Just how Republican is the military?

posted at 7:45 pm on February 12, 2012 by Jazz Shaw

I suppose I’m one of those people who has long subscribed to the idea that the United States military, while not 100% monolithic, was composed primarily of those who tended to lean toward the conservative side of the aisle, if not actually registered Republicans. I suppose that goes back to my own time in the service when it certainly seemed to be a prevalent attitude in the enlisted circles I traveled in. There’s also an understandable perception that those who are willing to put their lives on the line for their country would likely be strong on national security issues, traditionally a GOP strong point. Further, even in modern social media, the more prevalent “mil-blogger” voices you tend to see are conservatives. (Granted, that’s purely anecdotal from my own perception.)

But now, (via OTB) some research from a view years ago compiled by political scientists Jason Dempsey and Bob Shapiro seems to indicate it’s more of an even split similar to the civilian population at large than I would have suspected.

It is true that the upper echelons of the military tilt right. My own research confirmed that about two-thirds of majors and higher-ranking officers identify as conservative, as previous studies found. But that tilt becomes far less pronounced when you expand the pool of respondents. That is because only 32 percent of the Army’s enlisted soldiers consider themselves conservative, while 23 percent identify as liberal and the remaining 45 percent are self-described moderates. These numbers closely mirror the ideological predilections of the civilian population

Dr. James Joyner sums up the contributing factors and how much of a difference the military vote may make in elections.

1. The military, and especially its senior officers, are more Republican and conservative than the country as a whole. But the extent of this is grossly exaggerated, because the media naturally focuses on the attitudes of the officer corps, particularly more senior officers.

2. These differences are almost entirely explainable by the demographic makeup of the military, which is self-selected.

3. As with the rest of the country, the younger cohorts of the military–including its officer corps–are less Republican and less conservative. See, for example, the enormous swings in attitudes on gays in the military over the last 20 years.

4. The notion that the “military vote” plays a major role in choosing our presidents is vastly overstated. In addition to the issues Lawrence notes, a third of the states essentially disenfranchise military personnel by mailing absentee ballots too late. The caveat is that, because a disproportionate number of military personnel claim Florida as their home of record in order to avoid paying state income taxes, they could potentially serve as a decisive swing vote in an incredibly close contest along the lines of the 2000 election. Those are, of course, quite uncommon.

I suppose all of that makes sense. Demographics do tend to shift from one generation to the next, and there’s no reason that the military would be exempt from this. What would be more interesting would be to see if similar studies were ever conducted in the past and compare some snapshots from the forties, the sixties, the eighties and today. But another factor not mentioned here might be that no matter which party controls the White House, you don’t tend to see the members of the military running around criticizing the administration in public. This comes from generations of training which teach them not to run around trash talking the chain of command, including the very top of it.


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Another myth that my fellow Conservatives seem to spout as gospel. I grew up in a military town, and have seen first hand how the libs have used social engineering to change it to just another government jobs program.

Don’t worry though Mitt/Newt/Santorum might win in 2012 and we can all go back to sleep rest assured that liberalism is vanquished forever with the departure of Obama. Right?

ClassicCon on February 12, 2012 at 7:50 PM

Service members are sworn to support and defend the Constitution of the United States from all enemies, foreign and domestic. There are others within the US government who take a similar oath that should also remember the same oath that they swore before God and country.

So help me God.

ted c on February 12, 2012 at 7:52 PM

Obama & Paul are popular with the GIs. Could that be because we’ve been at war for 10 yrs & they’re growing weary of it?

itsnotaboutme on February 12, 2012 at 7:52 PM

With Force levels cut since Ronald Reagan, the Military vote is of little statistical consequences anymore. As well, the officer’s ranks have been filed with liberal ideology from colleges.

Egfrow on February 12, 2012 at 7:52 PM

It is true that the upper echelons of the military tilt right.

Just a couple of years ago studies were out showing the upper echelons tilted left, it’s starting to sound like the studies that come out one week saying something is bad for you then the next week another study says it’s great for you.

clearbluesky on February 12, 2012 at 7:53 PM

itsnotaboutme on February 12, 2012 at 7:52 PM

I’m the wife/sister-in-law of veterans. Neither of them support Don Black’s buddy.

annoyinglittletwerp on February 12, 2012 at 7:54 PM

Shut the front door!

carbon_footprint on February 12, 2012 at 7:54 PM

There is some fraction of the military who would support Barry as a dictator. If you RIF the rest, what do you have?

CrazyGene on February 12, 2012 at 7:55 PM

In addition to the issues Lawrence notes, a third of the states essentially disenfranchise military personnel by mailing absentee ballots too late.

They should turn their arms against the state and force them to correct this situation.

Illegal, yes, but considering how fundamental voting is to a democratic republic, more democratic than not doing so. Denying soldiers in a republic the right to vote is or should be dangerous.

Random on February 12, 2012 at 7:57 PM

When I was in the military (during the Carter and Reagan administrations) very few voted. By very few, I mean that among the men in my platoon, I was the only one who voted that I knew of.

Most in the military just weren’t that political at all.

And while one might say one or another candidate is popular with GIs that are voting, the number actually casing ballots will be quite low, well under 10% of the military. That number is higher among the office corps than among enlisted, but overall in the military, I would be greatly surprised to learn that more than 10% cast a ballot for any candidate.

crosspatch on February 12, 2012 at 7:57 PM

My own personal views on this sort of thing is, most of those who in the military consider themselves moderates would be viewed as flame spitting conservatives by liberals in the civilian world. The term has to be taken in context.

