Veterans Day And Presidential Candidates

On this Veteran’s Day 2016 I want to say thank you to everyone who wrote a “blank check” to our nation, risking all to preserve our freedoms and our way of life. It is a debt that can never be repaid. I deeply appreciate you and your service.

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As I was writing that short little thank you to veterans something struck me. None of the front runners for the nomination for President (by either party) are veterans. Other than a stint in JROTC or something similar none of the front runners have any experience with the military or the challenges and issues our servicemen and women face. None know first hand what it takes to face an enemy that is actively trying to kill you and your friends. Not one knows the impact of taking another human life in defense of our nation or our foreign policy objectives.

We are not just electing a chief executive. We are electing the next Commander-in-Chief of our military; the top spot in the chain of command. How can a man or woman truly be ready to make decisions that put US servicemen and women in harms way without having experienced it for themselves? Can any of them really see these brave souls as anything more than chess pieces without that first hand experience? Maybe…maybe not…

Robert Heinlein suggested in many of his works that full citizenship (such as the right to vote) should only be conferred on those who have shown, by their service, that they are willing to sacrifice all for the greater good of their nation. I’m not so sure about that. But maybe, before you can hold national political office and send people off to risk their lives for their country you should have face those risks first. To be able to decide to send men and women off to die one should have to be one of those who are sent off to die…

What do you think?

God Bless

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2 thoughts on “Veterans Day And Presidential Candidates

  1. Thanks for provoking some thought on this chilly morning.

    It’s one thing to have been in the military, and then go on to politics. It’s another thing entirely to have a child on the front lines while you’re in office, voting for the military to undertake certain actions. I suspect that might temper the war fever so prevalent in many politicians.

    My belief is that the problem is not military experience vs. the lack thereof, but the dearth of moral character. A good man will empathize with those he commands, regardless of whether or not he ever filled their exact shoes.

    As an aside, I’m fairly certain that Heinlein, great writer that he was, often wrote story lines that would sell… rather than simply what he believed. Admittedly, I don’t know exactly what his positions were, beyond the vague position of “libertarian”.

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    1. Looks like my response was lost somehow…

      David W.,

      Thanks for stopping in and leaving a response.

      I think you are correct that there are other ways for a candidate to be able to empathize with our military service personnel and see them as more than “assets,” or numbers, or chess pieces. Nor will, requiring previous military service ensure that will always happen. But it is way to increase the likelihood of that happening.

      It is also true that a candidate with no prior service can learn the capabilities and limitations of military capabilities or ensure that there are trusted advisers who have that knowledge but let me put this another way.

      Would you bet your life on a surgeon who had never operated before in his life? A surgeon who had only read about surgeries in books and newspapers? Maybe…

      Few of us would even trust a mechanic with no hands on skills but we DO trust a commander in chief with the security of our nation, with our lives and the lives of our families.

      Just something to think about anyway.

      God bless.

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