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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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.

And I still say that it will depend greatly on the context of the situation. Is it something that has been building for months or is it some sudden incident?

I don’t think the military would have a problem shooting looters or people destroying property or damaging infrastructure, but I do believe they are smart enough to know if they are being used a political pawns against a political leader’s opponents.

For example, what if Obama ordered the military to mow down a peaceful yet vocal Tea Party rally? You really think they would do it? I don’t. Not for a minute. Again, they aren’t robots. They are members of your community just like the rest of your neighbors. They are going to actively defend you, but I don’t believe they are going to mow you down just because an order comes from above telling them to when you aren’t a threat to life or property. In that case, I could see the Army moving to PROTECT the civilians.

crosspatch on February 12, 2012 at 9:01 PM

I will put faith in my 22 years of service over some poll.

There are libs in the military (take an opportunist like Wesley Clark – please) but not many, and not for very long.

If there were that many libs in the military, why do Democrats go to such great lengths to disenfranchise their vote?

Roy Rogers on February 12, 2012 at 9:02 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

Nuh uh.

In week 3 the culmination of our QCB training lead us to be able to pin a man’s hand to a wall with a knife at 25 yards. Here’s actual training footage.

Random on February 12, 2012 at 9:03 PM

The military are sober and aware so they are conservative.

Grunt on February 12, 2012 at 9:05 PM

If there were that many libs in the military, why do Democrats go to such great lengths to disenfranchise their vote?

Roy Rogers on February 12, 2012 at 9:02 PM

Look… the fact is that a majority of military voters are GOP but the same process is used to count expat votes which are more numerous and lean Democrat. If the Democrats really are suppressing counting absentee ballots they are more likely screwing themselves rather than the GOP.

Count every vote should be the maxim.

lexhamfox on February 12, 2012 at 9:05 PM

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

I am trying to think of a good way to counter this…It’s just sooo retarded.

The idea that anyone, especially a leftist libtard occupier, would WILLINGLY live under the REALITY of a military culture – the real one, not the BS no combat, “see the world and get trained for your civilian life” KOS crap – is a complete farce. Those in in our country that currently espouse this utopia (occupiers, Dems in govt, etc) would be the first to crack under the rigor. The real military culture is one of selfless sacrifice, duty, and honor.

Hueydriver on February 12, 2012 at 9:07 PM

My experience, 22 years enlisted service Navy, retired Senior Chief ’10, is that it has been very difficult to get our service-members to vote, because for them (me once), it just wasn’t important at the time. Once we got them to vote, it was hard to make sure they’re vote got sent properly and counted, for various logistical (and political – Florida 2000 Gore) reasons. There is a long-standing program, at least in the Navy, to encourage Sailors to vote; it’s non-partisan to the point that it’s almost “Schoolhouse Rock” in it’s earnestness.

JeffWeimer on February 12, 2012 at 9:08 PM

Here’s actual training footage.

Random on February 12, 2012 at 9:03 PM

Where have I seen the knife-thrower before?

bettycooper on February 12, 2012 at 9:09 PM

Obama fears the military vote because his handlers know how much he is despised.

You think Valerie Jarrett was telling him to kill OBL???

Roy Rogers on February 12, 2012 at 9:09 PM

From my experience in the military (25 years) the company grade officers were conservative and the field grade and up were politicians, leaning to which ever way the winds blew. Low grade enlisted really didn’t care one way or the other but the NCO’s were conservative up to the rank of E8 then the politicians pop out again. But then it really doesn’t matter the absentee ballots for the military usually show up late so their vote doesn’t count. It’s just more voter fraud that gets swept under the table.

savage24 on February 12, 2012 at 9:10 PM

Jefferson said banks are more dangerous than a standing army.

Yes he did. And why do you think he choose a standing army to compare banks to? Because a standing army was the worst thing he could think of other than banks. That is very obvious.

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

Right now? A banking system by far. All the standing army is doing now is screwing up in Afghanistan and lying about how things are going.

They are often on food stamps.

Then they need to learn to manage their money better. I got far less and was never on food stamps.

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

What success has our army had lately? I left the army totally of my own volition. I never did want to become a lifer. When I was in calling someone a lifer was the highest form of insult.

VorDaj on February 12, 2012 at 9:10 PM

Just a couple of years ago studies were out showing the upper echelons tilted left,

The upper echelons will tilt whichever way they have to in order to kiss the ass of those approving promotions. General officers must be nominated for promotion by the President and confirmed by the Senate. Right now the office of President and the Senate are controlled by Democrats so guess who gets entry into the “upper echelon” these days?

crosspatch on February 12, 2012 at 9:12 PM

The real military culture is one of selfless sacrifice, duty, and honor.

Those bolded are particularly leftist values, save within the military context (the military is a collectivist regime severely focused on “team”, not individualism). The idea that leftists can’t buy into concepts like being selfless or duty is just poppycock.

Here of communism, anyone? Naziism? Pretty much every culture and military in history and pre-history alike?

Random on February 12, 2012 at 9:12 PM

I served in the Air Force for 20 years, retiring in 2003. This really isn’t a great mystery. The military draws from the young people of our nation with offers of a GI bill, scholarships, and a way out. For officers, ROTC is far and away the largest commissioning source, offering scholarships for college that years ago became unaffordable.