The other thing I observed is that your political leanings appeared to be in direct correlation to how close you were to the gunfire. It is for that reason that Army combat arms and Marines skew conservative while Air Force and Navy personnel skew liberal.

Once again it all comes down to your perspective from your little corner of the world.

Just A Grunt on February 12, 2012 at 7:57 PM

I find some of this somewhat suspect. Before the War on Terrorism, I can see people viewing the military as a jobs program. After 9/11, there is a strong possibility that those who enlist will be deployed overseas. That doesn’t seem likely to attract liberals. Can some of this be pre-positioning to minimize outrage when Obama and his minions manage to disenfranchise the troops by suppressing votes from those voting absentee?

AZfederalist on February 12, 2012 at 7:57 PM

Also, I would say that the political views expressed by most that I knew while I was in the military leaned more to libertarian than conservative or liberal.

crosspatch on February 12, 2012 at 7:58 PM

The disenfranchisement of the military vote is a disgrace. Sadly, it is deliberate. Please do what you can in your own states to address this now.

indyvet on February 12, 2012 at 7:59 PM

“office corps” LOL, of course I meant officer corps, but maybe that is just as well.

crosspatch on February 12, 2012 at 8:00 PM

Considering most boards of election fail to (1) mail out military absentee ballots on time, (2) trash them if/when they are received, the military vote is not a issue.
When I was in the military in the 60′s, trying to get an absentee ballot, ESPECIALLY when deployed overseas, was easier said than done/

codekeyguy on February 12, 2012 at 8:00 PM

Just a couple of years ago studies were out showing the upper echelons tilted left, it’s starting to sound like the studies that come out one week saying something is bad for you then the next week another study says it’s great for you.

clearbluesky on February 12, 2012 at 7:53 PM

I tend to put Research and Studies in the same round file I put Polls anyway.

squint on February 12, 2012 at 8:00 PM

enlisted, it’s a more even split, but among the officer corps, it’s 90 percent conservative, 10 percent liberal.

WordsMatter on February 12, 2012 at 8:01 PM

I find some of this somewhat suspect. Before the War on Terrorism, I can see people viewing the military as a jobs program. After 9/11, there is a strong possibility that those who enlist will be deployed overseas. That doesn’t seem likely to attract liberals.

AZfederalist on February 12, 2012 at 7:57 PM

Yawn.

The data is what it is. You’re wishcasting.

Random on February 12, 2012 at 8:01 PM

enlisted, it’s a more even split, but among the officer corps, it’s 90 percent conservative, 10 percent liberal.

WordsMatter on February 12, 2012 at 8:01 PM

That’s more or less what the study says, although your numbers are skewed.

Random on February 12, 2012 at 8:02 PM

The army will turn its guns on the people when ordered, without a moment’s hesitation.

This is why we cannot tolerate RINOs in the GOP, because winning elections makes no difference as long as the RINOs are able to cross the isle and join the Dems when they need to.

We must have a constitutionalist GOP, and we must stop taking non-citizens as soldiers.

We will pay dearly in the years ahead, for what we have done in the last 25 years with the army.

rightwingyahooo on February 12, 2012 at 8:02 PM

This is all due to the gay, anti-christan REMF’s in todays PC military’………

vietvet68 on February 12, 2012 at 8:03 PM

indyvet on February 12, 2012 at 7:59 PM

I don’t believe it is enough votes to matter and in most cases it wouldn’t matter anyway. This is why:

With probably only something like 6% to 8% of the military even attempting to vote, the number of votes cast in any particular jurisdiction is quite small since the ballots are cast in the service member’s home district.

Many districts do not even count absentee ballots if there is no election close enough for the absentee ballots to make a difference. In other words, if the closest election is 200 votes and there are only 100 absentee ballots cast, some jurisdictions don’t even bother counting them, they are just tossed out because there are not enough of them to make a difference in the outcome. That might have changed recently in a lot of jurisdictions after the Bush/Gore thing in Florida, but that was common practice before that election.

crosspatch on February 12, 2012 at 8:04 PM

Just A Grunt on February 12, 2012 at 7:57 PM

Agree.

Also agree with the comment that most do not vote at all. Actually, they just aren’t “political.” The military is young. The enlisted ranks make up the majority, they are young, and usually not college educated. They are more worried about getting laid, drunk, staying alive, training, getting home for Christmas, etc. (not necessarily in that order). I am NOT saying this is a bad thing. I have kids that age, and the only reason they are informed is because I inform them.

I love every one of our troops – but they, as a group, aren’t HA (or any other political – lib or con – blog regulars), if you know what I mean.

Hueydriver on February 12, 2012 at 8:05 PM

Lol, Brooce Springstine at the grammys. A 73 year old man trying to remain relevant and young.

carbon_footprint on February 12, 2012 at 8:06 PM

And props to LL Cool J for opening the Grammys with a prayer.

carbon_footprint on February 12, 2012 at 8:06 PM

Standing O at the Grammys for a look back at Whitney. RIP.

carbon_footprint on February 12, 2012 at 8:08 PM

As well, the officer’s ranks have been filed with liberal ideology from colleges.

Egfrow on February 12, 2012 at 7:52 PM

Dang booklearnin!

KeninCT on February 12, 2012 at 8:09 PM

I have 2 brothers who served in the military.

My father served in Vietnam as well. All of us are liberals to the core.

