My friend, whom we shall here refer to as Tom, a fellow veteran with a social conscience just slightly superior to Mother Theresa's, recently authored an e-mail to his most trusted compadres, asking: "Why was President Obama's speech announcing the escalation of our military forces in Afghanistan not presented at a homeless shelter?"
I must admit that this caught me -- normally not one at a loss for words -- somewhat short of articulation, quite possibly because in my compassionate but comparatively inferior sensitivity to social issues, that particular question had simply not occurred to me.
Well, darn it, the question demanded an answer, if for no other reason than to relieve my pal from the anxiety of his sincere quandary. So I took a crack at the assignment to relieve Tom's anxiety and perhaps that of others who may also have asked or secretly pondered this very question. Here goes --
Dear Tom: It's not really all that complicated.
The homeless -- for the most part due to an inherent transportation deficit -- cannot always be relied upon to show up on time; also their clothes don't match all that well, they often need haircuts and shaves, are inclined to fall asleep in any warm and dry environment, could actually snore, cannot be counted upon to applaud on cue, and may even disrupt the program by commenting aloud or actually daring questions. In short, not your obviously ideal presidential audience to represent America to the world of TV.
What they do represent is the growing underbelly of America, and to the extent we permit them visibility, they are an affront to American values, Christian America, the American dream, Patriotism, and give lie to the regime we voted for. And, although not statistically verified -- difficult as they are to run down, don't you know -- the homeless probably cannot be always counted upon to enthusiastically Support Our troops or the proposition that Freedom's On The March in a desert 9,000 miles away, before they attend to their selfish persistence to seek out their next meal and perhaps a dry and not too cold a place to sleep on any given night.
Worst of all, the homeless, for all their obvious lack of resources and their misfortunes,whether congenital, acquired or put upon, too often exhibit an all too keen sense of what is the truth and what is bullshit, and have even on rare occasions voiced this integrity, and upon even rarer occasions have actually been heard -- well at least by the radical Left and terrorist suspects.
But we need to appreciate that the naive disclosure of the truth about our society simply cannot be afforded by our politicians, their masters, the mainstream electorate, by our silent pulpits, and especially by our children, upon whom we must depend to provide the next generation of "our troops" in "freedom's march" in future to such places as Iran, Syria, Pakistan, North Korea, Venezuela, Russia, and wherever else we may decide our help and our values are needed.
Tom, my friend, please be reminded that we are cavalier on this issue to the extent we do not upset our minders, and that should such occur, you and I can be assured that we personally will NOT go homeless, but that we'll be provided free room and board as well as weekly exercise sessions for as long as such are deemed necessary to safeguard the American Way, and -- most beneficently --we'll be spared the old fashioned juridical ordeals.
You need to get positive, Tom. Whenever you're tempted to doubt ANYTHING, try out this mantra: America loves God, and God loves America! How can you beat a team like that! This routine will help your perspective, will provide some diversion to the homeless concerned about where they'll be sleeping tonight, and might even help our minders relax a bit.
Tom, old pal, I'm so glad you gave me the opportunity to help.
Take care now, compadre, and remember that you can depend upon your real friends -- well, most of the time. (Hey, minders, I had to do this!)
...........Sincerely and hopefully not too insecurely, Rafe Pilgrim