Video: Rangel says men join the army only if they can’t have “a decent career”

posted at 5:07 pm on November 26, 2006 by Allahpundit

Hence his support for the draft. If even our volunteers are there involuntarily, why shouldn’t everyone be?

I want to make it abundantly clear: if there’s anyone who believes that these youngsters want to fight, as the Pentagon and some generals have said, you can just forget about it. No young, bright individual wants to fight just because of a bonus and just because of educational benefits. And most all of them come from communities of very, very high unemployment. If a young fella has an option of having a decent career or joining the army to fight in Iraq, you can bet your life that he would not be in Iraq.

This won’t get as much attention as what Lurch said (or was understood to have said) a few weeks ago. Rangel’s neither as prominent nor as unlikeable as Kerry, nor do vets bear him a grudge the way they do Waffles for his Winter Soldier testimony. But they’re both talking out of the same ass. In the Kerry/Rangel worldview, American troops aren’t the guy who crawls into a lion’s cage to rescue the kid inside; they’re the guy who’s forced into the cage at gunpoint by the gangster who wants something valuable that’s in there. Both are sympathetic, but only one’s a hero. Since they’ve already decided that Bush is a gangster and the Iraq war a criminal enterprise, they have to find a way to exculpate our all-volunteer military for their role in it; blaming them, however obliquely, is politically unviable, which is why even Cindy Sheehan and Michael Moore insist they support the troops. Solution: deny their autonomy. Pretend that they’re either too stupid or too lazy or too poor to do anything but enlist. Harsh, but better to be called that than a neocon, right?

If Rangel’s serious about addressing economic inequality in the military, there’s an easy way to do it without imposing a draft. Simply repeal all major economic incentives to enlistment. Per RangelLogic, let the morality of every war be judged by the number of patriots willing to volunteer for it. “Bad” wars will attract few enlistees and end quickly in defeat as we run out of troops; “good” wars, just the opposite. He’d never accept that proposal, of course, because it could conceivably require him to admit that certain wars he opposes are “good” and, worse, that the troops who signed up for them are morally culpable in their execution.

Exit question: does being a trader at Goldman Sachs qualify as “a decent career”?

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I was being sarcastic when I wrote “The Heritage Foundation seems suspect.” If you don’t think joining the military is a poor option, then what’s your beef with it, cr?

Please tell me why on earth it’s “unfortunate” that people make a bargain that they are satisfied with? Don’t they have the right to choose? Is it a such a bad thing that people get college money for serving in the military? What’s your position on football scholarships then? How about Americorps?

Anybody old enough to go to college who is somehow too stupid to perceive that they have other options besides the Army is far too stupid to qualify for the military or even for college. I’m not trying to be rude, but I find it very perplexing that someone who wants to go to college needs to be “educated on” (which I read as “spoon-fed”) options how to do it. My sixteen year old daughter and her friends are already researching a variety of options – we (the parents) aren’t doing it for them.

Laura on November 28, 2006 at 1:35 AM

the reason you find that hard to understand is the reason we think differently. They’re not “too stupid” to know other options…they just aren’t given those options, or at least not nearly as clearly as someone in a higher socio-economic position. I have no beef with the military…i don’t think its an army of patriots or an army of people joining as a last resort as I said earlier. It’s not a bad thing that people get college money for being in the military, its bad when they go into the military mostly for that college money or when they don’t know that there are other ways to obtain it. This is turning into you projecting things that I didn’t say, and then me trying to clear that up instead of a debate though…like i “have beef with the military” or think college is the only way to live a productive life…anyway it is kinda funny i misunderstood your heritage comment, sarcasm is difficult online haha

crr6 on November 28, 2006 at 2:00 AM

That Charlie Rangel!

What a classy fellow.*

*And by “classy” I actually mean “awful”.

JG2K6 on November 28, 2006 at 2:27 AM

Now I’m laughing. Because you wrote

they just aren’t given those options, or at least not nearly as clearly as someone in a higher socio-economic position

and that is obviously my cue to say that you think poor people are stupid. :-) But I won’t because I don’t think you think that – not really. Well, a little. If you mean they can’t google stuff like my daughter’s friends, I’ll go along with that in spite of the fact that even poor schools have computer labs, along with the public library. If you mean they hang out in the library less, I’ll go along with that, because it was certainly true in my high school; I only went in there to skip class or roll joints back in the stacks. But if you mean they can’t go ask a guidance counselor, then you lost me. And senior year, schools have all kinds of info for this stuff. And kids who are considering going to college ask questions, because college applications do not fill themselves out. So I just don’t buy the concept at all that someone might join the military because they didn’t know there were other ways to obtain money for college. And I don’t think the idea that literate – at least beyond tenth grade, which anyone thinking college should be – people should be communicated with differently based on socio-economic position is a defensible argument. If I’m misunderstanding your “they just aren’t given those options, or at least not nearly as clearly as someone in a higher socio-economic position” then I apologize.