We shouldn’t be surprised that men and women from all political stripes take advantage of these programs for one reason, and find serving their country is indeed a special way of life. I am one who took that very path.

STL_Vet on February 12, 2012 at 9:13 PM

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

Now that you mention it, the army is a lot like a collective.

VorDaj on February 12, 2012 at 9:13 PM

the company grade officers were conservative and the field grade and up were politicians

That about sizes up my view, too. Whoever is in the Senate/White House determines who gets flag officer rank. So, you do what you have to do.

crosspatch on February 12, 2012 at 9:13 PM

Poor VorDaj….

Just another non-hacker…

Roy Rogers on February 12, 2012 at 9:13 PM

Truth, lies and Afghanistan
How military leaders have let us down
By LT. COL. DANIEL L. DAVIS

I spent last year in Afghanistan, visiting and talking with U.S. troops and their Afghan partners. My duties with the Army’s Rapid Equipping Force took me into every significant area where our soldiers engage the enemy. Over the course of 12 months, I covered more than 9,000 miles and talked, traveled and patrolled with troops in Kandahar, Kunar, Ghazni, Khost, Paktika, Kunduz, Balkh, Nangarhar and other provinces.

What I saw bore no resemblance to rosy official statements by U.S. military leaders about conditions on the ground.

Entering this deployment, I was sincerely hoping to learn that the claims were true: that conditions in Afghanistan were improving, that the local government and military were progressing toward self-sufficiency. I did not need to witness dramatic improvements to be reassured, but merely hoped to see evidence of positive trends, to see companies or battalions produce even minimal but sustainable progress.

Instead, I witnessed the absence of success on virtually every level.

VorDaj on February 12, 2012 at 9:14 PM

In week 3 the culmination of our QCB training lead us to be able to pin a man’s hand to a wall with a knife at 25 yards. Here’s actual training footage.

Random on February 12, 2012 at 9:03 PM

That would be CQC or CQB.

davidk on February 12, 2012 at 9:15 PM

Now that you mention it, the army is a lot like a collective.

We had several descriptive things to say about it when I was in. Things such as “Two hundred years of tradition unhampered by progress.” and “Just like the Boy Scouts except the Boy Scouts have adult supervision.” But that was Carter’s Army.

crosspatch on February 12, 2012 at 9:15 PM

The real military culture is one of selfless sacrifice, duty, and honor.

Those bolded are particularly leftist values, save within the military context

Random on February 12, 2012 at 9:12 PM

I doubt there is a decent parent around who would agree with you.

sharrukin on February 12, 2012 at 9:16 PM

The real military culture is one of selfless sacrifice, duty, and honor.

Those bolded are particularly leftist values

ROFL

Really?

ROFL

Bishop on February 12, 2012 at 9:16 PM

We have nothing to fear from our military.

davidk on February 12, 2012 at 9:17 PM

I see “Stolen Valor” is disgustingly still alive and well on the left.

Roy Rogers on February 12, 2012 at 9:17 PM

Poor VorDaj….

Just another non-hacker…

Roy Rogers on February 12, 2012 at 9:13 PM

Well the army must be very stupid then as I fooled them well enough.

VorDaj on February 12, 2012 at 9:17 PM

That would be CQC or CQB.

It’s to fool Chinese intelligence.

Random on February 12, 2012 at 9:17 PM

I doubt there is a decent parent around who would agree with you.

sharrukin on February 12, 2012 at 9:16 PM

A family is a collectivist enterprise.

Random on February 12, 2012 at 9:18 PM

Where have I seen the knife-thrower before?

bettycooper on February 12, 2012 at 9:09 PM

That would be Clancy Brown who played “The Kurgan” (THE bad guy) in the first Highlander movie.

exsanguine on February 12, 2012 at 9:19 PM

My senator John Cornyn got a law passed requiring the states to send out the ballots on time. In 2010, several states (mostly blue states) failed to comply, and the DoJ refused to do anything about it.

Republicans try to encourage the military vote, while Dems tend to try to discourage it. You can make your own conclusions as to why that is. Personally, I just think they should be able to vote, regardless of how they are likely to vote. They deserve to vote, as much as or more than any other citizen.

I suspect the the politics of service members depends a lot on race, sex, age, and job description, just as it does in the civilian world. I’ve also seen articles that indicate that the closer one is to the tip of the spear, the more conservative or libertarian one is.

juliesa on February 12, 2012 at 9:19 PM

So does this mean the military ballots will be sent out on time?

YehuditTX on February 12, 2012 at 9:20 PM

In short, not all collectivism is bad.

The idea that conservatives are only the ones who can buy into collectivist ideas such as sacrifice and duty is just wrong.

Not supported by history in the slightest — just by your own biases.

Most militaries, effective and ineffective alike, have been in countries NOT being governed by American constitutional values. The behaviors and values that make for effective cohesive fighting far precede either the GOP or DNC platform.

Random on February 12, 2012 at 9:20 PM

A family is a collectivist enterprise.

Random on February 12, 2012 at 9:18 PM

Living in mom’s basement may seem like being a rugged mountain man on the frontier but it really isn’t. Everything is a collectivist enterprise if you want to have anything to do with others.

sharrukin on February 12, 2012 at 9:21 PM

The true finding of this survey is that, in the military, the more highly educated the person, the more conservative they are apt to be.

