Gary – Well, Ken…Veterans day is here and though we’ve both acted in movies and played men in combat, neither of us were ourselves ever in the military. But I know you have a deep respect and admiration, as I do, for those who serve and have served.
Ken – Absolutely.
G – We share that respect. I was of draft-able age in the ‘70’s and and Vietnam. I never served. Guys I knew came back from that war and said, “Don’t go – cuz once they got you, they got you.” And I heard stories of my friends losing their buddies taking a certain hill… and then withdrawing at night only to see the North Vietnamese army move back and take the hill they’d just lost their buddies on… and then in the morning have to go retake the same hill. It was pointless they said… because of the way that war was conducted. It wasn’t fought to win, but to make for good political optics. And I see the same sort of non-strategy going on with the current administration. The president pulled all the troops out… and all the gains in securing a peace in Iraq are wiped out.
K – Well remember, he ran on that. Get everybody out of Iraq. He decided that’s what I’m gonna do to satisfy my left-wing pals, and that’s what he did. Get everybody out of Iraq…regardless of the consequences. And it created a quagmire. And don’t get me started on Putin, and Russia going in to Crimea, and Ukraine…and the build-up of the Chinese and North Korea. Obama has been a foreign relations disaster …on any measure…and if we can just survive this next year, until he’s gone…and prevent Hillary from getting in, which would be just an Obama third term…the situation looks a little bleak, I’ll be honest.
G – Hope springs eternal. If we can hang in there for one more year. We are a resilient people.
K – One thing I was very encouraged by was in the last GOP debate… in which the media bias was exposed.
G – In all its naked idiocy.
K – Yes — That’s the word, it was stripped raw, stripped nude for all to see and hear…with all those truculent questions that they asked… and Cruz was amazing, taking them to task…’why don’t you talk about substantive issues..?’ and the crowd went wild. One of the things the left is always getting on conservatives about is that we complain about the “Left-Wing Media bias”…as if it doesn’t exist. And that showed without a doubt that [that bias] is very much alive.
G – They’ve become so arrogant, it seems, that they are now incredibly blatant, with no pretense of objectivity at all.
K – Because they have no one to answer to. Obama is in their pocket, they’re in Obama’s pocket. In earlier times, they would at least try you used some subterfuge.
They were called on it – and that gives me some hope. And we had the off-year election…and there was that Sanctuary City Sheriff in S.F that lost… and they elected what, only the 2nd Republican Governor in Kentucky in 50 years or something? And then yesterday was the 36th anniversary of the Iranians taking over our embassy… and it made me think back when we were young men, when Ronald Reagan got elected and then they released the hostages, after 444 days… on his inauguration day. And the way the Media made it out then…was that he wanted to embarrass Carter. And there may have been some of that…but what I saw was that they weren’t gonna mess with Reagan.
G—They knew that if the hostages weren’t released, that the jets would fly on that morning. And it would be bad for them.
K – Exactly. Or at noon, cuz he was sworn in at noon in Washington. They knew as soon as he walked into the office, he’d pick up the phone and the jets would scramble.
G – Sort of like Ghaddafi’s reaction when W. Bush started into Iraq—he just out of the blue just turned over all his WMD’s and nobody was even thinking about Libya, but he just laid down, flipped over, exposed his throat and said, “Here ya go – take ‘em, we don’t need ‘em!”
K – We don’t have that [sort of respect/fear] going on now.
G – No, we don’t. And it really points out the glaring lack of stiff-backbone leadership that is sorely lacking in this administration. I think that’s why Donald Trump has resonated with so many. He spoke like a leader, he spoke fearlessly, he didn’t couch his words, he didn’t tip-toe around the Media. Do you think our current-serving military personnel are anticipating a change in leadership, a change in direction.
K – I do. Anecdotally, I do, just from the guys and women I’ve talked to [in the service]. Their morale has been shattered by Obama and they’re chomping at the bit to get a new CIC. And then on top of that, you’ve got the heightened disrespect for law enforcement.
K – Yeah… What happened to us, Gary..? As a nation…? There’s so little respect for law enforcement, for the military… for pride in self-reliance. Because I remember…and not that long ago…it was something to be proud of, to want to be independent and self-reliant. And…that just all gone now. It’s like everybody is trying to find a way to suck off of the government. And … Where is the pride…where is the dignity of self-reliance?
G – I hear all these people demanding their ‘rights’…to fulfill their ‘needs’. And it seems that anything they ‘want’…becomes their ‘need’…for which they claim to have ‘rights’. I have a right to free college. I have a right to free housing. I have a right to free healthcare, free transportation, free phones, free internet, free food. I have needs, therefore I’m entitled to it. ‘America, the land of the Free’ seems to have become ‘America – Everything’s Free!’ I mean… the government entitlement spending has our economy in debt for generations to come, it seems.
K – Yes, it sure does. But the one place where we shouldn’t be making these cuts is for the Veterans. They oughta get a blank check. Not wasteful spending… I mean there have been abuses… but they deserve whatever they need…and for the rest of their lives. They should be the number one priority.
G – Our Veterans should be treated like rock stars.
K – Somebody asked me recently, what the definition of a ‘hero’ is. And I said, It’s very simple — Anybody who is willing to risk their life to protect mine…is a hero. And that includes firemen, police officers, the military. Not to take anything away from the citizen, who under duress performs a heroic act in an emergency… but these guys do this as their job…knowing the dangers and risks…and that any day could be their last. Even in training, just preparing to do their job.
G – Do you still believe in ‘America’..?
K – Very much so. We’ve gone too far Left…there’s no doubt about that. But I think now people are waking up. And they’re looking America to… not to go backwards…but to have the kind of values and strength and independence and self-reliance that we used to have.
G – Agreed. And say what you want about Mr. Trump…he has a very thought-provoking and attractive catch-phrase, Make America Great Again. A great bumper-sticker…and a great hat… (laughs) At least when he wears it nobody is talking about his hair.
K – And he’s beholden to no one, doesn’t need anyone’s money. I’m right-leaning, but I’m not a Republican. I’m an Independent. I consider myself an independent Conservatarian. I just despise party politics, because it’s too much about serving the Party…and not the Country. If you read the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, or anything about the founding of this country…there is not one word mentioned about political parties. This was something that was developed later on. And it’s gotten so big…the parties themselves…that it has become about serving the Party and not the Country.
G – Like any large organization…grows bigger just to serve itself. It becomes this behemoth… like the unions… Bigger centralized power… less responsiveness to its constituents. Like a huge amoeba that absorbs everything in its path and becoming indifferent to the needs of the individual and just exists to feed its own need for power and control.
K – And they’re always born out of a true need for bettering conditions, such as during the turn of the 20th Century…the brutal conditions and no child labor laws… but they grew to become so overwhelming top-heavy, that they end up defeating their own purpose. And actually working against the working union members they were suppose to help.
G – I miss our talks, Ken.
K – Well we have to do this more often.
G — A last word to our Vets on Veterans Day..?
K – Just… thank you. I am a very grateful, appreciative American. And I would not be sitting here talking to Gary Graham if it weren’t for you guys. Because it was the freedoms [your service] provided that allowed me to do what I did; and I got so lucky in being able to do what I did…that it’s allowed me to even sit here and say, Thank You. So thank you for that and God bless you.
G – Dittos from me – and thank you very much, Ken Wahl.