The election is tomorrow and we need to form some consensus on veterans issues because a lot of us don’t know who supports what in the news.
During my first round interview with the CIA, they asked me the following, “Where do you go to get your news?” I’m about to tell you an answer that will help you research veteran issues, politicians views on veterans issues and anything else you need an answer for.
My answer to the interviewer was, “Drudge Report, Huffington Post, Guardian, Wall Street Journal, Al Jazeera, Economist, Fox News.” That answer spring- boarded me to the next round.
Here’s what this means for veterans and voters. You must always read news from at least two sides of every issue to really know what the truth might be. Due to special interests manipulating the media, there is no true source of news anymore. Everything is embedded with propaganda of some kind. Take veterans benefits or veterans disability. To President Obama supporters, these may look like rights – and rights are for downtrodden Americans who must be protected during hard economic times. To Mitt Romney supporters, they may look like entitlements – entitlements are for lazy people and must be cut during hard economic times.
The truth between the two positions may lie in the middle ground somewhere. Or, it may not be encompassed in either position, since the political “Wizards of Oz” likely picked the one solution composition that is the most politically polarizing. That way, no one agrees and we end up with die hard supporters on either side.
Keep in mind, to spread propaganda only means, “to propagate an agenda.” Schools do it. Nonprofits do it. For-profits do it. MSNBC does it, and so does Fox News. Reading between the lines will help you get the full picture to become a more informed voter and it will help you vote to support things like veterans assistance, veterans benefits, and veterans issues generally.
The debates this year were weak when it came to any mention of veterans issues. President Obama mentioned veterans only during the last debate. Mitt Romney did not mention the word “veterans” once.
Since veterans issues were not highlighted in the way they deserved, I asked readers to email me actual facts about Mitt Romney and Republicans, as well as President Obama and Democrats, on important veterans issues. The result was an overwhelming number of links about pro and anti veteran legislation supported by President Obama.
There was practically ZERO mention by any veterans of Mitt Romney’s policies on veterans issues, veterans disability, veterans policies, veterans assistance – you name it. Not one peep was said about Mitt Romney and his position on veterans issues during the debates. And, even pro-Mitt Romney veterans did not respond with a Mitt Romney position that was pro-veteran. This could stem from the fact that Mitt Romney never mentioned a thing about veterans when debating President Obama. Nor did Mitt Romney mention veterans issues when talking with the VFW last July.
Here is my take given my extensive time this year in Capitol Hill and in reading your responses. On specifically veterans issues, it is CLEAR that President Obama has a stronger record. Why? Because Mitt Romney has not been president, and as such has not been in charge of the Department of Veterans Affairs. For that reason, he does not have an extensive record on veterans or related issues like national defense.
Even if the roles were reversed, however, I’m not sure Mitt Romney would have a better record. However, it is possible that Mitt Romney would be better with veteran-owned small businesses. But that is mere speculation since the position has not been stated at this point.
Keep in mind, this does not mean that one will be better than the other on all issues. It does mean that, in a country of only disabled veterans, President Obama could be better. However, there is no such place and the decision to vote in one direction or the other is not as clear for most rational thinkers.
I liken modern politics to a quote from the movie “The Campaign,” a great new parody on the Koch Brothers with Will Ferrell and Zach Galifianakis. In it Ferrell’s son says he is running for class president. Ferrell asks what his son is running on, and his son responds, “No one cares about platforms dad.” Instead, he based his campaign on one position, that his male opponent, “may or may not have a vagina. Win at all costs, right dad?”
This may seem crass but it’s terribly clever – by just asserting the idea of something that may or may not be true, you win. Today, when you watch supporters of one side or the other, there seems to be a lot of finger pointing at things that distract and matter little to the burning issues of the day. I wonder, “Maybe America is ready to call a spade a spade and move into a space that only supports rational politics with rational thinking. Or is it?”
Now, there are many more topics than the ones I included below, but I thought it would be good to look at what readers sent in.
Obama Against Veterans
These topics were sent to me from Republican veterans and readers.
The passage of the Health Care Reform Act raised the issue of military families and survivors of veterans seeing health care costs rise or worse. https://www.military.com/benefits/tricare/understanding-the-affects-of-health-care-reform-on-tricare.html
The Obama administration’s proposed defense budget calls for military families and retirees to pay sharply more for their healthcare, while leaving unionized civilian defense workers’ benefits untouched. https://nation.foxnews.com/president-obama/2012/02/27/pres-obama-cut-health-care-troops#ixzz2AnMo1rYB
Mrs. Obama announced that through Joining Forces, 2,000 companies have hired or trained 125,000 veterans so far, more than a year ahead of schedule, she said. https://www.firstcoastnews.com/news/local/story.aspx?storyid=269798
One of the Senate’s chief deficit hawks complained Wednesday that politicians were making false promises of jobs to veterans by discussing a bill that will never become law — and would provide only temporary work for veterans if it did. https://www.armytimes.com/news/2012/09/military-coburn-veterans-jobs-corps-091212w/
Senators vote to repeal a business tax and to give companies tax credits for hiring unemployed military veterans. https://articles.latimes.com/2011/nov/11/nation/la-na-senate-jobs-20111111
Obama Supporting Veterans
These were sent to me from Democratic veterans and readers.