We should be thankful for that, because, in the civilian population, the liberals say that the more highly educated the person, the more liberal they are apt to be.

Furthermore, one hears of PTSD happening more often to the less educated soldiers — the enlisted liberals, as it were.

There’s all sorts of amusing things one could say about this study, were one inclined….such as “liberals are cannon fodder”.

unclesmrgol on February 12, 2012 at 9:21 PM

I am trying to think of a good way to counter this…It’s just sooo retarded.

The idea that anyone, especially a leftist libtard occupier, would WILLINGLY live under the REALITY of a military culture – the real one, not the BS no combat, “see the world and get trained for your civilian life” KOS crap – is a complete farce. Those in in our country that currently espouse this utopia (occupiers, Dems in govt, etc) would be the first to crack under the rigor. The real military culture is one of selfless sacrifice, duty, and honor.

Hueydriver on February 12, 2012 at 9:07 PM

Neither you or I are responsible for the delusions of others but you can’t deny they exist. I’ve met many like KOS in the Military. There really is no way to counter the illogical delusions of others with a rational response.

The point being that people see what they want based on their own prejudices and character. A weak willed person who doesn’t like the idea of a big free world of personal responsibility will justify fit in will in a highly structured and supported Military. On the same token, a person with rational and an independent character will see the Military as a needed mechanism of a Free society and will serve with honor and distinction and lean towards conservatism. The Military is not a conservative school of thought but a tool of the state. The military is a mechanism of force and serves dictators and thugocrats as well as free states and it’s sole purpose is for executing focused violence when put into motion. There are differences of course but war is war.

Egfrow on February 12, 2012 at 9:21 PM

Self-less sacrifice (redundant) is rooted in the Judeo-Christian ethic. Duty is indeed a lefty notion.

Where Christian motivation is rooted in love, a lefty will only be motivated by duty–”I’ll do it if I have to.”

Unfortunately, a generation of government schooling has changed even that to an entitlement mentality.

davidk on February 12, 2012 at 9:22 PM

The real military culture is one of selfless sacrifice, duty, and honor.

Study after study show that conservatives give more time and money to charity. They are more likely to volunteer.

juliesa on February 12, 2012 at 9:23 PM

What makes the American military superior is, in many ways, technology. Science. INDIVIDUALISM even, in a business sense. The productivity of capitalism.

These are the main factors that lead American to be so superior on the battlefield when combined into an intricate combined arms structure other nations cannot match. Not to take anything away from the men and women in the field, but it isn’t their tendency to vote Republican that make them special overall.

It’s their kit and training and support.

Random on February 12, 2012 at 9:23 PM

So does this mean the military ballots will be sent out on time?

YehuditTX on February 12, 2012 at 9:20 PM

There is no such thing as a military ballot. Go look at the variety of sites covering absentee ballots and how each state handles them. It is not a plot… there are genuine issues in how to produce ballots and get them out in time with all the correct candidates. The timing is actually pretty tight especially if the GOP nomination gets delayed.

lexhamfox on February 12, 2012 at 9:25 PM

Study after study show that conservatives give more time and money to charity.

So?

I’m pointing out that there is no reason to assume the military is dominated by rightists, particularly in the lower ranks and in support occupations, and so on. This is what the data shows and charitable giving to the heart fund has crap all to do with it.

It can be safely assumed that most soldiers throughout history were collectivists politically since most societies were collectivist.

Random on February 12, 2012 at 9:26 PM

Talking about the military as a specific political class, republican or democratic, and how this class will affect this state or that state’s primary or general election results, is at best a worthless proposition. You might as well start analyzing how all everyone with a SSN ending in 3 votes. Military members are just a sample of the population as a whole, who, in fact, are prevented from being actively involved in politics anyway (with some exceptions). Furthermore, if politicians started talking about courting the military vote, there would be immediate backlash against those seen as trying to coerce government employees (the military) to vote one way or another. In the end, the military is a random sample of the population at large. Does anyone believe that you can typecast the military as one particular political group any more than you could categorize any random population sampling?

m064404 on February 12, 2012 at 9:30 PM

“There is no such thing as a military ballot.”

+1

All ballots are simply absentee ballots. They don’t know military from schmilitary.

crosspatch on February 12, 2012 at 9:31 PM

A weak willed person who doesn’t like the idea of a big free world of personal responsibility will justify fit in will in a highly structured and supported Military. On the same token, a person with rational and an independent character will see the Military as a needed mechanism of a Free society and will serve with honor and distinction and lean towards conservatism. The Military is not a conservative school of thought but a tool of the state. The military is a mechanism of force and serves dictators and thugocrats as well as free states and it’s sole purpose is for executing focused violence when put into motion.

This.

Random on February 12, 2012 at 9:32 PM

I went into the Army a liberal Catholic; came out a center-right atheist. I believe that in the military, because of meeting such a broad cross-section of Americans and forming unlikely friendships, as well as seeing the world and facing challenges every damn day, you listen to different points of view, gain new perspectives, and if you’re lucky, you grow up.

I salute you, Mr. Shaw.