Romney dodged the draft and has 5 boys with no military experience. Now tell me who is more Anti-American.
My liberal family or the military dodging Romneys?

liberal4life on February 12, 2012 at 8:09 PM

Adele is the anti-Lady Gaga.

carbon_footprint on February 12, 2012 at 8:10 PM

“The army will turn its guns on the people when ordered, without a moment’s hesitation. ”

THAT is absolutely the most ridiculous statement I have ever read on Hot Air. I served in the Army and whether or not we would actually aim to kill would probably depend a lot on the context of the situation. The Army is made up of real human beings. If some politician creates some bullshit situation and then attempts to get the Army to slaughter people who are against it, I think you might find the Army joining them rather than shooting them.

A decreasing portion of our military is regular forces and an increasing proportion are reserves and national guard. These people are their neighbors, co-workers, family members. They are going to think a bit about where they are aiming before they pull that trigger. We don’t have an Army of robots. We have an Army of real people.

THIS is exactly why we have an armed population, by the way, so they can shoot back when the government sics the Army on them just as the British did to us back in the 1700′s.

crosspatch on February 12, 2012 at 8:10 PM

and the remaining 45 percent are self-described moderates.

My husband’s an Independent and a veteran. He votes for the person not party. He had an open mind when it came to Obama especially early on when it looked like Obama was coming down on the right side of getting rid of NAFTA. I think the high number of Independents in the Military comes from being on the receiving end of politician’s policy. It’s always amazing to see liberals blaming the military for the mission they have been sent to accomplish by the political leadership. It’s as if liberals don’t understand that the military doesn’t make policy. The military on the other hand understand perfectly how it works.

Dr Evil on February 12, 2012 at 8:10 PM

This is an awful notion, that a gang member could learn martial arts by joining the army. The sad truth, however, is that gang recruitment is up, severely, and these gangs are actually using the military for training in martial arts, combat weapons, and all manner of skills. This could be utterly terrifying, if you think about it, a gang member being trained as a soldier and then turned loose on the streets of America.

Fallon on February 12, 2012 at 8:11 PM

Who is Bruno Mars?

carbon_footprint on February 12, 2012 at 8:11 PM

Well, I would think most aren’t terribly political to begin with, if talking about enlisted men, and women. I don’t want to sound liberal but Bush did do significant harm to the GOP’s standing among many mil-dudes I know and in the family. Face it, whether we agree with the missions or not – to go nearly a decade, or longer, without victory is demoralizing and reflects poorly.

abobo on February 12, 2012 at 8:12 PM

If this is true…then someone explain to me why the Dems are hell bent on suppressing the military vote every damn election?

I do however believe that in the last few years the military has been leaning more left because the radicals have had a massive campaign to enlist gang members and questionable recruits.

And as far as gays in the military and why it’s becoming the norm is easy…you pound away at a social issue to the point where an entire generation is beaten into acceptance..then yah, eventually there will be little resistance left.

katy on February 12, 2012 at 8:12 PM

THIS is exactly why we have an armed population, by the way, so they can shoot back when the government sics the Army on them just as the British did to us back in the 1700′s.

crosspatch on February 12, 2012 at 8:10 PM

That’s why there are Oath Keepers.

Dr Evil on February 12, 2012 at 8:13 PM

Lol, Brooce Springstine at the grammys. A 73 year old man trying to remain relevant and young.

carbon_footprint on February 12, 2012 at 8:06 PM

He’s starting to look like Neil Diamond. Weird.

Fallon on February 12, 2012 at 8:13 PM

Idiotforlife,

Nobody today “dodges” service. (Are you that guy in Stripes who decided he should join before he was drafted?)

I know lots of libs in the military. Just because they serve doesn’t make them right about politics. You can be (as you show every time you post) that anti-American is a state of mind (or lack thereof).

My dad beat up your dad in Vietnam…

See how stupid that is?

Hueydriver on February 12, 2012 at 8:13 PM

This comes from generations of training which teach them not to run around trash talking the chain of command, including the very top of it.

Well they certainly aren’t taught to protect and defend the United States Constitution any more. The Founding Fathers didn’t even want a standing army, let alone a career one. The very thought was abhorrent to them as they rightly regarded such a thing as a threat to liberty. Now given that “the oceans are much smaller” they might well reluctantly accept some version of such a thing (probably a cadre of career military but with most of the ranks and officers filled with non-careerists) but they would not like it and would certainly insist that it not be a free institution.

Thomas Jefferson said, “I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies.” I think the meaning of that is very clear. James Madison said, “A standing army is one of the greatest mischiefs that can possibly happen.”

We have career uber alles generals who have repetedly placed the lives and limbs of their own troops as inferior to Muslim lives and even Muslim ‘sensitivities”.We have a career uber alles Army that has crucified one of it’s few officers who placed Constitution and country above career. Today’ military, under it’s current generals, has failed the nation in so very many ways that to not see it one must close the eyes of his mind and keep them shut by force.

Right now I have about as much respect for our career military as I do for used car salesman, probably less.

VorDaj on February 12, 2012 at 8:14 PM

“My husband’s an Independent and a veteran. He votes for the person not party. ”

I used to do that before I learned that was a waste of time. I soon learned that even the best person you could imagine will still vote with their party nearly 90% of the time. So you have to pick the party you want at that particular point in time, and vote that ticket in order to give that party the team in place to get things done.

If, for example, you vote for a Republican President and a Democrat congressional delegation, you are going to achieve nothing because even though the Congressional candidates might be really great guys, they will oppose that President at ever turn because they are on the opposite team.

