Veterans Day 2016

Shat upon, for the second time.

by Richard @ Flexible Reality – 2016

*********************nam

Back in 1966 I registered for the draft, and almost immediately found myself conscripted into the U.S. Army. After Basic and AIT training, followed by a short stint at Ft. Monroe, VA, I received orders to ship out for a tour in Vietnam. Within a very short time of being “in-country” it became clear to me the War was a mistake, and we were, if anything, fighting on the wrong side. But soldiers do not get to decide what’s right and what’s wrong, only to understand that our mission is to kill those who have been described as the enemy.

When I came home from the War, aboard a domestic airliner, in uniform, a woman spit on me, and called me some vile names. Even my own father accused me of being “a baby killer”. I did not retaliate or forcefully respond to the insults, although I have lamented not doing so until the present day.

Fast forward to the 2016 Election where instead of electing Sec. Clinton, and allowing Sanders, Warren, Leahy, and Teachout to spearhead serious domestic program reforms after the election, the unimaginable happened, and Trump became the President-Elect.

The result, like Brexit, was a mistake, fueled in large part by an electorate that focused almost exclusively on their perceived loss of special exemption or privileges. created solely by being propitiously born into the dominant clan, and a failure to responsibly evaluate the likely consequences of poorly considered options. The failure was aided and abetted by a MSM that abdicated any semblance of responsible journalism and working as neutral reporters presenting factual information and analysis.

In both cases the beneficiaries of America’s 240 year developmental history were the wrong recipients, for the wrong reasons, and bore a result which will remain a blot on our country forever. Not since 1964 has the country stood on the precipice of catastrophic disaster initiated by their chosen POTUS; but even Barry Goldwater had a few favorable qualities completely alien to Donald Trump.

As our founders warned, the populace can be coerced, excited, or scared into irrationality, and it was clear from the ascent of both Trump and Sanders that the electorate demanded major change in leadership now, in the short term, regardless of other considerations, not in an incremental well-considered process spread over time as represented by a Clinton Presidency. But to many their vote was for a regression to a perceived past, not to an enhanced future.

Another link between Vietnam and Trump revolves around personal leadership qualities. I got to spend way too much time with several of the South Vietnamese military and RVN ‘Government’ officials, who for the most part were opportunists, craven, egotistical, vulgar, and completely lacking in personal virtue or integrity, except for their own self-serving benefit, with Cao Ky being the spot-on equivalent of Trump.

As a former soldier, I regard with horror that fact that half of the electorate choose to elect a candidate like Trump, who is the polar opposite of America’s expressed ideals for a POTUS – of high intelligence, of honesty, integrity, fair play, compassion, and concern for all citizens; and simultaneously re-elect a rehashed slate of National-level obstructionist office holders, so that the next Administration will have a Republican House, Senate, and President, in spite of the recent history which amply demonstrates that assemblage has worked against the best interests of society continuously…for decades; while simultaneously voting against every enhancement to physical and social infrastructure, and voted to decrease the support and benefits for those doing the fighting, killing, and dying.

Even harder to justify was the bizarre fact so few incumbents in either Local, State, or National office were voted out of office, in spite of polls over the past year which gave Congress an 18% approval rating. A Congress which on numerous occasions refused support for veterans, retirees, progressive social policies, and humanitarian assistance; but did vote to provide more funds for the Department of Defense than the agency had even requested. Yet did vote against funding for roads, bridges, sewers, water systems, NASA, stem cell research, or the electrical grid.

To face the reality that one of every two people I encounter supported, and will defend Trump makes me regret my military, civilian, and even citizenship activities on behalf of America. I always thought we were better as a people and as a nation than what we now see before us.

Some might assert I’m over-reacting to the circumstances…no, I don’t think so…this will not end well, for anyone.

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