Membership: Join / Renew

2013 Cold War Victory Day Speech
By Vince Milum, CWVA Chairman

(Delivered April 25, 2013 at 9:40 in the morning before the Board of County Commissioners of Johnson County, Kansas; view a video of this speech beginning at the eleven minute mark; we apologize for the audio quality)

Thank you Chairman Eilert, County Commissioners, Honored Guests, and members of the Cold War Veterans Association who will view this speech online.

I stand before you today as a proud Cold War Veteran who believes in many of the conservative principles that helped guide us to victory in the Cold War.

Perhaps the defining element of our victory was an emphasis on strategic thinking during the Reagan Administration, the period in which I served.

Today I call for a renewed emphasis on strategic thinking and ask that you join me in looking at new realities with unfiltered lenses.

Among these realities is that the United States can no longer afford to account for 40% of all military spending in the world. Spending so much of our GDP on the military has what economists refer to as a “crowding-out effect” meaning that both public and private investments are denied funds though the needs may be very meritorious.

Another reality is that it is both morally and strategically wrong to make incarceration a for-profit industry. Because of this short-sighted approach, we have one of the highest incarceration rates in the world and yet we provide no real incentives for rehabilitation.

Related to the preceding is our under-treatment of the mentally ill and the underfunding of the resources to treat the mentally ill. Despite our collective cognitive dissonance to the contrary, the fact is effective treatment of the mentally ill will result in a significant reduction in the crime rate and the number of incidents of mass violence in our nation.

In summary, as we celebrate our victory in the Cold War, I ask that you join with me in becoming twenty-first century citizens who recognize the need to now redirect our public finances toward helping those most in need. In so doing, we will all reap the benefits when non-producing citizens are able to make a contribution to the society that has eliminated the stigma of mental illness and forgiven others of their crimes.

Once again, I thank each and every one of you for your time and I invite you to personally contact me if you would like to discuss these proposals in greater detail.