That’s when I learned that voting the person was a dumb idea, as much as I wanted to believe that was the right way to go. You have to vote the whole team.

crosspatch on February 12, 2012 at 8:15 PM

As soon as voting ballots are sent out on time, counted on time, and applied to an election then I will be concerned about the armed services going donk.

jukin3 on February 12, 2012 at 8:16 PM

Just how Republican is the military?

A better question is how conservative is the military, SEE Lt Col Allen West.

Dr Evil on February 12, 2012 at 8:16 PM

The army will turn its guns on the people when ordered, without a moment’s hesitation.

This is why we cannot tolerate RINOs in the GOP, because winning elections makes no difference as long as the RINOs are able to cross the isle and join the Dems when they need to.

We must have a constitutionalist GOP, and we must stop taking non-citizens as soldiers.

We will pay dearly in the years ahead, for what we have done in the last 25 years with the army.

rightwingyahooo on February 12, 2012 at 8:02 PM

You are a [several swear words deleted here] imbecile.

Stupid.

An absolute dunce.

You think purging the GOP and shrinking the big tent so you can live in your fantasy land will keep control of the Senate or House?

You are a loony.

Apologies in advance to anyone who thinks I understated my opinion unduly.

Random on February 12, 2012 at 8:17 PM

“The army will turn its guns on the people when ordered, without a moment’s hesitation. ”

THAT is absolutely the most ridiculous statement I have ever read on Hot Air. I served in the Army and whether or not we would actually aim to kill would probably depend a lot on the context of the situation.

….

THIS is exactly why we have an armed population, by the way, so they can shoot back when the government sics the Army on them just as the British did to us back in the 1700′s.

crosspatch on February 12, 2012 at 8:10 PM

Sounds like you don’t believe your own keyboard.

rightwingyahooo on February 12, 2012 at 8:17 PM

“The army will turn its guns on the people when ordered, without a moment’s hesitation. ”

So far they have obeyed all of Herr Obama’s orders no mater how unconstitutional.

VorDaj on February 12, 2012 at 8:18 PM

Now tell me who is more Anti-American.
My liberal family or the military dodging Romneys?

liberal4life on February 12, 2012 at 8:09 PM

I’m gonna have to go with you and your family being waaaaaaay more un-American than Mitt’s.

Tim Zank on February 12, 2012 at 8:19 PM

That’s when I learned that voting the person was a dumb idea, as much as I wanted to believe that was the right way to go. You have to vote the whole team.

crosspatch on February 12, 2012 at 8:15 PM

You have to understand where he’s coming from, he thinks pol-i-ticks is full of blood suckers :)

I am an Independent there are many republicans I won’t vote for, and most of those folks are moderates and liberals.

Dr Evil on February 12, 2012 at 8:19 PM

You might also find many of these among the military and among veterans:

http://www.modernwhig.org/

crosspatch on February 12, 2012 at 8:22 PM

He’s starting to look like Neil Diamond. Weird.

Fallon on February 12, 2012 at 8:13 PM

ink
Lol, I was thinking Neil Y9oung, but Diamond is apt as well.

carbon_footprint on February 12, 2012 at 8:22 PM

A better question is how conservative is the military, SEE Lt Col Allen West.

Dr Evil on February 12, 2012 at 8:16 PM

You do know that the army kicked him out, don’t you? They don’t like men who think outside their small selfish careerist box.

VorDaj on February 12, 2012 at 8:22 PM

*************** AH NUTS ************************************

canopfor on February 12, 2012 at 8:23 PM

“If you’re not a liberal at twenty you have no heart, if you’re not a conservative at forty you have no brain.”
Winston Churchill

The fact is nearly everyone who grows up here has an entire world of conflicts and contradictions to resolve and young people have only begun that journey.

The sad part is not everyone reasons their way out of the BS quagmire they’ve been given to sort out.

Speakup on February 12, 2012 at 8:24 PM

If this is true…then someone explain to me why the Dems are hell bent on suppressing the military vote every damn election?

I do however believe that in the last few years the military has been leaning more left because the radicals have had a massive campaign to enlist gang members and questionable recruits.

And as far as gays in the military and why it’s becoming the norm is easy…you pound away at a social issue to the point where an entire generation is beaten into acceptance..then yah, eventually there will be little resistance left.

katy on February 12, 2012 at 8:12 PM

Utter nonsense…. the same mechanism which you deride is same one used by American citizens overseas to vote… they outnumber the military member votes by considerable margin and they lean heavily Democrat so your assertion that there is a partisan reason behind some states processing these votes is without merit. Also without merit is your assertion that military personnel vote a certain way because they are somehow pressure… pure BS. Voting in the military is a very private affair. Respect the vote rather than dismissing it. Look closely at polling of servicemen and women and you will see which GOP candidate they prefer and then you will see a pattern you really won’t like.

lexhamfox on February 12, 2012 at 8:24 PM

How can any lifer be a liberal?

Grunt on February 12, 2012 at 8:25 PM

Regardless of political slant, most folks, be they military or civilian, tend to vote their pocketbooks. And, while military folks are all about not getting shot at, they are also smart enough to know if you want to ‘end the war now’ just so you can RIF them back to flyover country.

Knott Buyinit on February 12, 2012 at 8:25 PM

“The army will turn its guns on the people when ordered, without a moment’s hesitation.”

It’s actually the Canadian soldiers you have to watch out for.

