A New Republican War: The “War on Homeless Veterans”

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Courtesy of Images Alight (Flickr CC0)

Republicans love wars. They are quick to send our finest. into battle, but when they come home, they are abandoned by right-wing politicians. Trump referred to our dead WWI veterans, buried in France, as “losers”

In the richest nation in the world, there is no excuse that a single homeless person exists, and it is a national disgrace that 37,252 of those living on the streets in 2020 are veterans. The total estimated number is 92,091. That means that about 42 percent of all homeless persons have served our country’s military, many in war zones. However, I can guarantee you that the number is far higher than the “official” estimate. You will never see most of those who have no permanent home.

Republicans don’t care. They prefer that they never return from our battlefields. Nothing proves this more than a bill recently passed by the Tennessee legislature.

Courtesy of an0nym0n0us (Flickr CC0)

This red state is about to make it a felony to camp in parks and other public property spaces, as reported by the Associated Press. The law, which goes into effect on July 1, 2022, will serve one purpose: It will make unhoused folks felons.

I miss the real Republican Party. In my wildest imagination, I cannot see Dwight Eisenhower, John McCain, Bob Dole, Mitt Romney, or even the farthest to the right of a center like Barry Goldwater accepting such a heartless, cruel proposition. If you needed additional proof that today’s Republicans Party in name only is the party of special interests, remember this when you vote. These racists and bigots make me ashamed that I ever voted for a Republican candidate.

Take a minute to consider just how ridiculous right-wing politicians have become. They were once the party that supported small businesses, but now only the top five percent of richest Americans. They believe that the life of a fetus, the size of a walnut, is of more value than the physical and mental welfare of a woman, even in the case of rape and incest. They are willing to allow veterans to die in our streets from the effects of the elements, alcohol and drug addiction, and possible disease or starvation. Republicans of the past were proud of their country and its beliefs in compassion, understanding, and equality for all. Today, they believe that the Constitution should be shredded, and only pure whites and the extremely wealthy should have the rights guaranteed to all by our founding fathers. They claim to be Christians but reject the teachings of Jesus Christ in the New Testament. Hypocrites one and all.

America has changed, but not for the better. Growing up in the 1950s and 1960s I was taught by my mother, grandparents, uncles, and aunts, as well as my priest to think about and pray for those less fortunate than ourselves, and we were poor by any standards. Today about one-half of our people and one entire party have an attitude that says, “if my life is good, I don’t care about anyone else.” This is the new America of the 21st century.

“The truth lives here,” and I admit that this article makes me extremely sad. I was involved with the homeless while working for the Decennial Census in 2009 and 2010. The reasons for being homeless are many, ranging from financial collapse resulting from job loss and medical catastrophe, unable to pay for life-saving healthcare, to mental health problems and a lack of sufficient medical care. I encountered homeless men and women in shelters as well as homeless families in their own shelters with a limited number of beds. My heart was broken.

Then I would read about one of America’s wealthiest families who owned five mansions of 15,000 square feet or more and a family of three, who throw money away on lavish vacations or simply dinners served by a large staff consisting of imported delicacies accompanied by $2,000 bottles of wine. Something is terribly wrong with this picture.

The United States is on a path to becoming a third-world nation. Currently, America is an oligarchy. The working class has little or no representation in at least one-half of our government. The gap in income inequality continues to widen. Vote, and vote wisely. This is your country, not theirs.

Op-ed by James Turnage

My nine novels are available on Amazon’s Kindle


DailyKos: Tennessee set to become first state in the nation to do a very, very bad thing; by Marissa Higgins
The Conway Daily Sun: Sid Jones: Republicans are pro-military but forget about the homeless veterans

Top and Featured Image Courtesy of Images Alight’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License
Inset Image Courtesy of an0nym0n0us’ Flickr Page – Creative Commons License

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