If Republicans Really Supported The Troops They Wouldn’t Propose Privatizing the VA

memorial day

It speaks volumes about a nation’s population that they need a special federal holiday to remember and honor the sacrifice of the men and women of the armed services who died while serving their country. Although it is true that not every family in America has lost a loved-one to war, every American has benefitted, in one form or another, from those who gave their lives in service to this country throughout its history. As Americans celebrate another Memorial Day, while they attend parades, have picnics, and remember America’s fallen soldiers, they should keep in mind that over the past 50 or so years this country fought wars of choice over ideology and resources and not because of an existential threat to the United States.

War should be any nation’s last resort to resolve a conflict regardless the circumstances, and yet for Republicans and their conservative supporters, there is never a good reason not to send more Americans to die as if this nation needs more fallen soldiers to memorialize at the start of summer. In fact, despite Americans still serving in Iraq and fighting in Afghanistan, and a war-weary public ready for a rare period without war, Republicans have clamored for more wars with no regard for the men and women whose job it is to put their lives on the line for their country. During the Bush administration, any criticism of the senseless loss of life and resources expended in Iraq and Afghanistan brought swift accusations that advocating for peace was not supporting the troops. However, Republicans have never supported the troops; not while they were in Iraq and Afghanistan and certainly not after they returned home.

The recent revelation that severely underfunded Veterans’ Administration hospitals were responsible for Veterans dying waiting for care is an abomination. That is not supporting the troops; it is using and discarding them after they served their purpose of enriching the military industrial complex. The simple fact that VA hospitals were left using creative scheduling schemes because they were burdened with patients should be all the proof any American needs to comprehend that Republicans have never cared about, or supported, the troops after their service was complete. It is important to remember that while Republicans refused to fund new hospitals, Veterans’ jobs bills, or their pensions due to “budgetary constraints,” they always find more than enough funds for tax cuts for the rich, new military hardware the Pentagon does not want or need, or funding to start more wars whether it was in Syria, Libya, Iran, and recently in Russia.

If Republicans supported the troops and appreciated the sacrifice of those who made it home alive, then they would not propose privatizing the Veterans Administration, cut Veterans’ pensions, obstruct Veterans’ jobs bills, reject Medicaid expansion, cut active-duty soldiers’ food stamps, or block new construction for desperately-needed VA hospitals. There has been a call for the Secretary of Veterans’ Affairs, Retired General Shinseki, to resign or be fired after reports surfaced Veterans died waiting for treatment at VA hospitals, but if Republicans adequately funded the Veterans’ Administration there would be no so-called scandal. The only scandal remotely related to the unnecessary Veterans’ deaths is that there are insufficient hospitals and medical facilities as a direct result of Republicans underfunding the VA.

Republicans argue, like they did when they withheld increased security funding for diplomatic missions that led to the deaths of four Americans in Benghazi, that they have to prioritize where funding goes, but that is never the case when they subsidize the oil industry, corporate agriculture, pass budgets with new tax cuts for the wealthy, or call for new American military intervention at the drop of a hat. The warmongers in Congress, and there are many more than those appearing on news programs condemning the President for not rushing to war, are beholden to the very substantial military-industrial complex and its profits and have barely-concealed contempt for the men and women whose lives are on the line. Their contempt is publicly manifest when they oppose funding for Veterans whether it is for jobs, new medical facilities, or cut Veterans’ pensions to protect tax breaks for the rich and corporations.

Memorial Day is to honor the men and women who did not make it home from war, but no American should forget the hundreds-of-thousands of survivors who, but for luck or circumstances, made it home but are forever changed whether it is living with the horrors of war, coping with life-changing devastating injuries, or face death again in long waiting lists at Veterans’ hospitals. Americans should honor and acknowledge every service member whether they made the ultimate sacrifice or are active duty, retired, homeless, unemployed, coping with debilitating injuries seen or unseen, or are living prosperous lives. The people should also exert overwhelming pressure on any member of Congress who opposes legislation to fund building enough Veterans’ hospitals to accommodate any eventuality as well as those whose first response to any turmoil in foreign nations is American military intervention and more fallen heroes.

If America never goes to war again, the people have enough fallen and living service members to memorialize and honor for their sacrifice, so if Republicans are always pushing for more wars just to give the people more fallen heroes to honor on Memorial Day, they are more malevolent than anyone could imagine. War should always be the remedy of last resort for any nation if for no other reason than supporting the troops by not putting them in harms’ way. Republicans readily put the men and women of the military in harms way whether it was sending them to fight and die in their wars of choice, or forcing them to wait for medical care at underfunded Veterans’ hospitals. The real travesty is that it is not because Republicans want a perpetual line of fallen soldiers, airmen, and sailors to remember on Memorial Day, but because they love war as much as they hate the Americans tasked to fight them; especially those that make it home alive.