Random on February 12, 2012 at 8:25 PM

Most colonels and Navy captains are bureaucrats in our military staff system, as are the generals and admirals. Comparatively few actually command anything. The colonels shuffle paper, revise plans, oversee weapons development, and develop PowerPoint presentations for the more senior bureaucrats. In other words, staff work give career officers something to do until they either retire or are finally promoted to flag rank. They know all about policy but little of leadership. It is from this pool of paper shufflers that our generals and admirals are chosen. No wonder they can’t lead anything! It may sound redundant (after all, isn’t that what a bureaucracy is all about?), but careerism produces even more careerism. If you want to truly reduce the cost and influence of the military, begin with the bloated major command staffs and the Pentagon’s obscenely large population of officers and “Beltway Bandits.”

RasThavas on February 12, 2012 at 8:26 PM

My father served in Vietnam as well. All of us are liberals to the core.

Romney dodged the draft and has 5 boys with no military experience. Now tell me who is more Anti-American.
My liberal family or the military dodging Romneys?

liberal4life on February 12, 2012 at 8:09 PM

liberal4life:Speaking of fathers,its a bleed’n shames that Obamas
father was never in World War Two!!

canopfor on February 12, 2012 at 8:27 PM

Chris Brown is boring…

Fallon on February 12, 2012 at 8:29 PM

I have 2 brothers who served in the military.

My father served in Vietnam as well. All of us are liberals to the core.

Romney dodged the draft and has 5 boys with no military experience. Now tell me who is more Anti-American.
My liberal family or the military dodging Romneys?

liberal4life on February 12, 2012 at 8:09 PM

Did you call Clinton a draft dodger when you voted for him twice? I did 22 years active duty between the Army and Navy. I don’t consider myself more or less American than any other citizen.

John Murtha was a Colonel in the Marines. I consider him to be very anti-American. I’m only sorry he didn’t see the last of the Haditha 8 cleared of any murder charges.

I don’t know about Romney, but if you and your family vote straight liberal every time, you are voting for people who are anti-American.

You and your family served to give me the right to have that opinion. Thanks!

TugboatPhil on February 12, 2012 at 8:29 PM

Thomas Jefferson said, “I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies.” I think the meaning of that is very clear.

Right now I have about as much respect for our career military as I do for used car salesman, probably less.

VorDaj on February 12, 2012 at 8:14 PM

Guess the meaning of that Jefferson quote isn’t as clear you think. Try re-reading and get back to us.

Jefferson actually understood quite well the need for a standing force. And thank goodness he did, or we would still be dealing with piracy…Crap. Wait…

On part 2 of your statement: You may not like what you see at the very top. However, it takes a special kind of person to be willing (for very little pay and/or recognition) to be willing to lay down their life for people they don’t even know. Let alone those who despise them.

Hueydriver on February 12, 2012 at 8:30 PM

But another factor not mentioned here might be that no matter which party controls the White House, you don’t tend to see the members of the military running around criticizing the administration in public. This comes from generations of training which teach them not to run around trash talking the chain of command, including the very top of it.

Or you dont have to be a right winger to love your country and/or care about national security. Just a thought

Isserley on February 12, 2012 at 8:31 PM

THAT is absolutely the most ridiculous statement I have ever read on Hot Air. I served in the Army and whether or not we would actually aim to kill would probably depend a lot on the context of the situation.

crosspatch on February 12, 2012 at 8:10 PM

‘Aim to kill’? I understand the Lone Ranger was so good he could shoot guns from the hands of bad guys. We lesser mortals in the infantry were trained to go for center mass. Some highly trained snipers with the right platform can try for a non-lethal shot, depending on range, but even then the Hollywood claim ‘he only winged me’ conveniently ignores the turnpike of arteries running through the limbs and extremities of the human body. If you shoot anyone anywhere with anything in a military caliber, they’ll be badly hurt. Anywhere center mass, and they’ll likely be dead.

So that bit about ‘most ridiculous statement posted on Hot Air’? I nominate yours.

troyriser_gopftw on February 12, 2012 at 8:31 PM

It’s actually the Canadian soldiers you have to watch out for.

Random on February 12, 2012 at 8:25 PM

Random:

Very nice,a Liberal Narrational Perception/Deception attemptaRoo!

canopfor on February 12, 2012 at 8:32 PM

crosspatch on February 12, 2012 at 8:04 PM
Thanks. Interesting and concerning. If absentee military ballots are as insignificant as you suggest, why are the Dems so hell-bent on disenfranchising the military vote?

indyvet on February 12, 2012 at 8:33 PM

Republican-enough that the democratics will keep trying to block military votes any way they can, everywhere they can.

slickwillie2001 on February 12, 2012 at 8:34 PM

Not to worry. As they get older, they tend to lean right. Seems an awakening occurs after believing the pap for 20 or 30 years….and SURPRISE! Things don’t get “better”.

GarandFan on February 12, 2012 at 8:36 PM

Hueydriver on February 12, 2012 at 8:30 PM “it takes a special kind of person to be willing (for very little pay and/or recognition) to be willing to lay down their life for people they don’t even know. Let alone those who despise them.” Well said! Thank you for your service.

indyvet on February 12, 2012 at 8:36 PM

rightwingyahooo on February 12, 2012 at 8:02 PM

Good grief!

a capella on February 12, 2012 at 8:37 PM

I bet the breakdown is in direct correlation to the percentage of blacks in the military. Most black voters just vote democrat in spite of themselves.

SouthernGent on February 12, 2012 at 8:37 PM

Guess the meaning of that Jefferson quote isn’t as clear you think. Try re-reading and get back to us.

Jefferson spoke in plain English, which I understand very well. It is you who seems to have a problem with English comprehension.

On part 2 of your statement: You may not like what you see at the very top. However, it takes a special kind of person to be willing (for very little pay and/or recognition) to be willing to lay down their life for people they don’t even know. Let alone those who despise them.

