Over 50? You know how poorly America has treated its veterans.
If you're a Baby Boomer "The Vietnam Conflict" still conjures up images of injustice, indifference and even hostility towards the men and women who put their lives on the line. Concerned citizens need to pay attention to the needs of our brave warriors both past and present.
That being said, Donald Trump, Ted Cruz and Carly Fiorina marginalized the plight of veterans. Simply put, they used them as political tools in their attempt to secure the Republican nomination. It was political antics that hurts veteran causes.
Any one of these politicians is in a position to make substantial financial contributions to veterans. However their real assistance would be better made by demanding a reevaluation, overhaul and retooling of how veterans are mainstreamed and supported when they separate from the service.
Not political rhetoric, but actual legislation that will make enduring sustainable changes.
The last few days we've seen political antics that are unprecedented in presidential primary races. To say that the candidate's offers of financial assistance in return for debates is disingenuous is an understatement.
I'm all for increasing support for vets. However, using contributions to veteran's organizations for political gain is unconscionable and far more hurtful then helpful.
It's easy to see why Donald Trump and the others picked veteran's causes. In theory it's a no brainer. Everyone supports vets and they make up an important part of the populace that votes -- often Republican. Although if you are interested, dig a bit to find out who in politics are the greatest supporters of benefits for retired military.
However, veterans are just one segment of our population that has been treated heinously.
What about the millions of children and elderly that live in poverty? How about contributing to providing education and financial assistance to allow them to live the American dream! Oh I forgot, there are not many votes to be had from this disenfranchised demographic.
Flint, Michigan -- perhaps the biggest travesty of The 21st Century. An entire city being literally poisoned by the government elected and sworn to protect them. Wait, that's not exactly accurate. Michigan's Republican Governor Rick Snyder decided to replace duly elected officials with a hand picked "emergency management team."
Was this legal? Apparently so. Was it ethical and in the best interests of the citizens of Flint? You be the judge. Would this have happened if Flint residents were not a disempowered demographic that traditionally votes Democrat?
Whether you are a Republican, Democrat, Conservative or Progressive why not let your conscience be the guide today!
If you believe that veterans deserve better from our country, let your politicians know. Write letters, Tweet, post on Facebook, make phone calls, contribute and vote for the candidates you feel are most committed to veteran causes. It's very easy in the age of social media.
If you think that it's despicable that the richest nation in the world has over 38 million people living in poverty get involved.
Shocked to learn that among industrialized nations U.S. citizens rank last in overall health whether poor or affluent? Do something -- anything!
Finally the media. I'm a political junkie. What little time I have for TV watching is spent divided between the major cable networks. Cable news is falling down on the job! It's virtually tunnel vision reporting on few topics of next to no consequence to the nation.
Over the last two days the focus has been on whether or not Donald Trump will attend Thursday's Republican Debate, what veteran's association his competing event will support and his opponents pledges to donate to veterans in exchange for Mr. Trump debating them.
Where are the voices decrying not whether Donald Trump is petulant or afraid to face Fox News TV anchor Megyn Kelly -- but rather substantive issues that the candidates are not addressing.
What if Chris Matthews, Wolf Blitzer or Bill O'Reilly said, "Tonight we're ignoring debate controversy and going to talk about the needs of veterans, the disenfranchised in all walks of life, the very real threat of cyber terrorism and the issues that face all of us as citizens of this great nation."
Perhaps ratings might not be as high. But at least members at all ends of the political spectrum would be forced to set the bar higher. By raising awareness and encouraging viewers to take action we might actually elect politicians who will address the systemic ills facing America.
Support veterans -- absolutely. Make it sustainable not by one time contributions but through legislation that ensures that their needs will always be a part of our national policy.
Take care of our fellow citizens. America prospers morally, financially and internationally when it takes care of its own.
There can be only two winners in the primary process. Lots of bright, powerful and articulate contenders will remain. Some possessing substantial unused war chests, others creative ideas and a good deal of influence.
Perhaps rather than disappearing into the woodwork they will all join together to work towards improving our country. Just as ex-presidents on both sides of the aisle have worked together.
Imagine ex-candidates from both parties using their combined expertise to help lead our nation as it regains the moral compass it so sorely needs.
Think what they could do -- dare to envision people of all backgrounds and beliefs collaborating as they help others and reinvigorate the American Dream.