25 July 2008

Should the US President Have Served in the Military?

Despite calls from his supporters, McCain continues to point out that he has served in the military and Obama has not.

Does it really matter if the future president has military experience?

Look at Bush. Sure, he served in the guard, but he doesn't have any measurable experience. While our boys were getting blown to bits in Vietnam, he was having a grand time in the Gulf of Mexico flying fighter jets and going AWOL. Yet, here he is - Commander in Chief.

Then there's McCain, a five-year prisoner of war. He was a victim of terrible atrocities, and I commend him for choosing to remain a POW so that his fellow soldiers could be released instead. Yet, he is a victim. It's always a bad idea to put the victim in charge, because their decisions won't be balanced or objective. It's like the female rape victim who will forever view every male as a potential rapist.

Despite these points, there's something bigger at stake when a nation of voters demand that their president have military experience.

To vote for a presidential candidate because he or she has military experience is to say that we are a warring (vs. peaceful) nation.

Why should a peaceful nation need a soldier as their president? Look at all other nations who choose to vote in a military commander or POW as their top-elected officials. How does that typically turn out? Can you say Peron, Castro, Stalin, Mugabe, Hitler...?

The point is this:

An understanding of how you can most effectively deploy the military is more important than having served in it.

Afghanistan or Iraq - Which really poses the bigger threat? Which is home to the Taliban and al-Qaida?

Obama knows where the real danger lives? McCain is too blinded by all the oil in Iraq to see the truth - even if he won't admit it.

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