Friday, March 11, 2016

None of These Candidates Hate War Like a Soldier Hates War

When I was a teenager in the 90s, I thought about joining the military. I had some classmates who had gone though the reserves and did boot over summer to prep themselves.

One of the reasons I was thinking about was that it seemed at that time that it was a perquisite for public service (I had a timeline where I would run in this election, as this year I become eligible per the constitution). If you had not served, you had to at least have some public awkward conversation about why you hadn't. This was when the men of the WWII and Vietnam generations were passing through leadership roles and military service was a fact of life.

I suppose this stopped being important in the discourse after 2004, where the sitting president's campaign was able to successfully deride the service record of the challenger when the sitting president had a very questionable service to be charitable.

Now, none of the remaining major candidates have served in the military. I am not pro-military by any means (I wish every soldier and sailor would lose their job because there were no more wars to fight), but what does it mean socially when the people who want to wield this very powerful tool have no sense of the consequences they're asking young men and women to face?