The new Trump motto “drain the swamp” resonated with veterans who were sick of failed VA reforms and apathy by the Obama White House and Clinton campaign.
CNN exit polls showed veterans played a huge role in Donald Trump’s big surprise victory. That assessment revealed exit polls showed Donald Trump’s big surprise was bolstered by veterans who played a pivotal role.
The good news for veterans, whether you are a Democrat or a Republican, is that the VETERAN VOTE MATTERED in this election! But why?
Veterans voted for Trump, an alleged draft dodger and populist candidate, 2-1, despite his flaws. This is a population group that is the least racist and least bigotted group against women out of any majority group in the country. What about his position resonated?
I guarantee that if Hillary Clinton responded appropriately to the wait list scandal and other fraudulent VA union employee actions, she may have carried the veteran vote.
But that is not what she did, and it was likely because of her affiliation with the AFGE Union that caused her to fail to address the needs of veterans. She earned this outcome in large part because the ignored the concerns of over 13 million veteran voters.
Oops. The veteran vote matters, as does the vote of the 20 percent of American voters related to a veteran.
Why did the DNC ignore this seemingly obvious voter bloc? Did DNC ever consider that most veterans are also patriotic and affiliated with faith movements?
DisabledVeterans.org Reader Feedback
Yesterday, I asked readers what a Trump Department of Veterans Affairs might look like from their perspective. That article received 95 comments at the time of this article. Overall, readers were optimistic that Trump will drain the swamp at VA.
Some even had suggestions of who might be the next VA head:
“Trump can’t be bought off. This means that he can do as he sees fit. He can say what he thinks and he can act with all the authority that the most powerful position in the world can wield. Trump is a man that gets his way.
“Right now Donald Trump is nearing a moment in time that he will take the reigns of the most powerful nation on Earth, the most deadly fighting force ever assembled, and an electorate that has given him permission to go kick some ass inside our own borders. America has given him permission to drain the swamp.
“If he fails, he fails for lack of resolve and he is nobody after all.
“If he succeeds then he really is Donald Trump, The President of the United States. I personally as his new boss expect him to be Donald Trump in office, the same as he was before being crowned King – and the King’s brand new God is called The People. I expect piety and prayer every single day of the new King to his new God.”
“If he can legally get rid of the AFGE, that would be a HUGE step in the right direction. I don’t automatically assume, that Trump can control VA, no one else ever has been able. I am hopeful, but we must wait and see.”
“Well Ben, overall a good day . Lots of good ideas today . I’d like to see you in office Ben. I even enjoyed listening to the trolls . Oh well tomorrow’s another day . If only for a moment, it feels good to be a veteran.”
“How about all of us. Writing to Trump and tell him about how Ben has reached out to all of us using this site.
“I think if we should advise him about the great job Ben has done and how he really cares about his fellow veterans. That Ben deserves a real good look at for the top job at the VA.
“Thanks Ben. Wish you and yours a bright future. May veterans finally be vindicated. The VA has lied too many times about veteran’s or to veteran’s.”
“One of the likely persons being considered for the position as Secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs is Chairman Jeff Miller. House Veterans’ Affairs Chairman will also be retiring this January. He was also an early Trump backer.”
MSNBC Rachel Maddow Warning To Hillary Clinton
Ironically, staunch Democrat Rachel Maddow of MSNBC was one of the first TV personalities to publicly warn Hillary Clinton that apathy toward veteran scandal would force a backlash. And that backlash happened:
“If I had been running a Republican campaign against President Obama last year, I would have run it entirely on VA. A bureaucracy, a bloated big government program, that can’t be fixed. And let’s do right by our veterans.”
About the wait list scandal that resulted in veterans dying, Clinton said, “It’s not been as widespread as it has been made out to be.” She was referencing her deluded theory that negative press against VA was part of a false Republican scheme to privatize VA:
“Veterans who do get treated are satisfied with their treatment…. Now nobody would believe that from the coverage that you see and the constant berating of the VA on part of the Republicans in part because of this ideological agenda.”
Maddow warned that problems within VA could be a major problem for Democrats for the 2016 vote. She was right, but Clinton failed to heed the warning.
Of course, I have been covering privatization of VA for years. In case anyone hasn’t noticed, President Obama has expanded the same privatization policies initiated by Hillary Clinton as chair of the Healthcare Committee when Bill Clinton took office starting in 1993.
President Bill Clinton initiated numerous policies geared at gutting the federal government with the goal of “ReInventing Government”. It obviously failed, and many within the federal government including union employees figured out how to screw up the program.
Veteran Vote Ignored Privatization Scare Tactics
One thing VA insiders must consider is the large repudiation of scare tactics focused on false allegations that Donald Trump would somehow privatize VA more than is already in place under the existing Democrat president.