Sgt. Vulcha
:)

Ladysmith CulchaVulcha on February 12, 2012 at 9:33 PM

Self-less sacrifice (redundant) is rooted in the Judeo-Christian ethic. Duty is indeed a lefty notion.

Where Christian motivation is rooted in love, a lefty will only be motivated by duty–”I’ll do it if I have to.”

Unfortunately, a generation of government schooling has changed even that to an entitlement mentality.

davidk on February 12, 2012 at 9:22 PM

So self sacrifice is Judeo-Christian ethic principle? Any more than Islam, Bushido, or let’s face it Maoism? How is Duty leftist? The UK’s Royal family are rooted in Duty (apart from Diana) and they are not leftists at all. You segregate duty from self sacrifice when they are in fact related. You sacrifice things in the military because duty demands it.

Where I went to school… ‘Duty, Honor & Country’ where principles of institution not related to faith or philosophy. Then you go on to make some sort of worthless distinction between Christian motivation and lefty motivation. Most of the leftist I met in the military were Christian so I’m not sure where you are going with that.

lexhamfox on February 12, 2012 at 9:35 PM

That would be Clancy Brown who played “The Kurgan” (THE bad guy) in the first Highlander movie.

exsanguine on February 12, 2012 at 9:19 PM

Was he also in Shawshank Redemption?

bettycooper on February 12, 2012 at 9:35 PM

When I was in calling someone a lifer was the highest form of insult.

VorDaj on February 12, 2012 at 9:10 PM

Highest form of insult. That pretty much sums you up I suppose. You insulted your fellow soldiers then, and continue to do so now. Judging by your posts, it is just willful ignorance. Bet you thought you had all the answers when you were in, and got out because it was the other soldiers (probably those damn officers) that were so stupid.

You got by with far less. Well, maybe we should cut their pay and they would do better. (Bet you had to hump a 90# ruck up hill both ways through 2 ft of snow with no boots to and from post every day too)

And the banking system DEFENDS this country today? That is the dumbest thing I have ever heard. Cripes – you ARE dumb. Either stupid, or once again just didn’t understand the question. Do you really want “the bank” (whatever the f-k THAT is) to FIGHT our nation’s enemies?

Oh, I forgot – according to you we don’t have any. Just an army that runs all over the world stirring crap up, and losing, just because they feel like being adventurous.

The reason Afghanistan is a mess is because our standing Army?

What success has the Army had lately? (when I was referring to personal financial success – and you know it).

What about Jefferson though? I agree he didn’t like the idea of the central bank…but he DID like the idea of a standing Navy, and you cannot deny that. Your quote was out of context and did NOT make any sense, and still does not in your original post.

So is it the pay? Or is it that there is such thing as a career military person at all? Or is it that we even HAVE a military?

The failures of the military at large have and always will lie with the civilians that control them. Both elected officials and the population at large that uses them just as the pols do – as a tool to make a political point.

Your failure to UNDERSTAND the military while serving and now that you are out, is yours alone.

Proud lifer, out.

Hueydriver on February 12, 2012 at 9:36 PM

“There is no such thing as a military ballot.”

+1

All ballots are simply absentee ballots. They don’t know military from schmilitary.

crosspatch on February 12, 2012 at 9:31 PM

This debate about military votes and presenting it as a partisan issue is idiotic.

lexhamfox on February 12, 2012 at 9:36 PM

bettycooper on February 12, 2012 at 8:58 PM

I would have as many of Bill Whittle’s kids as my poor body could spit out….Bill is yummm.

katy on February 12, 2012 at 9:43 PM

I’m not sure where you are going with that.

lexhamfox on February 12, 2012 at 9:35 PM

Yeah.

davidk on February 12, 2012 at 9:43 PM

lexhamfox on February 12, 2012 at 8:52 PM

It’s not my contention LEX! It a fact. Your personal experience is all well and good but gives no credence to the vast issue of military vote suppression and the facts on the ground. Apparently you didn’t do your homework as I suggested.

katy on February 12, 2012 at 9:45 PM

At the end of the day what matters is their commitment and service. No matter how much the hyperpartisans try to claim it is more conservative or more liberal it is an empty claim.

Hyperpartisans use anything that sounds good to try to buttress their positions. Leave the military folks alone and simply respect them for the service. So what if they are liberal or conservative. They certainly have the right to their opinions.

Of course at HA the conservative hyperpartisans hate the idea of liberals being in the military because in their narrow minded worldview they can’t then say that liberals hate America, etc. etc.

Bradky on February 12, 2012 at 9:45 PM

lexhamfox on February 12, 2012 at 8:52 PM

It’s not my contention LEX! It a fact. Your personal experience is all well and good but gives no credence to the vast issue of military vote suppression and the facts on the ground. Apparently you didn’t do your homework as I suggested.

katy on February 12, 2012 at 9:45 PM

The fact that you refer to ‘military vote suppression’ tells me everything I need to know about your knowledge of the topic.

lexhamfox on February 12, 2012 at 9:47 PM

The UK’s Royal family are rooted in Duty (apart from Diana) and they are not leftists at all.

lexhamfox on February 12, 2012 at 9:35 PM

Now you’re just being stupid. Perhaps you haven’t followed Charles and his global warming, social justice rot over the last few years…

katy on February 12, 2012 at 9:48 PM

lexhamfox on February 12, 2012 at 9:47 PM

But she googled it! That’s as definitive as it gets… /sarc

Bradky on February 12, 2012 at 9:48 PM

Lee Harvey Oswald – was a Marine.

