Saturday, July 05, 2008

ahead of the power curve...

I wrote earlier about Army/Navy politics and now, look at what I read on Slate:
The Grunt vs. the FlyboyThe real reason for Wesley Clark's ill-advised comments about John McCain's military record.
So, in case you were wondering, for ahead-of-the-powercurve coverage of the world, read my blog.

More seriously though, I think this article demonstrates a little of what I was talking to Alex about. That being, the idea that there is a much larger difference in understanding between people in the military, people who know someone in the military intimately, and people who do not even know someone in the military, than I realized. Anyone who has been in the military would know that the article I linked to above has no new information (hence why I so quickly noticed the Army/Navy rivalry when I first read it) but apparently it took until July 1 for someone not in the military to notice something that seemed so obvious.

So, my question becomes, barring militarizing society, how do we bridge that gap? I suspect the next generation of politicians will do more than the last since so many thousands of soldiers will now have served for five to seven years, taken their free college and then moved into the civilian world. They will go into business and politics with military experience, but without being "militarized" in the same way that lifetime service does and, I hope, do more to bring understanding to our lawmaking bodies.


Blogger Lee said...

I think you are too quick to dismiss the idea that what our society needs is a good dose of militarization. Senator McCain has proudly come out in favor of buzz cuts for every rascal under fifty. Once he restores our sense of greatness through mandatory national service, we can all forget frivolous things like love, friendship, and family, and instead devote ourselves to our country.

McCain in 2008! Self-sacrifice in 2008!

9:53 AM  
Blogger Alex said...

Shortly after that conversation I read this article in The Economist:

It's about how, because we move around so much, we have more opportunities to live in neighborhoods where everyone around agrees with us--and so we interact with fewer and fewer people who aren't like ourselves. Kind of explains why whole segments of America don't understand each other at all.

The solution, obviously, is for insulated blue-state hacks like me to go tubing in Texas more often.

1:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

wow, is this much ado about nothing. I think people are ascribing way more significance to Gen. Clark's comments than even he meant. He's a professional soldier. That some people will get shot down, that some will be killed, that some will spend time as prisoners is all part of his daily grind and not a special insight on governing. Motivated by some perceived inter-service rivalry by someone who probably never served? come on. I don't buy it.

4:29 PM  

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