Paul Elisha: Veterans and politics
This commentator has always believed that age was never a guarantor of complaint or bad manners nor was it an established signal for curmudgeonly behavior. So it’s especially upsetting to find oneself setting a graphic example of what he has criticized.
But the unbridled extent of tasteless marketing by mattress and motor-car purveyors, under the flimsy guise of tribute to American war veterans, many of whom sacrificed their lives to perpetuate the right of fellow Americans to pursue the almighty dollar, is simply too hard to swallow, along with the knowledge that there’s no available law to deter this wrong.
That said, it’s also dispiriting to witness the downright disrespect shown by certain legislators, elected to the United States Senate, who then treat accredited journalists assigned to report on their activities, with utter disdain when they’re asked legitimate questions, to which they retort with insults and refusals to answer.
It now sadly appears that despite their annual protestations to the contrary, these political posturers take the sacrifices of veterans, that made their elections possible, just as insensitively as do the ‘make-a-buck-merchandisers’ who hype sales on veteran-designated holidays.
It’s a sorry sight, to witness a former Prisoner-of–war hero, like Senator John McCain, who traded his heroic status for a post in the political pecking order, insult a reporter’s legitimate query with the insolent response: “Who the hell do you think you are… to question me?!” To this veteran’s intense chagrin, apparently the perks of membership in the once hallowed U.S. Senate chamber, that’s now been turned into an exclusive club of patronage purveyors, have dulled its members’ sense of obligation to those who installed them there.
Sitting among a host of veterans, Gold Star Mothers and attendant political dignitaries at a Veterans Day Luncheon, last week, this commentator was moved to think of what a powerful force Gold and Blue Star families and their forever-connected war-veteran allies could be, if they were moved to lobby against war. Who better, to decry the horrors of war than those so intimate with it? Those we send to fight and die, when political possibilities for solutions fade are our nation’s most valuable resource. We must try harder to keep from expending them. This now disorganized ‘great Anti-War Lobby’ might be just the one to drive home this message, to our self-exalted assemblage of self-serving politicians.
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