Tuesday, August 1, 2017

A Veteran Position

One of the interesting developments in this political season is that a number of new entrants for Congressional races across the countries are veterans running as Democrats.  My natsec friends who know some of these folks are thrilled. 

I am of two minds:
A)  We are more likely to see informed oversight over the military with more veterans since they have a strong interest in such stuff, and there are, otherwise, not so many direct rewards or incentives to take oversight seriously. If I was not fried from driving a long distance today, I would find the Feaver/Gelpi stuff that addresses the opinions of vets and their role as Congressfolks (as well as other folks who look at such stuff). 

B) Veterans are veterans.... and?  While volunteering to do such service is impressive on its own in a time without a draft,  it actually says little else about judgment.  Plenty of former soldiers/sailors/marines/aviators are smart and wise, but plenty are less so.  And values?  Values vary.  So, we need to learn more about each one rather than just vote for a vet because they are a vet. 

but.... I am thrilled to see these folks line up for the Dems given how the GOP has pissed away its reputation as the serious National Security party given how they screwed up in 2003 and now have a pro-Russia administration that seems keen on undermining US national security in more ways that I would have imagined last fall. 

I do think the future of the Democratic party is bright with vets and scientists and others seeking to serve the public--they may help to challenge the existing beliefs about politicians being corrupt and out for their own aggrandizement.  Public service by military folks, bureaucrats, and politicians is necessary for the country to run and thrive.  We need to increase respect for these folks or else we will get more Trumps and more misery.  Democracy is not just for the people but of the people. 

There are many ways to serve the country, and doing double duty via military service and political office is admirable.  However, we need to take care to not just use military experience as the shorthand to wisdom--Flynn has shown us that doing well in the military may not be at all correlated with being a good public servant. 

With those cautions in mind, this is hell of an ad:

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