I pretty much don’t like what I see, so you got that right. Little pay? They are getting multiple times what I did, even adjusting for inflation. If they think they can do better in private industry, I’m not stopping them.

VorDaj on February 12, 2012 at 8:37 PM

troyriser_gopftw on February 12, 2012 at 8:31 PM

As I said it would greatly depend on the circumstances of being called out. If it was because some authoritarian President tries to do something that is really alien to our culture, the people rise up against it, and so he calls in the Army to be his “enforcer”, you might see a lot of rounds flying but not many finding targets.

If, on the other hand, you get a bunch of hooligans that are simply determined to destroy property and raise hell, and hurt people, I don’t think they would have any problem at all finding targets.

crosspatch on February 12, 2012 at 8:37 PM

On my son’s last visit home, he told me that the longer he stays in, the more conservative he becomes. He went to a liberal arts college, graduated, and then enlisted as a grunt, not an officer. He said you have to serve before you can lead. Now he’s a staff sgt. on his 8th tour and he’s registered and votes.

noneoftheabove on February 12, 2012 at 8:39 PM

lexhamfox on February 12, 2012 at 8:24 PM

One of these days I hope to take you seriously lex. But for now I’ll have to wait until you post something other than your own inner dribble.

Google military voter suppression and read through the more than 3 million articles and stories on military vote suppression and get back to me. And let’s see if you can find one of the most notorious military vote suppression stories in the net. Hint: 2004-Fla.

You’re a snob and an uniformed one at that. ppffftt…

katy on February 12, 2012 at 8:40 PM

Correction for lex…

Make that 2000.

katy on February 12, 2012 at 8:41 PM

Now let’s see what the numbers are when you only include poeple that went in active duty.

NOTE: Not bashing reservists. After my enlistment ended I sometimes think of going to the reserves. However, I notice that those who are or who have been in the miltary but are liberal tend ot be people who went int othe miltary as reservists.

DethMetalCookieMonst on February 12, 2012 at 8:42 PM

My liberal family or the military dodging Romneys?

liberal4life on February 12, 2012 at 8:09 PM

Your family as you describe them — because (a) anyone who posits military service as an analogue for patriotism — as a necessary qualification for civilian office — is unpatriotic at the core, and (b) anyone who picks and chooses the clauses of the Constitution which they believe in and defend is unpatriotic at the core.

That said, I don’t put a great amount of store by Romney — for Romneycare was nothing more than a single-state version of Obamacare, and liberals, including Romney (or his last incarnation), have way too much investment in Big Government.

That said, I’d vote for Romney over Obama without hesitation.

unclesmrgol on February 12, 2012 at 8:44 PM

If absentee military ballots are as insignificant as you suggest, why are the Dems so hell-bent on disenfranchising the military vote?

You have to look at the military vote in a larger context. Through such things as The Secretary of State project, they are looking to suppress ALL sources of votes that might be even slightly to the right of center, not just military votes.

Since the socialists took over the Democrat party, they are playing the same game Chavez played in Venezuela. They are attempting to take control of electronic voting so they can manipulate vote counts, disenfranchise as many as they can who they perceive to be likely on the right, enable such things as voter fraud, etc. The disenfranchising of the military is only a small portion of the whole effort to control the voting process and ensure that their candidates get elected regardless of the actual votes cast. And that is only because they PERCEIVE the military to be voting a lot more to the right than I believe it actually does. When I was in the military, most were pretty libertarian and their view was that the Republicans weren’t “better” than the Democrats, just less dangerous. So most voted Republican as a “lesser of two evils” thing.

crosspatch on February 12, 2012 at 8:44 PM

On this “Aim to kill” criticism. It’s absolute B.S!

First day of basic, I was taught to shoot off a man’s finger at 50 paces with a 9mm, so he couldn’t hurt nobody.

Next day, we started with how to make a bed….

Random on February 12, 2012 at 8:44 PM

you might see a lot of rounds flying but not many finding targets.

crosspatch on February 12, 2012 at 8:37 PM

Sorry, I assumed you were saying soldiers would try for non-lethal hits, not firing aimlessly in the air.

Every American soldier has a moral and legal obligation to refuse to obey an unlawful order and shooting unarmed civilians is clearly unlawful. Of course, such soldiers are immediately subject to arrest and court martial, but conscientious decisions invariably come with consequences. But that ‘shooting at the sky’ business you were describing? Not happening, at least not in a well-disciplined unit. Either the civilians you describe would be shot center-mass or they wouldn’t be fired upon at all.

troyriser_gopftw on February 12, 2012 at 8:47 PM

The other thing I observed is that your political leanings appeared to be in direct correlation to how close you were to the gunfire. It is for that reason that Army combat arms and Marines skew conservative while Air Force and Navy personnel skew liberal.
Just A Grunt on February 12, 2012 at 7:57 PM

The farther you get from the gunfire, the more the military becomes just another government agency.

Nowadays the CIA and the EPA have pretty much the same political agenda.

logis on February 12, 2012 at 8:47 PM

First day of basic, I was taught to shoot off a man’s finger at 50 paces with a 9mm, so he couldn’t hurt nobody.

Gnat’s gonads at 300 meters.

Point is, if it is some bullshit callout where some despotic President wants the Army to slaughter a bunch of old people protesting because their social security checks bounced and they get the order to fire, I seriously doubly many will be aiming center mass.

If it is a bunch of anarchists wearing Guy Fawkes masks who are rampaging through downtown torching property, just about every round will find center mass.

crosspatch on February 12, 2012 at 8:48 PM

“Gnat’s gonads at 300 meters.”

