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Fist Bumping Veterans' Cancer

Updated: Aug 9, 2022

Republicans (At Best) Don't Care About Veterans

When politics is just a game or a financial transaction, only meant for self-enrichment and power acquisition, then it is unsurprising when people, even those supposedly venerated by our society, end up thrown to the wayside over petty political squabbles. We've just witnessed a truly horrific example of this exact dynamic play out, when the Republican party in the fit of pique decided to scuttle a bill to take care of veterans poisoned by toxic burn pits. These pits were used in our wars in Iraq and Afghanistan to indiscriminately dispose of everything from human excrement to toxic chemicals, poisoning both the land and the soldiers left to guard the pits. The true cost of war can never be fully tallied, and our government has mostly disputed the bill when it comes due. As usual, we find the wealthiest nation on earth attempting to shirk it's responsibility towards even its own citizens who served America’s empire with life and limb. This cruel denial of benefits to cancer ridden veterans is especially galling when contrasted with the ever-increasing mountains of treasure shoveled into the pockets of military contractors and Pentagon slush funds. All of this, as John Stewart pointed out in his blistering response, is par for the course of the American Senate. What makes this more than just the typical ideological apathy on display was the sheer nakedness of Republican Senator’s spiteful motivation in block this legislation. If it weren't clear on the face of it just from the fist bumps exchanged by Republicans right after scuttling the bill, the timing of this reversal should leave no doubt: Just a few weeks earlier the exact same bill had been passed with 84 Senators, including a majority of Republicans, and yet now 41 Republicans voted against the bill. So, what changed to make 30 Senators flip their votes? It appears that Republican Senators were miffed over the fact that Democratic politicians had, for once, used even an iota of strategy during their legislative negotiations. Republican politicians are angry that they were “tricked” into voting for the CHIPS bill, before "baby-killer" Joe Manchin and Chuck Schumer announced their anemic, IRA legislation. This sort of politics is the bare minimum of any political strategy, but it’s left Republicans so angry they attempted to punish the Democratic Party by using poisoned war veterans as pawns. It's pathetic, and scornful, and it is utterly unsurprising. After all this is the country that let 1 million people to die during the coronavirus pandemic and couldn't even give them health care. This is the country that had to be shamed into supporting 9/11 First Responders with their own health issues. Despite this grand tradition of American cruelty, the Republicans’ behavior seems to have struck a chord with many Americans. We need to capitalize on that opportunity and make sure that the Republicans pay politically, that this remains sharp in people's memories come election day. The only people that the Republicans care about in this corrupt political system are their campaign donors, like the defense contractors. They do not care about the soldiers, they do not care about the people, they only care about their money and their power. Until our actions affect their bottom lines and their power bases, this callousness will continue. To do so takes organizing at the ballot box, with a clear and ever-present reminder of the incredible cruelty and two-faced hypocrisy of the Republican Party. But it will also take making sure that we organize economically as well as politically for the two are intertwined. We must join together through our shared causes, supported by a super-majority of the people, in order to wield an economic cudgel that can bring these rapacious industries, and the politicians who serve them, to heel. So join us each Tuesday, if you are outraged about how callous and cruel and thoughtless are government can be, as we build that economic cudgel and make sure that Republicans and Democrats who don't care and don't take seriously their oaths of office are put on notice. #DSOT #UPM

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