Veterans did not buy it, and the 2-1 vote from the veteran community, and the relatively higher turnout of veterans than normal citizens, should send a message. Veterans want to have a choice in getting their healthcare and they want Trump to “drain the swamp.”
Numerous Independent and Democratic veteran voters flipped their vote this election in response to President Obama’s piss poor inability to oust criminal VA employees responsible for the deaths of many veterans in the nationwide wait list scandal. Hillary Clinton’s public dismissal of these scandals came back to bite her.
Clinton was warned but failed to address the surge of unaddressed VA scandals that festered on the watch of Democratic President Barack Obama.
Curiously, the day after the election was called for President-Elect Donald Trump, VA OIG released a report on the wait list scandal:
“The VA Office of Inspector General substantiated the OSC complainant’s allegation that managers improperly directed scheduling staff to zero out patient wait times at the Ocotillo Clinic in violation of the agency’s scheduling directive. Review of scheduling data showed 76 percent of appointments in the Ocotillo Clinic had a zero-day wait time from December 2013 through August 2014. According to the Primary Care Nursing Supervisor, as well as several of her nursing staff, SAVAHCS scheduler training taught methods that violated VA’s national scheduling policy.”
The timing reminds me, in part, of Iran’s reaction to President Ronald Reagan’s election over President Jimmy Carter when the country suddenly released Americans they were holding as hostages.
How do you think a Trump VA will investigate ongoing wait list allegations that have yet to be resolved? It would not surprise me if VA suddenly resolved its ongoing investigations quickly to avoid shining more light into President Obama’s failure to protect veterans.
Trump Mandate: “Drain The Swamp” At VA
Award-winning reporter Aaron Glantz asked veteran voters about the election and why many voted for Donald Trump, a man who was accused of being a Vietnam War draft dodger.
Despite this possible hurdle, Americans with military service backgrounds had a higher rate of turnout and voted 2-1 for Donald Trump. Surprisingly, many of these voters were not traditional Republican voters.
Here are some direct excerpts from Glantz’s article:
John Oliveira voted for Hillary Clinton in the Democratic primary in 2008. Then he voted for Barack Obama in the general election. In 2012, he voted for Green Party candidate Jill Stein; and in the primaries earlier this year, he chose Bernie Sanders.
But in November, as the election drew near, Oliveira decided to do something different.
The former U.S. Navy lieutenant commander, who led bombing missions in Afghanistan after the Sept. 11 attacks, cast his ballot for Donald Trump.
“Thirty years in public service and she really hasn’t accomplished anything,” Oliveira said from his home in New Bedford, Massachusetts, where he has been medically retired. “It’s time to shake things up. It’s time to try something different.”
Other veterans said they were attracted by Trump’s caustic rhetoric and outsider persona, including his promise late in the campaign to“#draintheswamp” – make government honest again.
“He had me at drain the swamp,” said Chris Neiweem, an Iraq war veteran and political consultant in Virginia who split his ticket, voting for Trump and his local congressman, a Democrat.
“I was voting on VA issues,” Neiweem said, “and it was an anti-establishment rejection of the political-industrial class of unions and managers at the VA who conspire against us.”
“I see Trump as a clean slate,” Neiweem said.
“All I know is that Trump is sending fear into the very status quo special interests I despise,” said Ryan Honl, a Gulf War veteran in rural Wisconsin who blew the whistle on the massive over-prescription at the VA hospital in Tomah last year.
Though the hospital’s chief of staff has been fired and the VA has rolled back narcotic prescriptions nationally, Honl said many senior hospital managers responsible for the scandal have simply been shifted to other facilities.
Honl voted for Obama twice, in both 2008 and 2012, and for Democrat John Kerry in 2004 before that. But in the months before this election, he worked overtime to elect Trump and re-elect Republican Sen. Ron Johnson, who decisively held on to his seat that many observers thought might flip to the Democrats.
So will Trump follow the mandate he received from the veteran community to drain the most infamous swamp in the federal government, the Department of Veterans Affairs?
Will he break the back of the federal unions that have reputations for obstructing reforms within the agency to the detriment of the veterans it is supposed to serve?
Indepentend News And Failure Of Establishment News Media To Report Accurately
One untold story here is the power of alternative news sources like this website except on a national platform. It’s important to reflect on who was right and who was wrong. Hint: budget of the organization did not matter.
I would like to highlight a couple resources that helped inform my understanding of where this election was going:
- Wikileaks (indy media)
- LA Times
- Drudge Report (indy media)
- InfoWars (indy media)
- Zero Hedge (indy media)
Here are some news resources that were often wrong in the polls and in assessment of messaging from the candidates despite enormous budgets and legions of reporters:
- New York Times
- Fox News
I can definitely empathize with protesting Democrats who are shocked at the result of the election. Their news sources were plainly wrong.