But not with a 9mm.

crosspatch on February 12, 2012 at 8:49 PM

It’s no surprise to me that the military isn’t entirely comprised of republicans. However, the closer you get to those who volunteer for combat positions, the more conservative they become.

In large part, the military has become a springboard for civilian careers; many kids skip college and take this route, knowing they’ll serve the minimum commitment then transition to a civilian job similar to their MOS. At least when companies are actually hiring. It’s also more true for the Navy and Air Force, than the Army and Marines. The Marines Corps is without a doubt the most conservative.

BKeyser on February 12, 2012 at 8:49 PM

“the closer you get to those who volunteer for combat positions, the more conservative they become.”

I’ll buy that. Bit there’s a lot of tail for every one of those teeth.

crosspatch on February 12, 2012 at 8:51 PM

Every American soldier has a moral and legal obligation to refuse to obey an unlawful order and shooting unarmed civilians is clearly unlawful. Of course, such soldiers are immediately subject to arrest and court martial, but conscientious decisions invariably come with consequences. But that ‘shooting at the sky’ business you were describing? Not happening, at least not in a well-disciplined unit. Either the civilians you describe would be shot center-mass or they wouldn’t be fired upon at all.

In seriousness, I must admit I am thoroughly and absolutely agreeing with this comment as well as troyriser_gopftw’s previous comment, plus his reasoning and in both cases, giving full credit to his experience and realistic assessment of soldiers’ behavior thereof.

Mostly though, the military will obey orders until and unless senior officers start going against the grain. And then many things could happen.

Random on February 12, 2012 at 8:51 PM

lexhamfox on February 12, 2012 at 8:24 PM

One of these days I hope to take you seriously lex. But for now I’ll have to wait until you post something other than your own inner dribble.

Google military voter suppression and read through the more than 3 million articles and stories on military vote suppression and get back to me. And let’s see if you can find one of the most notorious military vote suppression stories in the net. Hint: 2004-Fla.

You’re a snob and an uniformed one at that. ppffftt…

katy on February 12, 2012 at 8:40 PM

Every election my family has to go through the same process as the military in order to vote and you can look at how citizens overseas vote and you will see my point. I was in the military myself and have been involved with campaigns to get the military vote and the expat vote counted so I know what am talking about. Your contention that this is a Dem conspiracy does not add up.

lexhamfox on February 12, 2012 at 8:52 PM

And by, “obey orders” I mean most of them will “obey illegal orders” from those in authority. The psychological evidence and historical data on this is overwhelming.

Random on February 12, 2012 at 8:53 PM

Well they certainly aren’t taught to protect and defend the United States Constitution any more. The Founding Fathers didn’t even want a standing army, let alone a career one. The very thought was abhorrent to them as they rightly regarded such a thing as a threat to liberty. Now given that “the oceans are much smaller” they might well reluctantly accept some version of such a thing (probably a cadre of career military but with most of the ranks and officers filled with non-careerists) but they would not like it and would certainly insist that it not be a free institution.

Thomas Jefferson said, “I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies.” I think the meaning of that is very clear. James Madison said, “A standing army is one of the greatest mischiefs that can possibly happen.”

We have career uber alles generals who have repetedly placed the lives and limbs of their own troops as inferior to Muslim lives and even Muslim ‘sensitivities”.We have a career uber alles Army that has crucified one of it’s few officers who placed Constitution and country above career. Today’ military, under it’s current generals, has failed the nation in so very many ways that to not see it one must close the eyes of his mind and keep them shut by force.

Right now I have about as much respect for our career military as I do for used car salesman, probably less.

VorDaj on February 12, 2012 at 8:14 PM

Gee, who wants to be this guy is a Ron Paul fan.

DethMetalCookieMonst on February 12, 2012 at 8:53 PM

…probably because they’re working as hard as they can to pussify the military so that the only thinking is wilting lily liberal.

Or the entire analysis could be utter B.S. too.

Wolfmoon on February 12, 2012 at 8:53 PM

VorDaj on February 12, 2012 at 8:37 PM

Jefferson said banks are more dangerous than a standing army. Jefferson vehemently argued (and won) for a standing force – particularly a Navy and Marine Corps to fight America’s first enemies abroad, because he refused to pay tribute to a band of criminals.

The point you attempted to make in your original post certainly seemed to me to be a bash on the military. So they don’t jive IMO.

Who do you think best defends a nation – The banking system or an army?

You are complaining about the very top brass in the military, and how much they make? Relative to an E-1 (or even an O-1) sure, they make some good bank. But it is the enlisted troops that, by and large, do the working and dying in the military. They are often on food stamps.

Should it be the other way around? Do generals make too much, or troops not enough? Should we pay them at all, or just have universal conscription, and let the conscripts also be the commanders? They could just take turns, or perhaps get into one of those idiotic circles and just let anyone who has something to say stand up, the crowd repeat everything that person says, and then everyone gets to vote. “Yeah, no fighting today…let’s smoke some dope…”

And, if it makes you happy – when the generals retire, they often do QUITE well in private industry. Not all, but most are extremely intelligent and very well read.

Sounds like you are one of those ‘occupy’ types who compares themselves $ for $ to others, and then decides that other person should be derided for their success. Or just a pissed off trooper who couldn’t hack it. Or someone who simply does not know what he is talking about. Or all of the above.

