Comments are closed for this entry
View All
Favorites
Recency  | 
Popularity
Page:  « First  ‹ Previous  1 2 3 (3 total)
This user has chosen to opt out of the Badges program
photo
Bongborg
Assimilated by the bong long
08:16 PM on 07/30/2008
I did 12 years in the US Navy and was a liberal the whole time, and like most liberals was intent on protecting this country. I survived working for Donald Rumsfeld , Caspar Weinberger , Ronald Reagan, and Bush 41. It wasn't easy, but then it isn't supposed to be an easy job, is it? That's probably why so few of the enlisted ranks are Republicans. They love it when things are easy for them.
Some military people feel that the Repugs are the most likely to give them a raise and lean that way even if they are mostly liberal; saw a lot of that when Reagan was running the first time. My regularly expressed opinion on it at the time was: " Are you crazy? Yeah, they might give us a raise, but they will reduce all our other benefits, overwork us, and probably get a bunch of us killed. Are you crazy?"
photo
JBS
Part time misanthrope & full time curmudgeon
01:20 PM on 07/31/2008
Republicans are more likely to favor high dollar equipment boondoggles that benefit defense contractor political contributers over increasing benefits to the soldiers. Consider the recent fight over the new GI Bill and Bush's repeated veto threats and Congressional republican's repeated filibuster of defense legislation including troop pay raises.
08:16 PM on 07/30/2008
Excellent points, but may I add another:

Most young men join the military because (1) They need steady income, and (2) They want to make the world a safer, better place for their families and fellow citizens.

Number (2) is a thoroughly Democratic idea, and has absolutely nothing to do with partisan politics. Number (2) needs no explanation in the American economy of the early 21st century.
02:53 AM on 07/31/2008
Change (2) to (1) in the last sentence.
08:04 PM on 07/30/2008
I can totally confirm this article. Based on just anecdotal experience and no scientific study; military personnell are a macrocosm the entire society. Though a few issues will certainly be weighted differently, most want and need the same things as the rest of the country. Republicans and neo-cons among our ranks freely broadcast their affiliation. Then chastize those (only true die-hard neo-cons) who voice dissent, for politicizing the work environment.

Just as in the general public the natural rifts exist. Certain groups develop that are more amiable and generally easier to get along with. While other groups are always on the lookout for next big fight. It's the age old dynamic of drama in the workplace. It has been with us since days of Socrates, and the neo-cons would be better off realizing that liberal agendas will not "fizzle-out". The best bet is to work with us and practice the art of compromise.
photo
HUFFPOST COMMUNITY MODERATOR
mouselion
09:26 PM on 07/30/2008
"military personnell are a macrocosm the entire society"

You've said it well. I noticed this when I served during the 80's. Not all soldiers think alike.
This user has chosen to opt out of the Badges program
photo
03:58 AM on 07/31/2008
Another reason for national service requirerments! Expose us to who we really are as
a people and give us a look at America outside of the very, very little circles we grew
up in.
photo
JBS
Part time misanthrope & full time curmudgeon
01:19 PM on 07/31/2008
Microcosm.
photo
HamletsMill
All Myth is Astronomy
07:58 PM on 07/30/2008
When you serve in the military of any nation, you learn many things about human nature. You learn about incompetence and stupidity on a scale far beyond civilian incompetence and stupidity. You learn about amorality far beyond anything you could have ever imagined. You learn that some people in life should never, ever, be put in charge of anything. Even if they went to the best colleges. And some people should be put in charge because they are sane. Some of the things you learn stay with you all your life. Some of them get your soul into a voting booth at 7AM on Election Day when the polls open.

http://youtube.com/watch?v=X7EshD3T5AE

HamletsMill
1st Lieutenant
U.S. Army
1969-1971
This user has chosen to opt out of the Badges program
photo
03:44 AM on 07/31/2008
I'm listening to pandora as I'm reading. Ironicly as I was watching that clip
pandora was playing Dylan's "Ain't Gonna Work on Maggie's Farm"
07:44 PM on 07/30/2008
This puts a whole new perspective on the military, for me anyway.
And it is very interesting that ex-military men in office seem to be more often Democrats. Of course it shouldn't.
This user has chosen to opt out of the Badges program
photo
03:39 AM on 07/31/2008
The military stresses the good of the unit over the individual. Not hard to figure out what turns
people that accept this premise to go into public service as liberal democrates
photo
HUFFPOST COMMUNITY MODERATOR
lisakaz2
Da ministero dell'interno di Snark.
07:44 PM on 07/30/2008
I think the military will not support McB--- for several reasons. One involves families and the lack of care for them bythe Boooo$hies. Next comes the lack of care to returning vets. I would soldier pay attn to this. Or who has created the bad conditions for electrocutions or unreported assaults/rapes/etc. Don't forget the Tillmans, too. Finally, this unmitigated fiasco of a elective war was created by this administration and McB--- seeems wedded to its continuance. Do a majority of soldiers really think they're being treated well and this conflict is worthwhile?
07:18 PM on 07/30/2008
Please go to www.votevets.org
07:07 PM on 07/30/2008
I agree with the article that the military was never as Republican as many assume. I also agree with the conclusion that more military people are likely to vote Democratic this year than have before. But several of the arguments in between do not scan.