18 Replies to “If Republicans Really Supported The Troops They Wouldn’t Propose Privatizing the VA”

  1. I’m so Tired of the Military being Used and Abused for Profit and Political Gain. It’s a vicious Cycle of young People with no where go but join for Benefits and survival with abuse at every corner. The Price for Oil is to high and must stop!

  2. The GOP/Teabums don’t give a damn about anybody but themselves. That includes women, minorities, immagrants, gays and vets. In truth the only ones they do care about is the rich who can fill their pockets. In their hearts they really don’t want to privatize, they feel that President Obama is incompetent to be over the VA. If Romney, or any other GOP nutcase was in the White House, then would want to take the time and fix it.

  3. Creative scheduling schemes sounds like somebody just put a decimal point in the wrong place. Oopsie. We are finding out it was far more devious than that – people cheated to make themselves look good for bonuses and career advancement at the expense of vets. How do you shame people into taking corrective action when they don’t seem to have any?

  4. Today’s scandals are Republican scandals: IRS scandal – real scandal is that so many 100% political orgs got tax exempt status when they shouldn’t have; Bengazi – countless times Republicans voted against providing funds for security; Education – stealing millions for public school education for profit driven schools and then complain it’s the teachers’ fault; add the VA – where ANY and ALL bills that would have benefited our veterans or fund the VA were voted against or cut drastically.

    We all know this and know all Republicans lie, vote for wars, haven’t done their jobs for years and only care about the 1%. Here these same Republicans complain about how much money we don’t have to support programs that actually help people when they waste billions on government shutdown and useless witchhunts.

  5. Remember that privatization equals Fascism and that the GOP are Fascists…
    EVERY GOP policy is rooted in Fascism via one of the 14 defining characteristics of it. Sometimes, more than one “DC” of Fascism is involved in the GOP’s policy…

  6. Their usual brand of support, which is no support at all. Yet sadly some of these people that are getting no support will continue to vote for the non supporters because of the lip service given that sounds good at the time.

  7. I can’t agree more! I am witness to the GOP brainwashing techniques. A wounded vet of the Bush Wars, is being honored for his service on Thursday. I have spoken a few times with this vet and am shocked at some of his statements about the ACA, Obama, etc., etc. He was not like this before his involvement with a very right wing group. I have been invited to this event but I am afraid to go because I might slip and say something I will forever regret because this soldier is my son. If you wish to understand the GOP agenda and the techniques they use to screw people’s minds, read “The Family”.

  8. Another sobering commentary from Rmuse.

    Let us remember those who gave their lives , those who have served, and those who are serving this country.

  9. The Republicans support the troops and yet over 200,000 veterans are caught up in their political spite by not extending the unemployment benefits? What a bunch of heartless LIARS. Do they think we are stupid, deaf and blind?? The tactics that they use are so old, and yet they keep using the same strategies over and over.#Hope4Jobs, #RenuwUI

  10. Seems most forget that the GOP hates the Federal Government and does everything in their power to destroy it. Need I remind all of you that the military is part of the Government that the GOP hate. Remember (GI) means Government Issue. This is why unless money is going out to the Military Corporations that provide new weapons,ammunition,transportation. The GOP
    wants the military (GI) to fail.
    After all there is no profit coming to the GOP from all of our GI’S.

  11. Hey Lynn,
    You advised to read “THE FAMILY” could you post who the author is please.
    PS. Sorry about your current problems with your son. Sounds like he desperately needs to be debriefed and deprogrammed.

  12. They will use this tragedy at the Phoenix VA to paint with a broad brush the entire socialized VA system. Unfortunately for the privatize the VA crowd(conservatives) most veterans love their socialized VA healthcare. Like the private US healthcare industry has never had a few bad apples.

  13. Bernie, I know your heart is in the right place, but Republicans would still ignore the problems as they did when Dubya was president.

    They just simply don’t care about anything but their money.

  14. I disagree that they would take the time and “fix it”. During the GW Bush administration, they kept cutting the budget of the VA until it was broken. Walter Reed Hospital became a national disgrace. The requirements to get Veterans’ Benefits were made tougher. People who would never be able to work again due to their injuries were given a 10% disability. My impression at the time was, once a service person was no longer able to go to the front, they were worthless, and to be ignored.

  15. Republicans never seem to want to lift a finger to help out our returning soldiers. They love photo ops with men and women in uniform, and they’ll speak empty platitudes til the cows come home, but when it comes time to actually do something they are nowhere to be found.

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