I was sitting in a V.A. hospital the other day listening to other Vets discuss their view of the world. After so many hours waiting for health care, these grizzled old people usually let down their hair when they think they are around like-minded individuals. What was surprising to me was how much the guys I was sitting near were parroting the news media – especially FoxNews and Rush Limbaugh.
While most left leaning people lament in silence the rewriting of history by Republicans, the Vets I listened to - who by the way almost always vote, were embracing it. I was surprised by the tone of the conversation between three Vets in particular who seemed to think that the previous administration did not allow ANY attack on this country and were cursing the current administration for the "bowing and scraping" to other countries' leaders. This approach they parroted would leave us vulnerable to attack at anytime from terrorists who hate America.
The other topic of conversation that seemed ripe for revision was the economy and who was at fault for its current condition. Several Vets seemed to believe we were in good but not great shape when POTUS 43 left office. But now the country was headed off a cliff to Marxism and Socialism - according to one Vet, thanks to "the gang of three" as he put it – Pelosi, Reid and Obama. I can understand some of their inelastic views regarding the economy; after all, many are retired military and are pensioners. They get their healthcare for little or nothing, and most have access to reduced costs for food through base commissaries. They as a whole have only been partially affected by the steamroller recession that got the rest of society. But I find it ironic that these individuals lament "the government takeover of healthcare" when they are being taken care of BY the government.
There were two impressions I came away with that day: many Vets are furious at Obama, but they can only articulate the FoxNews – Limbaugh talking points, and these aging Americans feel helpless to affect any change to their plight in particular and this country in general. They want solutions to so many pressing problems they feel are being neglected, ignored or worse yet – politicized.
The politicization of many problems to some Vets, involves turning the country over to Marxist or Socialist rule – something most of them fought wars to keep from happening, yet cannot actually define. Some Vets openly (and very vocally, I might add) wondered how it could come to this – a giveaway of democracy. "It's not here yet, but it's very close…" said one Vet to another, citing the Healthcare Bill as an example. That statement and others helped solidify the air of fear and apprehension present within many in the waiting room. The fact they could share those feelings with other individuals of like mind seemed to give many who spoke some reassurance that they were not alone in their thinking.
It would seem to the not-so-casual observer that the Republican talking points had resonated with a group of individuals who, more than any other group in our society, had ample reason to reject them. More importantly, the embracing - by any veteran, of the last administration's revision of its failing – politically AND militarily – to protect us from harm is a disservice to so many who died while POTUS 43 and his crew ran things. The families of our brethren who didn't come back know the truth; death – especially a useless death is something that can't be revised away.