It must be nice, Jazz, to sit in seclusion, without interacting with the world, and construct your own incredibly wrong conceptualization of reality. Sort of like “bliss”, I would guess.

williamg on February 12, 2012 at 9:50 PM

davidk on February 12, 2012 at 9:22 PM

So you have never heard of an unwilling sacrifice? They are all selfless? Animals that were sacrificed on the alters in the Old Testament just crawled right up there on their own? The human sacrifices of ancient societies?

Duty, honor, country. Putting your fellow man, and your country, before yourself. Done out of love. We willingly do our duty. We ARE compelled, but only out of love of country, God, and our way of life.

Used to be that people felt that way about America. Patriotism wasn’t a dirty word. Yeah, I’ve had all of those international studies classes and all of the “I’m ok, you’re ok” political BS. Simple fact is not all cultures, countries or people are good. There is evil in the world. There are bad people. I believe that “we” are good, and that this country stands for something better. Freedom, liberty, justice. Just a cliche to most these days (or I am a phobe of some sort, call it what you will).

Just because we are in the process of destroying it from within because a large portion of our society doesn’t believe it anymore ( either due to lack of education or self loathing) or refuses to take personal responsibility for it, doesn’t make it any less true. Just because you stop believing in gravity, doesn’t make it go away. This nation was founded on certain God given and eternal principles. Only when we turn from it do we lose the gift.

Hueydriver on February 12, 2012 at 9:51 PM

The fact that you refer to ‘military vote suppression’ tells me everything I need to know about your knowledge of the topic.

lexhamfox on February 12, 2012 at 9:47 PM

Lex, you’re a flaming lefty with a bit a chip on your shoulder. You still have no facts. But your opinion is always welcome here. Worthless but always welcome.

Yes, lex. The military vote is the last vote to ever be given the priority is rightly deserves in this country and you thank the Democrat party for this. It’s disgusting and it happened ever election. case closed.

katy on February 12, 2012 at 9:52 PM

“There is no such thing as a military ballot.”

+1

All ballots are simply absentee ballots. They don’t know military from schmilitary.

crosspatch on February 12, 2012 at 9:31 PM

This debate about military votes and presenting it as a partisan issue is idiotic.

lexhamfox on February 12, 2012 at 9:36 PM

Bullcrap! Military absentee ballots are routinely sent out late in Demo precincts. BTW, telling military ballots are fairly easy. If they are coming from an APO, APE- it is a pretty good bet that it is military.

melle1228 on February 12, 2012 at 9:53 PM

Lee Harvey Oswald – was a Marine.

It must be nice, Jazz, to sit in seclusion, without interacting with the world, and construct your own incredibly wrong conceptualization of reality. Sort of like “bliss”, I would guess.

williamg on February 12, 2012 at 9:50 PM

Among USMC he is one of the very few Ex-Marines.

Now you’re just being stupid. Perhaps you haven’t followed Charles and his global warming, social justice rot over the last few years…

katy on February 12, 2012 at 9:48 PM

Charles humped the Para course when he was about thirty. That IS duty no matter what you think about his opinions of vegetables or global warming. Again… another topic you know nothing about.

lexhamfox on February 12, 2012 at 9:55 PM

But she googled it! That’s as definitive as it gets… /sarc

Bradky on February 12, 2012 at 9:48 PM

Oh looky Bradky’s here to defend his fellow lefty. Now there’s some serious cred.

Bradky..the boy idiot who thinks he needs a sarc tag.

Sheesh Lex. when you have Bradky chumming up to you, it’s time to cut your losses and infect the next thread.

katy on February 12, 2012 at 9:55 PM

Charles humped the Para course when he was about thirty. That IS duty no matter what you think about his opinions of vegetables or global warming. Again… another topic you know nothing about.

lexhamfox on February 12, 2012 at 9:55 PM

You said the Royals weren’t leftists. I just proved they were. This is why you lose.

katy on February 12, 2012 at 9:57 PM

Bullcrap! Military absentee ballots are routinely sent out late in Demo precincts. BTW, telling military ballots are fairly easy. If they are coming from an APO, APE- it is a pretty good bet that it is military.

melle1228 on February 12, 2012 at 9:53 PM

That’s because of the address of the recipients…. Not because the ballots are military. I can’t believe I have to point out the obvious here.

lexhamfox on February 12, 2012 at 9:57 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

You know who this helps don’t you?

redridinghood on February 12, 2012 at 9:59 PM

katy on February 12, 2012 at 9:55 PM

Poor Katy. Perhaps you would share your inclusive dates of service? I mean the google armchair kungfu masters are so much more wise than those who lived the life and know a little something about it….

And psst I don’t think Charles would get the absentee ballot no matter what he did or didn’t do.

