Military Service No Qualification For Elective Office. You Listening, Johnny ‘Bomb Bomb’?

From the Progressive Daily Beacon blog, author unnamed, comes the following entry. This piece is something of an anodyne to those new Republican ads with alleged (they are Republican ads, remember) soldiers telling us how well everything is going over there. The Lion would note that not one of them can claim to have been everywhere simultaneously every day for five years, or to have been in on every deliberation about intelligence and tactics and strategy, or even in on every killing of women and children and innocent men, or bombings of wedding parties. Nor can any of them show they have studied the war in toto, or read critical analyses of the war. Their only apparent qualification is that at sometime or other they may have carried a gun in the Middle East while serving in the United States military, which is pretty much reviled by any Iraqi who wants his country free of Americans, the American military, and the murderous so-called contractors, indeed any Iraqi who wants to live freely in his own country rather than as a slave to American greed, paranoia, and imperialism. And, the big bonus, it debunks the myth of John McCain’s military service qualifying him to serve as President of the United States.

Military service isn’t a qualification

The United States is nothing if not a nation of well meaning, easily led astray, and naïve bumpkins. Take for instance, the reason we are told that we ought to vote for John McCain: He served in the military. That’s it … he served in the military. And, no surprise here, millions of Americans are going to vote for John McCain mostly because he served in the military.

As a veteran of the Marine Corps, I, and millions upon millions of vets nationwide, know a little something about military service … like the fact that most military leaders aren’t qualified to manage the local gas station, let alone manage the world’s largest economy. Seriously, out of the twenty-or-so officers that orbited my active-service universe, only three were worth the spit required to shine their boots. Wearing a uniform doesn’t mysteriously make idiots into mental giants … they’re idiots in camouflage clothing and that’s all.

Look, let’s face facts here. It doesn’t take a whole lot to get into the military. They have minimal physical ability requirements and minimal intellectual requirements. Make the minimums and tah-dah … welcome to the military! Not exactly mission impossible. What’s more, wwaaayyyyy back in John McCain’s day, the capacity to sign on the dotted line was really all the ability that the military expected of its recruits and cadets … and even then, a waiver could have probably been obtained to accept “X” as a replacement for an actual signature.

Now, back to McCain: I wonder how many people are aware of the fact that he graduated from the Naval Academy with grades that were only barely higher than those of the dust bunnies found beneath the cadets’ beds? Seriously, there were probably roaches inhabiting the mess hall with more intellectual firepower than that possessed by McCain. And, judging by the manner in which he runs his disheveled campaign and after having witnessed his pitiful public speaking skills, I’m willing to venture that his many, many, many years of life following his time at Annapolis hasn’t made him anymore intelligent.

Nobody is denigrating the Arizona Senator’s service to country. I’m just saying serving in the military, even as an officer and a pilot, doesn’t qualify a person for the presidency. On average, it is harder to get admitted to the local community college than it is to be accepted into the military. Oh, sure, getting into the Naval Academy is a bit tougher task for most, but McCain’s granddaddy and daddy were high-ranking naval officers. The only way that McCain wasn’t going to be admitted into the program, was if someone stepped forward with pictures of him being intimate with farm critters. And even then, family connections being what they are in this country (think W. Bush and Yale) – John McCain still might have been accepted to the academy.

Right about now, I’m sure that a lot of people reading this are rolling their eyes and muttering something about my being unpatriotic, but the vets aren’t doing that. The veterans of military service know exactly what I’m trying to convey. And they know that military is to leadership, as Cheney is to gun safety.

But we Americans are nothing if not a nation of well meaning, easily led astray, and naïve bumpkins. If someone tells the American people that John McCain’s military service makes him qualified to be president, most will go along with the narrative just as most of them had once bought into the silly notion that George W. Bush’s many failed business ventures made him qualified to manage the world’s largest economy. And, we all know how that worked out, right?


8 Responses

  1. I’m a vet, and I approve of the previous message.


  2. Excellent post. I am ex-Army and I couldn’t agree more.

    At best, military leaders can lead soldiers in battle. Leading a nation is such a different situation it is farcical to consider the two are being in the same plane of existence let alone anything closer.


  3. A really powerful piece, with some great phrases I will have to plagiarise in conversation. Thanks for bringing it to my attention.


  4. Just make sure to send me ten cents for each instance of plagiarism. A guy’s gotta supplement his income, ya know?


  5. I never got the thing about Bush being a CEO president. He’d already proven, repeatedly, that he couldn’t manage his way out of a paper bag. How his business failures qualified him to lead the world’s largest economic and military power was beyond my ken. With regard to McCain, how his naval career qualifies him to lead the struggling economy and military power that the CEO wants to bequeath him is similarly beyond my ken.


  6. For the record, McCain graduated fifth from the bottom of his class at Annapolis. It is rumored that 13 dust bunnies and two feline hairballs graduated ahead of him in his class.


  7. In all fairness, military service is NOT said to be the only qualification – there’s also the flag lapel pin and his uncanny abilities in differentiating between Sunni, Shia, and El Quaeda. There’s also the wisdom of his years – that which led him to conclude that lowering taxes for the rich during a war was a bad thing, but then realizing the “brilliance” of the idea and desires to make the cuts permanent. So, all I’m saying is – it’s not all about the fact that he got shot down and tortured (which, by the way, has taught him that we were making a mistake in the past, when we failed miserably by not torturing people). Yeah. There’s a lot to consider about McBush when thinking about who to vote for. A lot of good stuff. Not just military service.


  8. evo –

    Ah, well, I stand corrected then.


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