Tonight President Obama has given his final State of the Union Address. As I listened, many things rang so very true. President Obama stated, “It’s not much of a stretch to say that some of the only people in America who are going to work the same job, in the same place, with a health and retirement package, for 30 years, are sitting in this chamber.”
That is quite accurate, Mr. President. While many Americans feel term limits is the solution, it will only change the name on the door, not the actions of the office. The Republican and Democratic National Committees dictate the votes, not the Congressional “leadership” of the parties, or the People. Sadly, it is the People whose voice who should be heard in the halls of Congress that has been silenced by the two parties, yet should be the ONLY voice heard.
The solution is in more Americans running for office, and more Americans voting FOR the candidate which absolutely best represents them, not voting AGAINST the candidate or party they feel least represents them. Running for office is not as difficult as the two parties want you to believe, or as expensive. In fact, the current House Majority Leader only spent $1,800 to get elected in 2014, and could have ran a petition drive to run for free.
President Obama also spoke of it being an election season, expectations for what they will all achieve this year are low. Yes, we do have very low expectations, but the election year itself is not to blame. The constant campaigning and efforts to divide Americans is the cause of low expectations. Everything Congress has done last year, and will do this year is campaigning for 2016. Whether it is introducing a bill to repeal the Affordable Care Act or Assault Weapon Bans, these bills will go nowhere and the career politicians know this. What these bills do is create the message of “You must vote against the ‘other’ party and elect ours because they must be stopped.”
America is ready to hear, “Vote FOR us because we will….” And not continuously feel compelled to choose evil, regardless of the level of evil. It is time for Americans to realize there are economically feasible, Constitutional solutions to every problem facing our nation. This belief is the foundation of the Veterans Party of America’s platform, which was written by everyday Americans like yourself, not by politicians.
The President spoke at length about the “Spirit” of Americans. That spirit has been dormant for much too long. That spirit cannot thrive in a culture of government only seeking to improve its own lot. Today’s government epitomizes the statement, “When only two groups make all the rules, all the rules will only benefit the two groups.”
It is time to reenergize this spirit. It is time for Americans to stand up and take control of OUR government, once again. During the 20th Century, Americans built televisions, jet planes, space rockets, cellular phones, put a man on the moon, broke sound barriers, built computers, created floating airports in which bombers could launch from anywhere in the oceans, and so much more. In the 21st Century, we have been less innovative. We have made better cellular phones, better televisions, better radios…but what have we “invented” or even “innovated” for the good of the world, or society. A phone which allows us to watch videos of cats and share pictures of our suppers.
The government must return to its Constitutional roles and not stifle America any longer. Americans must be free to develop and grow.
The State of the Union contained the usual rhetoric about education, employment, “free” college, climate change, health insurance and the Affordable Care Act, gun violence, and wages. These subjects have been beaten like a dead horse with everyone finding numbers and twists of statistics to validate their sides, but no solutions, just more bad ideas. These items no longer dignify a response as it is still just the same things being regurgitated.
Up to this point, I have stated President Obama made valid points on a few items. Now I will speak on the point I utterly disagree with. President Obama stated, “We delivered more care and benefits to our troops and veterans.”
After almost two years since the Veterans Affairs fiasco became public with the death of a Veteran in Phoenix, Arizona, the plight of Veterans has NOT gotten any better. The Veterans Affairs denied thousands of claims in order to clear the backlog and force the Veteran to file an appeal or disagreement with supporting document, further delaying the claim processing. But it looks good on paper. The VA executives are not getting reprimanded or terminated. Many are moving to other positions and staying in the federal employment system or given an extensive paid leave of absence. So far the only one held accountable was Secretary Shinseki.
The military forces are being drawn down to strength levels below pre-World War II, forcing more rotations and shorter times on station between deployments. Yes, technological advances have made our forces stronger, but it still requires “boots on the ground” to complete the mission, and the same boots keep returning to the same grounds, wearing on the Troops, their families, and their mental health.
Congress continues to pass budgets reducing benefits to the Troops, reducing housing allowance, increasing out of pocket expenses, increasing pharmacy copayments for prescriptions filled off base (which is more often than many Americans would think), cutting back funding for the Commissary, and less pay in the pockets of our Troops who are already underpaid for the job they do. Meanwhile, Defense spending continues to escalate and put more money in the pockets of the weapons systems manufacturers that profit when our Troops deploy.
In closing, I will respond to President Obama’s statements about the threats to our nation from ISIL and other unstable areas in the Middle East. Yes, those are short term threats of today. The real threat is the constant division of Americans. The division is being driven by politicians, the media, community activists, and leaders of various groups. The desire to divide Americans along lines of race, religion, income, education, heritage, and more will only lead to a nation of angry individuals separated into such small units that we will no longer be a functioning society. The division of Americans is the true threat. Stop listening and spreading that hatred. Look at the person telling you about the hate and wonder if they hold a stake in spreading the hatred.
America, we must come together. Our nation is the Great Melting Pot. Soldiers of all races, religions, heritages, levels of education, and economic standings stood shoulder to shoulder as they stormed the beaches at Normandy, as did the Marines storming Iwo Jima and our brave Sailors at the Battle of Midway. None of these factors played a role in their success. It was their ability to look beyond the differences and find each other’s strengths to build a solid team. I ask you to do the same.
Now, let us have a more prosperous 2016, TOGETHER, and vote responsibly.
Veterans Party of America