Bradky on February 12, 2012 at 10:01 PM

You said the Royals weren’t leftists. I just proved they were. This is why you lose.

katy on February 12, 2012 at 9:57 PM

OK you proved the Royal family and duty are leftist. Well done Katy!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

lexhamfox on February 12, 2012 at 10:02 PM

That’s because of the address of the recipients…. Not because the ballots are military. I can’t believe I have to point out the obvious here.

lexhamfox on February 12, 2012 at 9:57 PM

You aren’t very astute are you? APO stands for Army Post Office… So yeah the address will give away that the recipient is military..

melle1228 on February 12, 2012 at 10:03 PM

OK you proved the Royal family and duty are leftist. Well done Katy!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

lexhamfox on February 12, 2012 at 10:02 PM

Thank you.

katy on February 12, 2012 at 10:04 PM

Any self-descriptive liberal/conservative poll like this is always going to be relative to the group you’re talking to.

If you ask the media to self-describe themselves, about a third will say they’re “conservative.” But that’s according to THEIR standards. If you ask the same group an objective question; i.e., whether they’ve ever voted for a Republican Presidential candidate, right around 2% will say yes.

logis on February 12, 2012 at 10:06 PM

You aren’t very astute are you? APO stands for Army Post Office… So yeah the address will give away that the recipient is military..

melle1228 on February 12, 2012 at 10:03 PM

Unless they are stationed at stateside bases….

Bradky on February 12, 2012 at 10:06 PM

Unless they are stationed at stateside bases….

Bradky on February 12, 2012 at 10:06 PM

Yeah because their address on the base doesn’t give them away either//

melle1228 on February 12, 2012 at 10:08 PM

That’s because of the address of the recipients…. Not because the ballots are military. I can’t believe I have to point out the obvious here.

lexhamfox on February 12, 2012 at 9:57 PM

You aren’t very astute are you? APO stands for Army Post Office… So yeah the address will give away that the recipient is military..

melle1228 on February 12, 2012 at 10:03 PM

I still get absentee ballots and they are delivered by Royal Mail. Does that mean my ballot is for a UK election?

Last time… military personnel receive absentee ballots in order to count their votes. They are delivered by the APO depending on their deployment. They do NOT receive military ballots… there is no such thing.

lexhamfox on February 12, 2012 at 10:08 PM

Yeah because their address on the base doesn’t give them away either//

melle1228 on February 12, 2012 at 10:08 PM

But if they live off base as most military folks do you are still incorrect….

Bradky on February 12, 2012 at 10:09 PM

liberal4life on February
12, 2012 at 8:09 PM

What’s anti-American is, being so far in the tank for a politician that you would drop your panties when he sings with that reedy, lisping voice of his. Pretty shameful if you ask me.

Nom de Boom on February 12, 2012 at 10:11 PM

But if they live off base as most military folks do you are still incorrect….

Bradky on February 12, 2012 at 10:09 PM

Umm no I am not. You and Lex said there is no way to tell military ballots. I gave you two examples of how they can. You are both being obtuse. BTW, here is one way military voters are being disenfranchised and this didn’t just happen in Illinois.

“Illinois may not be finished investigating those late military ballots.

Members of the House Elections Committee say they’re considering formal hearings into how and why 36 counties missed the deadline to send ballots to deployed servicemen and other overseas voters.”

melle1228 on February 12, 2012 at 10:15 PM

I went into the Army a liberal Catholic; came out a center-right atheist.

Why, that is an improvement!

Random on February 12, 2012 at 10:16 PM

I thought it was common knowledge that several blue states conveniently printed their 2010 absentee ballots too late to get to our service members overseas. No address needed to figure out how long it takes for mail to make a round trip, pace apologists.

Nom de Boom on February 12, 2012 at 10:17 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

Yep it just raised my opinion of him even higher.

Dr Evil on February 12, 2012 at 10:18 PM

melle1228 on February 12, 2012 at 10:15 PM

They are absentee votes and they are handled the same whether they come from military addresses or not. I did not say there was no way to tell a military vote… I said there is no such thing as a military ballot. The paperwork is the same for servicemen and expats. How those votes are handled is up to the states.

My point was that absentee ballot counting actually favors Democrats by some margin so the meme that there is a partisan slant against the GOP because of the way states tabulate absentee ballots is without merit.

lexhamfox on February 12, 2012 at 10:23 PM

Umm no I am not. You and
Lex said there is no way to
tell military ballots. I gave
you two examples of how
they can. You are both
being obtuse. BTW, here is
one way military voters are
being disenfranchised and
this didn’t just happen in
Illinois.
“Illinois may not be finished
investigating those late
military ballots.
Members of the House
Elections Committee say
they’re considering formal
hearings into how and why
36 counties missed the
deadline to send ballots to
deployed servicemen and
other overseas voters.”
melle1228 on February 12,
2012 at 10:15

Reposted for the benefit of the willfully dunderheaded.

Nom de Boom on February 12, 2012 at 10:24 PM

What constitutes ‘Senior Officers’? If you’re referring to flag officers, many of them are more liberal than you’d think. Merrill McPeak, Wesley Clark, Colin Powell, etc

Political level officers as well – those who work at the Pentagon or have political affiliated positions. Even down at the base level you’ll still get at least an even split of conservative vs liberal. At the unit level, you’ll run into the more politically conservative than liberal.

As far as enlisted, its always been about evenly split.

