My childhood spanned the late 1960s and early 1970s. In San Francisco, a few things were clear: policemen were pigs; troops were baby killers; and veterans were crazy drug addicts. Those older than I — say in their late teens through late 30s — were openly hostile to the military. There was no back stabbing. It was in your face.
Things are different now. My “real me” Facebook page is crawling with encomiums to vets:
Isn’t that nice? They love our vets and troops. Indeed, the bottom image comes from a stalwart free-market, liberty-oriented website, even though I found it on the Facebook wall of a Lefter than Left Leftist.
It’s all smoke and mirrors, though. The same people lauding the troops today also think funding the military (in which these same troops serve) is immoral. They also believe that de-funding the military will solve our massive federal debt. In fact, military spending makes up only 14% of the federal budget (and only the federal budget); with welfare getting 12% (which is tacked on to all state and local money spent on welfare); education 14% (which is tacked on to all the state and local money spent on education); health care 17% (in addition to state and local money spent on same), and pensions 16%. Of those budget items, it’s worth recalling that only the military is a traditional part of the federal budget, with everything else have crept in during and after the Roosevelt years. I don’t know what percentage of the federal debt itself stems from past military spending, but I’m pretty darn sure the military wasn’t the beneficiary of Obama’s (and Bush’s) many stimulus dollars.
Maybe I’m being petty, but I don’t think this backstabbing is much of an improvement over the old-style full frontal attacks. Speaking saccharine words to our troops while weakening them on the battlefield is a sleazy tactic.
As for me, I think our veterans and our troops wholeheartedly, and I wish them (and us) luck in the coming four years.