My Voting Booth Experience
Personally, I stepped into the voting booth without a firm decision who I would vote for after having my vote for Bernie Sanders disrespected by the DNC establishment.
Looking at my ballot, it struck me that I no longer knew, based on the ballot descriptions, what any party stands for with a couple exceptions.
For example, DNC / Labor Party (in Minnesota) now seemingly stands for Wall Street, Big Insurance and Foreign Interests (Saudi Arabia) just like the insiders of the RNC, and not for working class people. (My description excludes Sanders or Trump, who I view as populist candidates that did not adhere to all traditional political alliances.)
Labor, one would think, would mean the party would support workers. However, my analysis of the parties now indicated the DNC is more focused on outlier groups rather than its old base of “labor” meaning people who are not elite intellectuals like Garrison Keiler addressed in his embarrassing diatribe of Americans lacking financial wealth.
Curiously, Keiller made a lot of money from writing about and performing about the small town experience he now denigrates as being inferiorly “uneducated”.
HRC Could Take Note From Pot Party
The only group I could easily discern their position was the “Legalize Marijuana Now” party. I voted for them in the local election because that makes sense to me. The pot prohibition is stupid and it has always been stupid.
I don’t even smoke pot, but I did in a past life and know enough to know its an ineffective prohibition when compared to the enormous death and injury rates caused by legalized drugs like alcohol or pharmaceuticals.
I was a believer that Bernie Sanders could beat Donald Trump who could beat Hillary Clinton. I voted for Bernie but ultimately flipped for Trump given the prospect that Clinton with continue to allow veterans to be victimized by VA employees, apparently like many other veteran voters.
I cannot allow future abuses of veterans and will do what I can to stop it. In my estimation, voting for Trump was the most immediate thing I could do, and apparently other veteran voters agreed. Anyone who chides me for this decision can piss off. If I am a member of any party, it is the “Anti-Dead-Veteran Party”. This is a party AFGE will never join.
We now know this prediction was at least correct as it relates to Trump v. Clinton. What about Bernie? Do you agree that voting for Trump over Clinton based on the risk to life and health of veterans posed by Clinton was a reasonable decision made by many veterans?
Impact Of DNC Manipulations
Let’s also note that John Podesta and the DNC attempted to rig this election. The DNC provided a candidate Democrats did not want while inflating candidates like Donald Trump who they thought Hillary Clinton could beat.
Based on the Wikileaks emails (apparently leaked by various elements of the American intelligence community actors), there was more going on under the covers than most voters realized.
These emails are dubiously named “The Podesta Emails”. Here are some issues unhappy DNC voters need to know:
- Polls oversampled Democrats at the direction of John Podesta
- The DNC conspired against Bernie Sanders and his voters
- Clinton camp said Bernie voters were “bitching” about rigged super delegates
- Podesta instructed his media lackies to elevate Trump, Ben Carson and Ted Cruz ahead of the other candidates because DNC thought Clinton could beat them
- CNN staff colluded with DNC staff to rig debate questions
- DNC operatives actively engaged in starting riots/fights for pay
If you have voted Democrat as I have, and you are pissy about how this election turned out, you owe it to yourself to read the leaked emails and start looking at alternative news outlets with less funding but more accurate assessments of our political situation.
<<I LINKED TO THOSE ABOVE>>
Hillary’s gamble to rig this election failed, and unhappy Democratic voters should turn their angst against their own party elite who thought they knew better than Democratic voters.
My estimation this year was the year of the populist candidate. But this is no surprise.
In a leaked speech to Goldman Sachs, Hillary Clinton acknowledged the 2016 election would be the year of populist voters unhappy with establishment Republicans and Democrats. So why did DNC not support Sanders?
Instead, DNC pushed an establishment candidate through manipulations of the primary and those same manipulations backfired during the general election.
My Take On The VA Swamp
That’s my take. And I do think Trump will “dredge the swamp” in the Department of Veterans Affairs. There are many leaders in the agency who actively engaged in fraud that was confirmed.
But for the active corruption of those superiors, those same idiots would be out of a job. I am directly talking about Diane Rubens and Kim Graves, two idiots who are probably sweating bullets right now.
The status quo will end. And both parties should take note that no amount of media and election manipulation can “trump” the populist movement.
I believe Bernie could have beat The Donald, but the establishment apparently thought their manipulations could sway the election.
Regardless, as a true independent voter, I am glad a non-insider won this election, and I am ready to serve if President Trump asks for help implementing radical reforms to drain the swamp in the most corrupt and secretive agency of 2016. I made the same offer to Obama in 2012, and here we are.
I made the same offer to Obama in 2012… and was largely ignored. So here we are.