized; that too was due to the Republicans. It was because of that poor treatment that the GI Bill passed, to take care of World War II veterans, and some people called that welfare!

Huh, seems history is repeating itself. You think the veterans will help throw those bums out. I hope so.

Combining the gimlet-eye, of Philip Roth, with the precisive mind of Lionel Trilling, AJ Robinson writes about what goes bump in the mind, of 21st century adults. Raised in Boston, with summers on Martha's Vineyard, AJ now lives in Florida. Most of the time he writes, but sometimes he works at Disney World to renew his fantasies and get a few dollars more. AJ writes, with insight and passion, about his family and his dog. His liberal, note the small "l," sensibilities often lead to bouts of righteous indignation, well focused and true.

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