Friday, April 8, 2011

Petty Politics: Service Members Should Not Be Political Pawns

As the government shutdown becomes more of a possibility, there are many who are noticing that this whole situation is pretty ridiculous. Is Congress seriously more concerned about whether or not federal funding for Planned Parenthood "allows" them to conduct abortions with their non-federal funds than they are about paying the Marines, Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Coast Guardsmen who serve this country every day? Are they more worried about controlling women's reproductive rights than they are about paying the men and women who are bravely and voluntarily fighting in two (and a half?) wars? Wars that have largely not affected the general public or members of Congress? Those who are still choosing to serve today know they are going to be involved in at least one of the wars, yet they still enlist or become officers in our armed forces because they have the desire to serve their country. Congress needs to recognize that the men and women who serve in the military are not pawns in their political squabbles. They are not simply "the military" but some of the very best this country has to offer. Perhaps Congress can decide to reduce their own pay (of course, to avoid violating the 27th Amendment that means it won't take effect until the next legislative session - but still)? Perhaps they (Republicans - supposedly the pro-military, patriotic group) can get off their high-horse and stop trying to use the financial crisis to further religious and ideological legislation at the expense of the very men and women who they claim to be in massive support of? We'll see, I suppose. Until then, all my brothers and sisters who are still in the service, stay safe and Semper Fi!

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