Friday, October 4, 2013

We Won’t Be Heroes Forever

I read a post on Facebook about a woman who lost her job because she bitched about veterans getting discounts and being called heroes.  She had very little support, but she had some.

The on-going government shut down, like the sequester, spreads pain unevenly across America.  Like any Republican program, it will hurt the poor more than the rich, but any cut in government programs will eventually cut veteran’s benefits.  So the Republicans quickly moved to restore benefits to veterans.

Sounds like something good.  It might be good in the short term, but government is a zero-sum game.  If you give money one place you take it from another.  So veterans get benefits, but Headstart and school-lunch programs remain without money.

If the shutdown is a good idea, then veterans should be screwed along with kids and cancer patients.  Because if we are not, eventually all those who care about kids and cancer patients will remember that veterans got bennies when they did not.

I served when during Viet Nam when Rush Limbaugh, Bill O’Reilly, Michael Savage, Dick Cheney and other draft dodgers were sneering at veterans.  And the public thought of us as baby killers and college-student killers.

When we mobilized for Iraq, our commander said, “Envy destroys community.”  He was right.  Now he is in the U.S. Congress and supporting the shutdown.  I hope he remembers his own speech.  The longer this shutdown drags on, the more envy will eat at those who lost paychecks, lost research grants, lost school-lunch programs, and lost clinical trials for their child with cancer.

The public could hate us again.  With reductions in force, we will soon be less than one half of one percent of the population.  More people in America have PhD degrees that are currently serving in the military. 

Nobody likes people who cut in line.

The Philosopher of War and Terror and Politics: Hannah Arendt

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