Laura on November 28, 2006 at 2:54 AM


Sad commentary on this man, Rangel, who believes there is nothing in life worth fighting for. “Men without chests.”
America produces disciplined, decent warrior men in the mold of Eomer, and the Left rewards the Worm Tongues.

It’s amazing, and sad, just how prophetic C.S. Lewis turned out to be.


billy was referring not to Eomer and Wormtongue, but the sentence before that, Men Without Chests, from C.S. Lewis’ The Abolition of Man, an outstanding read on progressive education’s insidious destruction of the human imperative to excel.

Excellent post at 2:54AM, and I agree entirely that ANYONE has the world’s information available to them today, in any public library and in many college libraries which provide access to high schoolers. There are no excuses for ignorance, simply choices.

Freelancer on November 28, 2006 at 5:01 AM

Here are the loser/stupid people in action! Anyone that hasn’t seen this video should take a minute to watch it.

The first scene is of American losers that are so stupid that they are willing to jump out of a perfectly good plane at night loaded with gear!I bet they are all thinking “if I had come from a better family or been smarter, I wouldn’t be doing this”. Check out the guy leading them. Watch his arm movements as he leads his unit into the cold night air.

My son just graduated from the boat school. This is the school that consistantly ranks in the top 5 in the country and top 10 of all engineering schools in the nation… I guess if my son had gotten into a better school he wouldn’t be just another loser in the United States Military…
In fact, my son is such a loser that the Navy is currently teaching him to fly jets at NAS Pensacola! Now that is dumb… What a lack of options my son had.

And don’t even get me started on his long time roommate since Plebe year that graduated in the top 20 in his class. This dumb loser went Marine ground! I guess he couldn’t even get a job flipping burgers in his blue state of New Jersey.

Since my son was 12 years old he wanted to fly. One day he came home on leave and told me he was thinking of flying for the Marines. I thought I would have a heart attack! Watch the Warthogs in the video, coming in low and slow on CAS. Watch the helo drivers over the battle field. Man, you really have to have a lack of options to choose that. Or, is it balls of steel, a superior intellect and a total love of country? I just want to cry every time I see this video.

Were Charlie Rangel half the man of my son and his shipmates… Alas, he is just a politician. I sent Rangel’s quote to my son who immediately forwarded it to his Marine loser former roommate. I am not sure whether he also sent it to his two other disadvantaged former rommates; one currently in SEALS training and the other also learning to fly jets for Navy.

Losers from poor families and very stupid to boot! Snark/cough/ hit head against a wall… Ah, better now.

Babs on November 28, 2006 at 9:24 AM

Don’t expect to hear much more from Rangel about this for quite some time. He has jumped on the outrage wagon over the NY police shooting. He doesn’t need to create divisive topics when they keep falling into his lap.

BohicaTwentyTwo on November 28, 2006 at 9:56 AM

He has this idea that the military is composed of poor black boys that, if the government would simply give them good jobs, wouldn’t join the military. He’s tried and tried to institute a military draft so that rich white boys would be forced to serve – with the goal of having rich white moms prevent the government from going to war ever again.

Uh, I’m pretty much middle class, I’m white … and my son chose the Marine JROTC in high school and then chose to serve his country as a US Marine -before- 9/11 happened. He really didn’t care about the bonus, the educational benefits are serving him well today, but he simply wanted to serve his country … period. It’s called Patriotism. Therefore according to my limited experience Charles Rangel is not only wrong – he’s dumb as a stick.

shamalama on November 28, 2006 at 10:29 AM

Shamalama – My son was accepted into USNA prior to 9/11… He wanted to serve his country and he wanted to fly.
I will NEVER forget being “invited” to visit again after 9/11. The Navy/Marines gave everyone an opportunity to opt out after it became obvious that we were at war.

Babs on November 28, 2006 at 10:32 AM

I completely overlooked that, Freelancer, thanks. And billy – my apologies! Nice to run into other Inklings fans. :-)

Laura on November 28, 2006 at 10:34 AM

On 9/11/01, I was 4 months short of 20 years on active duty. Not a soul on earth could claim I was getting out because we were at war, I had done my time.

Other military folks here can testify to just how hard it is to reverse the wheels of a retirement package only four months away. That’s a train under full steam, that was set in motion more than six months before, and it isn’t something that often stops short of the station.

Instead of watching my shipmates get underway on Veteran’s Day, 11/11/01, as the first battlegroup to deploy following 9/11, I was aboard with them, a 20 month extention set in place allowing me to do my tiny part in helping the U.S. pull down the Taliban in Afghanistan.

I’m such a loser. Had a pension at my fingertips, and put myself back to work on the “roof” of the USS John C. Stennis yet again. If only there had been a decent alternative, I wouldn’t have needed wanted to keep serving.

Rep. Rangel, I dare you to go visit the heroes in Iraq and tell them what you tell your sheeple liberal constituents. Tell the patriots in uniform what the MSM slurps up from your drool. Tell the warriors who serve with honor and virtue what you who, couldn’t conceive of real service, put down as foolish.

“Cowards die many times before their deaths. The valiant never taste of death but once.” – W.S.

Freelancer on November 29, 2006 at 1:44 AM