When it comes to how military people live, then I would submit they tend to live a more ‘conservative’ lifestyle’, ie they pay their bills on time, take pride in themselves and their profession, care about their country, that kind of stuff. They don’t tend to put up with the bullshinola of many OWS types.

Of course this is just my opinion based on my military career. There are outliers.

On my side of the family, all of us (my father and both my brothers) I’m the conservative black sheep. On my wifes’ side of the family, almost all of them are conservative.

I remember back in 08 listening to a lot of people talking (my military co-workers) about how they were looking forward to voting for Obama. Just had to shake my head.

catmman on February 12, 2012 at 10:24 PM

Of course at HA the conservative hyperpartisans hate the idea of liberals being in the military because in their narrow minded worldview they can’t then say that liberals hate America, etc. etc.

Bradky on February 12, 2012 at 9:45 PM

Hmm. Of course there are liberals in the military — but to be there, they have to have the idea that defending America is a very high priority — and that makes them very non-liberal in the eyes of a civilian liberal indeed.

Remember, who’s going to go enlist when they think they might spill their blood for mere oil?

Politics are complex.

unclesmrgol on February 12, 2012 at 10:26 PM

You aren’t very astute are you? APO stands for Army Post Office… So yeah the address will give away that the recipient is military..

There’s a boatload of civilians that have APO/FPO/DPO addresses.

crosspatch on February 12, 2012 at 10:28 PM

lexhamfox on February 12,
2012 at 10:23 PM

Except for the fact that there are clearly two classes of absentee ballots in certain states…..

Nom de Boom on February 12, 2012 at 10:28 PM

Egfrow on February 12, 2012 at 8:56 PM

Kos was a REMF who initially described himself as a ‘Gulf War veteran’ although even cursory research showed he was a missile tech stationed in Germany, so he never saw combat of any kind nor was he anywhere near Iraq, so he changed his claim to ‘Gulf War era veteran’, which is technically true although the revised claim implies an involvement in combat operations of some sort, which isn’t true, either. Nothing Kos claims can be taken at its face. Citing him as evidence of the career military worldview is, well, not evidence of anything.

So no, the military does not cultivate a ‘statist’ mindset any more than planting flowers makes one a back-to-nature hippy. Most of my Army buddies went career and served our country with honor and distinction. If they possess a ‘statist’ mindset, I’ve seen no evidence of it.

You don’t have the faintest idea of what you are talking about.

troyriser_gopftw on February 12, 2012 at 10:30 PM

Except for the fact that there are clearly two classes of absentee ballots in certain states…..

Nom de Boom on February 12, 2012 at 10:28 PM

Where? There are no laws segregating treatment of absentee ballots. Any such laws would be deemed to be unconstitutional.

lexhamfox on February 12, 2012 at 10:32 PM

There’s a boatload of civilians that have APO/FPO/DPO addresses.

crosspatch on February 12, 2012 at 10:28 PM

Yeah but the majority is military personel or their family members. I didn’t say that everyone who sends from an APO is military. I was arguing with someone who said that military ballots have no identifying features. Obviously there are identifying features.

melle1228 on February 12, 2012 at 10:32 PM

The military doesn’t like the GOP for sending them to battle with asinine rules of engagement. The military doesn’t like the Democrats for implementing asinine rules of engagement. Maybe they are just as disgusted with the two parties as the general populace.

besser tot als rot on February 12, 2012 at 10:32 PM

I don’t buy this for a minute. Just like I don’t buy the myth that Ron Paul has the support of the military. Not one of my Marine friends,and I have a lot of them in Twenty Nine Palms, can stand Ron Paul. Sorry Paulbots, I know you will keep drinking the Kool-aid and thinking the military loves him but it is not so. Just like it is not so that Paul has a lot of delegates.

With that being said, I would vote for Obama over Paul as would my friends. We all agree, we would rather see our country destroyed from the inside rather than from outside forces.

The Notorious G.O.P on February 12, 2012 at 10:32 PM

Asking people to self-describe their own political philosophy? You are relying on very very vague and inexact, subjective terms.

Would have been better to have asked them how they voted in the last election.

But they didn’t do that, did they? Hmmmm…..

Asking someone to describe their political leanings…I never trust it. I don’t buy the polls you often see where a large plurality of the USA describes themselves as conservative, (the general public is not that conservative) and on the other hand I don’t trust this one either. The military, including enlisted, still leans more conservative than this poll indicates.

On this board, I call myself a conservative because that is what the other posters whose political philosophy matches mine call themselves…out in the real world I call myself a moderate.

Back in the day, I called myself a liberal, even a leftist. Others considered me a leftist, as well.

Funny thing is…probably 75% of my political beliefs are the same as they were 15 years ago, when I considered myself “left of center”.

Dreadnought on February 12, 2012 at 10:36 PM

Those bolded are particularly leftist values, save within the military context

Random on February 12, 2012 at 9:12 PM

I notice you didn’t bold “honor”. Telling.

unclesmrgol on February 12, 2012 at 10:38 PM

Bet you thought you had all the answers when you were in, and got out because it was the other soldiers (probably those damn officers) that were so stupid.

I was a damned officer. You should be able to tell that from my arrogant demeanor.

And the banking system DEFENDS this country today?

