Sunday, May 25, 2014

VETERANS HEALTH CARE IS A CONSTITUIONAL RIGHT

When a conservative is right it is worth taking notice. This morning on #Steve Kornacki show, Up (MSNBC) guest #Col. Jack Jacobs, while taking about the so-called Veteran Administration Scandal, made an obvious point. The government should fold the Veterans Administration health care, which is a parallel government run health care system, into the current Medicare, Medicaid, and Affordable Health Care Act. I would agree with that sentiment, as would most Americans; however, predictably, the radical conservative right minority would freak out if congress moved in that direction. Conservatives consider all things “Pentagon” is their “to have, to hold, and to cherish for ever and ever” and that include military veterans. The conflict for “the hate the government at every turn” Tea Party Types, should be obvious, even to the most political na├»ve; such legislation would immediately expand government control of the entire health care system. There would be few things in America hated more by right-wing conservatives than the government regulating anything but especially “things” military.

In my mind, this conflict is beyond reason to the point of being insane. Republicans in general and Tea Party types specifically are flag waving patriots. Brave men (not women) in uniform with shouldered bayoneted rifles on their shoulders, marching to martial music—the flag, fife, and drum thing—with the people watching their heroes pass those the helpless on the curbs, waving wildly, and throwing flowers while holding their hands over their hearts and women looking at them with loving, admiring eyes. That is all part of some sort of right wing moral order.

In the halls of congress, these same types see them selves as protecting Americans freedoms, which is where the conflict with the Constitutional mandated “we the people” enter the picture. They are not talking about defending all American freedoms in those constitutional terms; it is their personal freedom, not the freedom of all of the people. It seems the Tea Party defines “personal” more narrowly in their minds than in the minds of a liberal. Some of the more blatant examples of this conflict deal with voter suppression in North Carolina or  the plantation South, for example; if you are black or brown your not part of their group—royalty or economic elite, which is how they look at themselves; as the ruling class; restated they are the only ones fit to rule. My critics object to referring to the South this way; they claim it is not “just the south” but is universal. Of course, they are right in sentiment but not degree when it comes to skin color. However, the example serves to outline a general perception—us verses them—reduced to a problem of personalized rights.

Extend the same sentiment to immigration reform where the entangled worker/race conflict is currently at a boiling point. We are an immigrant Nations; conservatives know this and are proud of the fact but also their stance on this issue points out the fallacy of their arguments. Right wing types want to restrict immigration to Western European but realize that western Europeans are not there in the needed numbers willing to work in agriculture. They want the Latino workers but do not want them to have the vote. Our history, as Nation, if filled with examples of legislation aimed at doing this sentiment starting with the Constitution. Certain people wanted to count the numbers of slaves to increase their representation in the population based House of Representatives but did not want “them” to have power; thus, the founding fathers concocted the asinine 3/5 of a man counting system. There were a number of preferred immigration laws as well; excluding Asians and Africans; and in the time of political and natural disaster, those from Haiti. Can you imagine the internal conflict there is over this issue in the minds of people like Senators Rubio and Cruz, both first generation Cubans. Ayn Rand was a Russian immigrant who saw the divide as producers or white collars on those that count verse others, which in her mind were workers or blue collars who “threw off their chains”.

The conflict is between the people who work for a living and those who are conservative by nature. Apparently, they hate themselves so much they vote against their own interests. They vote in support of Reaganomics, cry about all the money being at the top, and vote against raising taxes to support social programs, such as health care and vote in favor of the Veterans Administration health care.  

Of course, there is the raw political divide; there are free marketers and communist often described as capitalist verses communists—communists are inferior people, which bring us full circle back to blue collars workers or those who want unions. The more radically right ones political philosophy, the more it extends to include socialism until the Tea Party declares people who vote for Democrats are socialists; thus close to being communist. It is difficult to reconcile this sentiment with our Constitution, which the founding fathers based on “we the people”. The objective of government—“we the people”—is to do for the people what they cannot do for themselves. The concept of a labor union is the same: a labor union can do for the workers what they cannot do for themselves. Right wing Tea Party types hate labor unions just as they hate government—people working together in any manner is socialism, which is next to communism except, of course, if they are Republicans working together. This is individualism in a crowded world, which in modern society is logically ridiculous as well as practically impossible: a hermit living downtown New York.

I am reminded of the time when a loud mouth conservatives talking about how union hating hard working individual farmers, were bragging about being part of the huge “tracker ride” on Washington.

“…the American Agriculture Movement decided to take their demands and their tractors to Washington. They demanded revision of the 1977 Farm Bill. They argued that the bill encouraged large-scale production, but did not guarantee of high enough prices to keep small farms in business. The AAM emphasized rallies and protests against the political system. “

It seemed beyond their ability to understand that was what a union is and does. Strange, how easy it is to shed the “honored” mantel of individualism when it serves a personal purpose. Of course, everyone can remember the Fox News rallying cry when Rancher Clevin Bundy when the entire gun toting “union hating” conservative group “worked together” against the government.   


Tragically, four veterans died in Phoenix because the VA health care system failed them. Is there any doubt that hundreds and hundreds of people die every day because of inadequate health care in the United States? What is the difference? Conservatives assume they can drag the dead bodies of those four veteran deaths through the halls congress—four of their voters—to destroy more of the socialistic government guaranteed by the constitution. The conflict is that they are forming a union of radical conservatives to rally against a socialistic program. OMG For centuries, fundamentalists cry, the words health care are not written in the constitution; as a liberal let me tell you those words are there when that document says “we the people”.


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