Let’s Be Honest, Most Politicians Just Use the Military as Political Props to Make Themselves Look Good

boehner-mccainI’m sure this article might ruffle a few feathers, and that’s okay.  I think sometimes the best discussions are developed from topics that are controversial.  And in light of these recent VA scandals, I’ve reached a point with the finger-pointing between both political parties that I simply can no longer stomach it.

Because when it comes to our veterans, they’re both full of crap.

Now I’m not saying that politicians don’t have respect for our military, but a lot of their over the top praise is more or less just lip service because it sounds good to voters when they’re out giving some kind of speech.

If we really had respect for our military, we would only send them into harm’s way whenever it was absolutely necessary.  But we don’t.  The entire Iraq War was a farce and the Bush administration knew it.

In the 90’s the only reason why we sent troops into Iraq that time was to protect our good oil buddies in Kuwait.  Because let’s be honest, that’s really the only reason why most of these foreign nations care about the Middle East.

Hell if John McCain were president we would have sent troops into Libya, Egypt and Syria by now.  Which is ironic, considering John McCain is a veteran and ardent supporter of our military.  But even he would have sent our brave men and women into harm’s way for really no other reason than to “flex American muscle.”

And if our politicians really cared about our troops, these VA scandals wouldn’t exist.  Not only that, VA hospitals would be some of the best run and maintained facilities in this country.

Instead we’re seeing more of the same inexcusable ineptitude that we saw back in 2007 with the Walter Reed Hospital.

But trust me, as someone who has a family member who’s relied on VA care since the early 70’s, these problems didn’t just creep up in the last few years.  The VA has long been inept and problematic for our veterans.

If our politicians really cared, any bills related to veterans benefits wouldn’t have unrelated legislation piggybacked on them – like what we saw a couple of months ago when Senate Republicans blocked a veterans bill because they were trying to force new Iran sanctions along with it.  They would be clean, simple bills with very specific goals.

Heck, just think about the “benefits” we offer members of our military.  They’re not “thank you benefits,” they’re bribes.  The G.I. Bill isn’t something that’s offered to help individuals who serve, or have served, our country.  It’s a program designed to try to bribe people into joining with the promise of a “free education” and other benefits.

Whenever I see most politicians stand up and offer such “heartfelt praise and respect” to our brave men and women, while so many are left suffering in this country, I just can’t help but see nothing more than typical political gamesmanship.

A lot of them like to talk about “defense spending,” but that’s not helping our military – that’s lining the pockets of big defense companies.  It seems a lot of Americans, especially conservative Americas, seem to think spending hundreds of billions of dollars on defense means that our troops are seeing the windfalls of that spending.

But they don’t.  Nearly all of it goes right into the pockets of large defense companies that sign big bloated contracts with our government to build crap we often don’t even need.

I don’t see the disrespect towards our military and its veterans as a partisan issue because our pathetic treatment of our vets hasn’t been isolated to one particular party or timeframe.  As Jon Stewart recently pointed out, the United States has a long history of screwing over its veterans.

So when I see these politicians stand there, heaping praise towards the men and women who are serving, or have served, in our nation’s military, I don’t really give any credence to what they’re saying.

Because at the end of the day, both parties have been an absolute embarrassment when it comes to actually showing respect toward members of our military both past and present.


Allen Clifton

Allen Clifton is a native Texan who now lives in the Austin area. He has a degree in Political Science from Sam Houston State University. Allen is a co-founder of Forward Progressives and creator of the popular Right Off A Cliff column and Facebook page. Be sure to follow Allen on Twitter and Facebook, and subscribe to his channel on YouTube as well.

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  • Sandy Greer

    Want to respect the military? Send them into harm’s way only when absolutely necessary?

    DIAL BACK THE CIA. Shackle the Neocons.

    Neocons think it our God given right to have a finger in every pie. CIA Spec Ops have operated with impunity FOR 50+ YEARS all across this world. Coups, and covert ops, and shady dealings too numerous to mention – for DECADES – to disastrous end.

    The road to Hell is paved with good intentions, and sometimes – not so good. Our chickens are coming home to roost.

    I fear we don’t have enough military to undo the harm our CIA and Neocons have caused.