Like the man said, it’s a relative. At least the bankers aren’t passing out truck loads of free money to muslims to try to rent their love.

The failures of the military at large have and always will lie with the civilians that control them.

Hueydriver on February 12, 2012 at 9:36 PM

What a cop out. Sounds like something Al Sharpton would come up with. Oh, that’s right, he already did. You should pay him royalties. And you think Obama wrote Petraeus’ ROE for him? You think Obama gave lobotomies to the Joint Chiefs of Staff too, right? And you didn’t read what LT. COL. DANIEL L. DAVIS had to say, did you? He’s on to you lifers.

VorDaj on February 12, 2012 at 10:42 PM

Egfrow on February 12, 2012 at 8:56 PM

That explains a lot. In the military, there’s a giant civilian economy backing you up, and, if things are going right logistically, providing you with everything you need to survive in a hostile environment. Your pay is crappy, but you have great equipment and everything else you need to stay alive.

If you take that mindset and bring it home, and believe you’ll be able to do the same in civilian life — well, you need a bunch of other civilians to do it for you. Try ordering them to do it without a whole carload of cash. Just try it.

The ones which can properly organize civilians into doing this are our officer corps — the liberals call them “the rich”.

unclesmrgol on February 12, 2012 at 10:47 PM

VorDaj on February 12, 2012 at 10:42 PM

I read the whole article. Huey said exactly what Davis said. Davis is castigating “senior officers” but this paragraph is telling:

A January 2011 report by the Afghan NGO Security Office noted that public statements made by U.S. and ISAF leaders at the end of 2010 were “sharply divergent from IMF, [international military forces, NGO-speak for ISAF] ‘strategic communication’ messages suggesting improvements. We encourage [nongovernment organization personnel] to recognize that no matter how authoritative the source of any such claim, messages of the nature are solely intended to influence American and European public opinion ahead of the withdrawal, and are not intended to offer an accurate portrayal of the situation for those who live and work here.”

When military officers need to behave this way, it’s the fault of the Commander in Chief — I believe that’s where the buck stops. After all, he’s the one driving down the force structure while the situation is all screwed up.

unclesmrgol on February 12, 2012 at 10:56 PM

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

This is truth. I’m in a combat arms branch and many of the guys and gals serving alongside leave me feeling like Che supporting radical leftist, which for the record I’m not.

Get around the Adjutant General people, who knows, probably more conservative than the nation but liberal compared to the combat arms soldiers.

Ragnar Danneskold on February 12, 2012 at 11:03 PM

lexhamfox on February 12, 2012 at 9:25 PM

Quite a few correct things you’ve asserted in your comments in this thread about the demographics of politics in the military. I disagree in at least one instance about suppressing military votes though. In Florida 2000, lawyers, armed with instructional memos were dispatched to discredit and dismiss specifically, military absentee ballots.

hawkdriver on February 12, 2012 at 11:21 PM

I read the whole article. Huey said exactly what Davis said. . Davis is castigating “senior officers”

unclesmrgol on February 12, 2012 at 10:56 PM

Really?

The failures of the military at large have and always will lie with the civilians that control them.

Hueydriver on February 12, 2012 at 9:36 PM

VorDaj on February 12, 2012 at 11:24 PM

Civilians discussing military matters? Not worth reading.

tuffy on February 12, 2012 at 11:30 PM

bettycooper on February 12, 2012 at 8:58 PM

I would have as many of Bill Whittle’s kids as my poor body could spit out….Bill is yummm.
katy on February 12, 2012 at 9:43 PM

Would you let me get a video camera trained on Bill, before you tell him that?
His reaction would be PRICELESS . . . . . . . . . . . .

listens2glenn on February 12, 2012 at 11:34 PM

A couple observations:

1) This research only makes reference to the Army, yet all the discussion is of the military as a whole. While many of you have personal exposure to opinions in the other service branches, the evidence currently being cited gives NO evidence re. those.

2) The Presidential elections of 2004 and 2008 were both anomalies from the military standpoint. Many military folks who would normally have supported a conservative found cause to support John Kerry. And the 2008 election broke all the normal tendencies. In fact, I was working in an enlisted barracks the day after Colin Powell endorsed Obama for President. To those soldiers, my opinion as a civilian was worthless compared to that of Colin Powell (understandably so), especially when their sergeants voiced no opinion at all on the matter.

3) I agree with the other posters who have said that the military family as a whole is insulated from normal acts of civil responsibility, like voting. They have more demanding responsibilities as a whole, but this is one duty that many overlook.

rwenger43 on February 12, 2012 at 11:34 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

B.S. The first week of boot we were taught “just following orders” is not an excuse. If its something illegal, it doesnt matter if there was an order given or not. Its still illegal, and UCMJ will still get you.

As for the political leanings, it depends on where you are. We had one lib in our platoon, and everyone hated him for being a DB. When I was in Air Assault School on the east cost, there were tons of them. You want to talk about self righteous pricks in real life, try the military. One guy I argued with almost pulled rank on me because I was arguing the conservative point of view and he didnt like it.

Here is the military voter breakdown from the last election.

http://www.militarytimes.com/static/projects/pages/081003_ep_2pp.pdf

I’m not buying the moderate majority.

Logboy on February 12, 2012 at 11:35 PM

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