Hueydriver on February 12, 2012 at 8:53 PM

Just a couple of years ago studies were out showing the upper echelons tilted left, it’s starting to sound like the studies that come out one week saying something is bad for you then the next week another study says it’s great for you.

clearbluesky on February 12, 2012 at 7:53 PM

The upper echelons serving downrange of the Pentagon sure seem to tilt left. Think Pat Schroeder – and it all comes into perspective.

egmont on February 12, 2012 at 8:55 PM

Point is, if it is some bullshit callout where some despotic President wants the Army to slaughter a bunch of old people protesting because their social security checks bounced and they get the order to fire, I seriously doubly many will be aiming center mass.

Well, old people won’t be rebelling as such. But young rock throwers and the like, possibly armed with firearms, could take up the struggle. And then hell yeah, if ordered to most American soldiers would shoot.

The key to this not happening will depend on the officers above them. Officers are taught to and see themselves as having generally more autonomy and responsibility. A lot would depend on which officers are in this particular chain of command, and what they are willing and able to do to isolate other officers.

Random on February 12, 2012 at 8:56 PM

Military culture is very Hierarchical in structure and can provide a very comfortable place for a budding Statist flourish and reinforce their ideas. They begin to appreciate a life relieved of any responsibility outside of their own ambitions and appreciate the absolute efficiency of authority when executed. So, if you are inclined towards Socialist or Statist ideas then you can quite feel at home within the collective culture. If you are a patriot or individual then you see the Military culture a different way.

A good example of this type of thinking is with Markos Moulitsa Zuniga.. AKA. (Daily Kos)

The military is perhaps the ideal society — we worked hard but the Army took care of us in return. All our basic needs were met — housing, food, and medical care. It was as close to a color-blind society as I have ever seen. We looked out for one another. The Army invested in us. I took heavily subsidized college courses and learned to speak German on the Army’s dime. I served with people from every corner of the country. I got to party at the Berlin Wall after it fell and explored Prague in those heady post-communism days. I wasn’t just a tourist; I was a witness to history.

The Army taught me the very values that make us progressives — community, opportunity, and investment in people and the future.
-KOS

Egfrow on February 12, 2012 at 8:56 PM

Interesting…..hmmmmm!

The OverSeas Branch of The Democratic Party!!
———————————————

Democrats Abroad Celebrate President Obama’s Birthday
July 28th, 2011
Media Contact:
Jody Couser, Press Officer
Democrats Abroad
pressofficer@democratsabroad.org

Press Release
For Immediate Release

July 28, 2011

Democrats Abroad Celebrate President Obama’s Birthday

Worldwide Parties, Voter Registration Drives Planned for 50th Birthday
*********
*********

“What better gift could we give the President than ensuring that more U.S. citizens are registered to vote?” said Ken Sherman, International Chair of Democrats Abroad.

“We will celebrate his birthday by gathering worldwide and educating Americans living abroad how they can register and request their ballot.”

The worldwide birthday parties are a part of Democrats Abroad’s efforts to provide Americans living abroad with information about the new Military and Overseas Voter Empowerment Act (MOVE Act).

Under the MOVE Act, Americans living abroad must not only register to vote, but also apply for an absentee ballot after January 1st during the election year they wish to vote. Therefore in addition to registering Americans to vote,

Democrats Abroad will be providing information on how to request an absentee ballot in 2012 to ensure that all Americans living abroad can participate and make the difference in close elections around the country.

Americans living abroad can register to vote at http://www.votefromabroad.org (VFA).This website is sponsored by Democrats Abroad and makes registering to vote simple for any American living abroad.
========================

http://www.democratsabroad.org/press-release/2011/07/28/democrats-abroad-celebrate-president-obama-s-birthday

canopfor on February 12, 2012 at 8:56 PM

On this “Aim to kill” criticism. It’s absolute B.S!

First day of basic, I was taught to shoot off a man’s finger at 50 paces with a 9mm, so he couldn’t hurt nobody.

Next day, we started with how to make a bed….h

Random on February 12, 2012 at 8:44 PM

This is BS!

davidk on February 12, 2012 at 8:57 PM

Well they certainly aren’t taught to protect and defend the United States Constitution any more. The Founding Fathers didn’t even want a standing army, let alone a career one. The very thought was abhorrent to them as they rightly regarded such a thing as a threat to liberty. Now given that “the oceans are much smaller” they might well reluctantly accept some version of such a thing (probably a cadre of career military but with most of the ranks and officers filled with non-careerists) but they would not like it and would certainly insist that it not be a free institution.

Thomas Jefferson said, “I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies.” I think the meaning of that is very clear. James Madison said, “A standing army is one of the greatest mischiefs that can possibly happen.”

We have career uber alles generals who have repetedly placed the lives and limbs of their own troops as inferior to Muslim lives and even Muslim ‘sensitivities”.We have a career uber alles Army that has crucified one of it’s few officers who placed Constitution and country above career. Today’ military, under it’s current generals, has failed the nation in so very many ways that to not see it one must close the eyes of his mind and keep them shut by force.

Right now I have about as much respect for our career military as I do for used car salesman, probably less.

VorDaj on February 12, 2012 at 8:14 PM

Gee, who wants to be this guy is a Ron Paul fan.

DethMetalCookieMonst on February 12, 2012 at 8:53 PM

You see but you do not observe.

VorDaj on February 12, 2012 at 8:57 PM

The Democrats will still do everything they can do make sure their votes are not counted.

zmdavid on February 12, 2012 at 8:58 PM

katy on February 12, 2012 at 8:12 PM

omg. If you and Bill Whittle had kids, they’d have awesome hair!

bettycooper on February 12, 2012 at 8:58 PM

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