This was an eye-opener. Hint: NOT Romney https://www.dav.org/news/NewsArticle.aspx?ID=633
“President Obama signed an executive order on April 26, directing VA and the Department of Defense to undertake a number of measures to ‘stop deceptive and misleading’ promotional efforts that target the GI Bill educational benefits of Servicemembers, Veterans, and eligible family members and survivors.” https://www.va.gov/opa/pressrel/pressrelease.cfm?id=2366
Republicans voted to block the Veterans Jobs Corps Act of 2012. https://thecaucus.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/09/19/veterans-jobs-bill-blocked-in-the-senate/
In August, President Obama called on Congress to enact tax credits that will help get veterans back to work. The Returning Heroes Tax Credit provides businesses that hire unemployed veterans with a maximum credit of $5,600 per veteran, and the Wounded Warriors Tax Credit offers businesses that hire veterans with service-connected disabilities with a maximum credit of $9,600 per veteran. https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2011/11/21/fact-sheet-returning-heroes-and-wounded-warrior-tax-credits
“The new digital, paperless system to process and track disability claims has been implemented at four regional offices, and is set to be installed in 12 more offices by the end of the fiscal year. It is supposed to be set up in all 56 VA regional offices by the end of 2013.” https://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/federal-eye/post/va-cites-progress-in-fixing-disability-claims-process/2012/07/18/gJQA802ztW_blog.html
Welcome to our world Julia https://www.barackobama.com/life-of-julia/
Veterans’ Comments On Politics
As a result of this question, “who supports veterans more?” some veterans and readers were very appreciative. Others were upset. I found both to be insightful and included them here.
[quote]”Thank you for your efforts on behalf of those who served. Recently, I read a comment on your Facebook thread where your credentials were questioned. You not only have put your money where your mouth is, but you sacrificed much more than dollars and cents. I applaud you for wanting to help other veterans, even those who appear to not be appreciative of your efforts.. These young veterans, don’t realize how fortunate they are to have a bona fide advocate in there corner. In 1970, after 4 years of service, I got out with a cast on my right ankle and a hand that didn’t work as well as it did in 1966. There were no Benjamin Krauses, DAV outreach, VA welcome centers or lawyers who wanted to represent you or help guide you through the system, there was no presumptive disabilities, no PTSD, no psychiatric transitioning, no VO/REHAB, in short … there was just the VA. In 1970, the VA’s job was to NOT help you UNLESS you were totally helpless. Through the years, it is people like you have transformed the VA into a much, much better model than it was in 1970. Americans must be reminded: for the warrior, war is hell — even after the war. For the citizens, war is expensive —- long after the war’s been won, or lost. Keep up your good work.”[/quote]
[quote]”You are a typical ‘Repiglican’! It is called ‘Critical Thinking.’ “[/quote]
[quote]”Sorry Benjamin, THIS combat veteran no longer wants your email. I’ve had it up to here with the socialist agenda and their willing idiots. Anyone who quotes that leftist rag HuffPO is a bullshit artist in my book. You may have some putative Disabled Veteran’s organization, but like that Iraq Veteran’s group leftist cabal also out there, you don’t represent me or other patriotic Americans with this silly-ass attempt to make Veterans vote for this cock-sucker-in-chief we currently have. He can pound sand up his ass and you can help him. I fought in 3 wars, and doubtful you fought in any. It’s just too bad socialists like you joined the military in the first place.”[/quote]
[quote]”I read your articles on who would be the best for vets. Well going by past implantation of laws I would have say the President Obama has put into laws that protect veterans given them more accesses. I watch all the House hearings and the subcommittees with veterans laws that await passage. I have seen very little come out of the Republicans side for help for the many years I have been out of the Marines. The president has signed laws to help in transitions, he has signed laws in increasing the G.I. Benefit for post 9/11, signed law to help family’s when the concern of mortgage fraud against families in the military, there are many more. I would hope regardless of whom is elected that they all hold too us that have have served our Country with putting our lives on hold for freedom.”[/quote]
[quote]”why are you doing this now???? if you are talking just party maybe ..I have complete faith in Mitt to take care of our Military..at this time in the election you are starting a dangerous act..you say don’t e-mail you this or that just give YOU what you want a answer ..well Americans want a answer what you say NOT to do sounds like the Administration ..just do as I say and don’t question it..why would you want to get someone like Obama relected ..?? because by doing this NOW you have a chance of putting doubt in peoples mind..Obama will get more of our soldiers killed if you push this and he gets elected..why don’t you go to Washington and talk to the Congress and Senate ..I have Never seen any Republican that has taking anything away from the Military ..and Mitt is who I am voting for ..he is a good man and would never take away from our soldiers and let them die like Obama has in the way he has ..and what makes you think Mitt has a act that he that Mitt had the control to do what you state..he has NEVER been in Washington and had the control to do so …. and he has NEVER had control to spend on useless gov contract either ..and I do know what the military is doing my family are Military..our soldiers all over the world are voting Mitt by 75% because THEY trust him that much ..please STOP trying to stir confusion on how people vote ..because if you cause Obama to get reelected it will be on you head what happens to the military from that point.”[/quote]
[quote]”If it weren’t for President Obama and his directive to provide information to veterans, my husband would not have received a letter stating he’d been in a chemical spray zone in Vietnam. It helped us to understand so much about his medical history over the last forty years.”[/quote]