For example, Lurie sites a long list of political leaders who are Democratic. But you fail to note that none, except for McCain and Clark, were professional soldiers. All were either drafted or joined in a time of war when they probably faced the draft.

And the idea of the military being a socialistic organization just doesn't wash. True, healthcare is provided to all members and their families but that is also true of most major corporations. Does that make the corporations socialistic? Hardly. And while it is true that the military is more of a meritocracy than most of the rest of society, it is also less tolerant of non-conformity than most any other part of society.
10:53 PM on 07/30/2008
You don't pay for the medical care and when space is available on bases then military members can live on base. Also you are given a housing allowance if you live off base. Most corporations don't provide health care for free, the employee has to pay a portion of premium, 50% or less, depending on how generous their corporation is and nobody employed by a corporation or small business gets a housing allowance, even if they are a government contractor. My dad described the military more of living under martial law than socialism but the guy writing this article knows more about it than I do.
11:40 PM on 07/30/2008
If the military paid the same housing allowance to all members, that would be socialistic to a degree but they don't. Your allowance is based on rank. The quality and location of on-base housing also varies by rank. Enlisted families don't live among officer families.

Seems to me the set up is quite counter-socialistic.
This user has chosen to opt out of the Badges program
photo
06:22 PM on 07/30/2008
My cousin that served 23 1/2 years in the Marine Corps is a lifelong Democrat and served in combat in Panama and both wars in Iraq. When I asked him about what he felt about going to Iraq the first time, he told me this: "I never thought that I would be fighting to put a monarchy that oppresses women back in power."
This user has chosen to opt out of the Badges program
photo
Berettasskeeter
The Lord will provide
08:56 PM on 07/30/2008
If your cousin actually said that, he wasn't paying any attention at all, was he. There is no monarchy in Iraq, and hasn't been for over 25 years. The current regime is not from any past royal family. I served 26 years in the Marines, and knew that well before I retired in '96.
Semper fi
photo
MajorKong
If the pilot's good, see, I mean if he's reeeally
12:34 AM on 07/31/2008
True, it was the 1991 Gulf War where we fought to put an oppressive monarchy back in power, and to protect another oppressive monarchy in Saudi Arabia.
This user has chosen to opt out of the Badges program
photo
01:23 AM on 07/31/2008
We put a monarchy back in power in KUWAIT - the country we went to "liberate". Perhaps I was not very clear, but I did write "going to Iraq the FIRST time". And, yes, he actually did say that.
06:12 PM on 07/30/2008
If Bush taught us anything, it's that self-applied labels are rarely accurate.

There's nothing "conservative" (let alone compassionate) about wars of choice.

How about we drop the veneer of interpretation?

Progressives seeking progressive change in Washington-
Is it helpful to learn the military is more "liberal" than assumed?
Wasn't it some of the "liberal Democrats" that dashed the hopes of progressives by voting for Bush's war?
Are progressives supposed to read the headline of this post and cheer or boo?

I'm all for party unity, but in the battle of ideas (remember the primaries?), and in determining our goals and sculpting the party platform, I would hope that all writers would DEFINE the terms more fully so we're all on the same page.

I'm not ashamed to hold liberal principles, but in no way do I want to be associated with self-described "liberals" who to this day support policies I oppose and oppose policies I support... the cadre more accurately described as corporatist neo-liberals.

Using the terms interchangeably is tantamount to an ethical lapse that misleads readers.
A liberal is not a liberal is not a liberal.
This user has chosen to opt out of the Badges program
photo
Berettasskeeter
The Lord will provide
09:08 PM on 07/30/2008
I'm not sure what you mean by "war of choice". Aren't all wars "of choice"? Both sides have a choice: go to war, don't go to war; defend your country, surrender. Choices, choices, choices.
Semper fi
photo
MajorKong
If the pilot's good, see, I mean if he's reeeally
12:42 AM on 07/31/2008
A "war of choice" generally refers to one that is fought for some abstract "national interest" versus one in which the survival of the nation is threatened. I'll use the most extreme examples here, most of the wars of the 20th century fall somewhere in between:

World War II was a war of necessity in that we would have been invaded by Nazi Germany and/or Imperial Japan.

The Spanish-American war was a war of choice. We were under no threat from Spain at the time, but felt it was in our interest to take their colonies.
This user has chosen to opt out of the Badges program
photo
02:01 AM on 07/31/2008
Hello marine. Good to see you again. I think what the poster meant by war of choice is
wars waged against a weaker unthreatening enemy for reasons other then defense.
Like the bully in the bar choses his victim, and choses to set up and start a fight. The one
attacked doesn't have a choice other then fight or flee. And in many cases are caught
in situations where escape is impossible, removing that option,(ambush). I think what
they're trying to say is somebody chooses to start the fight .
05:52 PM on 07/30/2008
Rod, you answer your own question. Members of the military who continue in public service tend to be democrat as are most people who are paid by tax dollars.

Those of us former military people who go into the private sector remain quite conservative and pro GOP in it's traditional libertarian sense. That does not mean we support the current administration.
07:13 PM on 07/30/2008
Some if you former military may be GOP. But both my husband and I are Vietnam vets, fortunately not wounded seriously enough to need care by the VA. I have watched since 1975 as the GOP stands around with Vets and uses them in photo ops. I have seen them wear little flag pins and say we support the vets, we support the troops. However when they are injured and wounded the GOP is the first to cut their benefits. Starting with in 1985 the GI bill turned into encouragement to save for an education. Under Reagan Veterans benefits were dumped, Injured veterans benefits were cut. VA hospitals started having funding problems. Then under the GOP after 2000 we saw everything from charging the injured for their food when injured and in a VA hospital. To making the injured live in roach and mold infested buildings. Increased Co-pays for injured veterans who needed care. We saw over the last 25 years more and more active duty personnel become eligible for food stamps. The care and concer the GOP has exibites for veterans has stopped at their mouth. They talk so nice and act so mean. That includes McCain who has voted consistantly to cut veterans benefits, and to deny them any decent pay or care. We were fortunate enough to serve when the democrats were in charge. We were treated way better by the government than those in the military have been treated under the GOP.
This user has chosen to opt out of the Badges program
photo
07:15 PM on 07/30/2008
So accepting tax dollars makes you a liberal. (I wonder does Karl Rove know this? Is Newt Gingrich and Tom Delay up to speed on this bit of news? ) And former military people who get out are conservative and do not support the current administration? ( explain Jim Webb)

Who are you? The guy coming up with McCains ads that make no sense?

Black is white, up is down, we won in Iraq, and as McCain says we were greeted as liberators.
05:54 PM on 07/30/2008
Excellent article. All I can say is that is has been EASY to get military friends and family to contribute to Obama, and no doubt the main reason is the cluster *&#*& in Iraq and the Neocon record on Vet benefits. Case closed.
This user has chosen to opt out of the Badges program
photo
04:51 PM on 07/30/2008
People who enter the military right out of high school are still impressionable and probably would tell anyone that they are Republican. Some would call that brainwashing or succumbing to peer pressure but as a vet I know it is more along the lines of this blog. People in America seem to assume the military is republican which as you point out using actual veterans as an accurate example is not true.

As these soldiers mature and grow and become more in tune to politics and how the system works many of them wake up and realize that being a republican today and over the last twenty odd years or so just is not in ytheir interests. As any American who is honest can see by taking a roll call of our elected officials the majority of veterans are in the democratic party. Maybe Hannity, Oreilly or Limbaugh could of made the percentage smaller but they chose not to serve but rather to crtitcize those of us who did but does not agree with their narrow backward thinking agenda.
07:05 PM on 07/30/2008
Exactly. My son-in-law, now 43, joined the Marines out of high school, got married 15 years ago to my daughter, went back to school (while serving), got a B.S. in computer engineering, is now a Sgt. or Captain (shameful that I don't know). His mother works for a govt contractor, votes straight Rep and has for years. They have incendiary arguments about McCain and Obama. He's voting for Obama.
11:09 PM on 07/30/2008
Did O'Reilly, Hannity, or Limbaugh serve in the military? Ever? Even for one day because that's about as long as they would've lasted? It's easy to support a war if you've never been shot at or shot someone. Maybe more vets, such as those that have written here, should send those cowards a message or two. I've never been in the military due to a health issue I was born with, but my dad served in the Marines and the Army for a total of 21 years. He teaches now and encourages his students to THINK about what's going on and who the cause of it is. He has changed many a mind from the Repub beliefs to the Democrats by using logic and reason and giving them facts and telling the truth about both sides and who really cares about the troops.
HUFFPOST SUPER USER
Rockerbabe
04:46 PM on 07/30/2008
Surprise, surprise, surprise!