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Sunday, February 27, 2011

DADT, ROTC, Racism, and Irony At Columbia University

I hate to say, “I told you so,” but…

Well, I told you so.

I did.

Two months ago Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell was repealed here in the land of the free and home of the brave, paving the way for gays to serve openly in the military.  We’re still figuring out the details of how, exactly, that’s going to work.  But despite all the dire predictions, so far the world hasn’t ended. The Republic hasn’t fallen. The military hasn’t resigned en mass.  The terrorists have not won.

Life in the good old USA appears to be going on same as it ever was.

Oh sure, those of us who live and work among the military, those of us who are veterans ourselves, we all know at least one raging homophobe in uniform, the righteous fire of holy hatred beading his forehead like oily sweat and the smoky red light of Jesus glinting in his eyes.  A crusty old senior NCO said to me the other day, “By God, I ever catch one of those queers staring at my ass in the shower and I’ll light him up!”  The Sarge apparently has a fairly high opinion of his own posterior, I suspect he spends a lot of time admiring it in the mirror. Frankly, I doubt he has much to worry about.  Yet, for all of that, the general consensus I hear around the base is best summed up by the young Marine I spoke to the other day: “Who the hell cares? I don’t give a damn if they’re straight or not, so  long as they can shoot straight. I’m deploying to [insert warzone here] for the third time and I’ve got more important shit to worry about.“

The only folks who actually, really, care about this issue are on Capital Hill – and they don’t really give a damn about gays in uniform.  They regard all of us as cannon fodder in the battle of politics and ideology. To them we’re nothing but political footballs they can use to score points off of the other  party.  The truth of the matter is that if liberals really cared about gays in the military, they would have forced the issue when they had the majority. And if conservatives really, really hated gays, they’d draft ‘em the way they did the poor during Vietnam and send them off to die in a foreign land for freedom, democracy, and General Motors’ bottom line. 

Ah jeez, Jim, what in the hell did you have to bring up Vietnam for? I hear you ask in that tone you use when there’s nothing on TV but reruns of Full Metal Jacket.  Nobody gives a crap about Vietnam or that poor black folks were drafted in disproportionate numbers during that idiotic conflict. There’s no draft now and we don’t do business that way anymore.  Let it go.  And now that DADT has been repealed, nobody has any reason to hate the military.  Hell, even liberals might hate the war, but we support our troops – hate the sin, love the sinner, and like that.

Sure.

Unless, of course, you happen to be a student at a liberal Ivy League college.

Last week Tony Maschek stood up in front of a student assembly at Columbia University to give a speech in support of establishing a ROTC unit on campus. 

Now, Columbia is one of the oldest universities in the United States. In point of fact, it’s actually been around longer than the United States. Columbia was one of the nine colonial colleges established by Royal Charter under the hand of King George II, founded long before the Revolutionary War.  It’s the oldest institution of higher learning in New York and the fifth oldest in the United States.  Columbia is considered one of the top research institutions in the US – and therefore, the world.  According to the Wikipedia, Columbia counts among its alumni and affiliates: five US Founding Fathers, four US presidents, nine Supreme Court justices, 26 foreign heads of state, 97 Nobel Prize winners, 101 Pulitzer Prize winners, 25 Academy Award winners with over 30 Oscars, more than 30 alumni and ten affiliate recipients of the National Medal of Science, 50 recipients of the MacArthur Genius Award, and 20 living billionaires. The university staff currently includes nine Nobel Laureates, 30 recipients of the MacArthur Genius Award, four recipients of the National Medal of Science, 143 members of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, 38 members of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies, 20 members of the National Academy of Engineering, and 43 members of the National Academy of Sciences.

That’s just for starters and it’s pretty damned impressive.

Notice anything missing?

Look carefully, I’ll wait.

Obvious isn’t it?

Yes. We’ll come back to that.

So, anyway, as I was saying, last week Tony Maschek, stood up in front of his fellow students to advocate for inclusion of the Reserve Officer Training Corps in Columbia’s curriculum.

He was booed.

A number of students hissed at him, literally hissed at him.

Much has been made of this incident in certain circles, because, see, Tony Maschek is former Army Staff Sergeant Anthony Maschek, a combat veteran and recipient of the Purple Heart for grievous wounds received in action.  In fact, Maschek was shot eleven times and spent two years in the hospital recovering – losing a leg in the process – and the students who booed and hissed heckled him as much for what he was saying as for who and what he was.

Needless to say, it didn’t take long for the outrage to boil over on conservative websites and forums – a few liberal ones too for that matter (it didn’t take long to get exaggerated all to hell either, with some versions of the story claiming Columbia students jeered Maschek but cheered Iranian President Ahmadinejad when he spoke at the World Leaders Forum there in 2007.  Um, no. Ahmadinejad’s visit was met with massive protests. Nobody cheered him. Really, didn’t happen).

To be honest, I’m not sure why booing a one-legged combat vet is any more crass or obnoxious than hissing at any other person who has been invited to speak in front of an Ivy League student assembly.  Sure, as a vet myself it irritates me, but I find that I’m not nearly as outraged as I am disappointed.  Disappointed that students at one of the world’s premier schools, young men and women who aspire to world leadership, to the Sciences, to the Arts, to Medicine, and to the Law, would behave little better than a bunch of drunken assholes in the bleachers at a tractor pull. 

I’m disappointed, but I’m not surprised.

Remember that part where I said I told you so?

When DADT was repealed, I said that those liberal universities which rejected military recruiters and ROTC units because of the military’s ban on gays serving openly would find other reasons to continue that ban - and that’s exactly what happened.

Those universities are wrong.  Wrong, foolish, and shortsighted.

The students who booed and hissed at Tony Maschek are wrong too. Wrong, foolish, and shortsighted.

Not because they booed and hissed, or rather not only because they booed and hissed, but because of what else they yelled at Maschek.

They called him a racist.

Now I’m pissed off.

See, the logic of that appalling ad hominem attack being this: the military recruits poor people, black people are poor, therefor the military targets black people, then the military sends them off to war, where they die for the White Man, ipso facto the military is racist, therefor anybody in the military or having served in the military is a racist, Quod Erat Demonstrandum.

Up above, I didn’t bring up Vietnam, the students yelling “Racist!” at Columbia University did.

The logical fallacy, the lazy thinking, the level of defective reasoning based on faulty and outdated information (which could easily be proven false with a minimum of effort – especially at a research institution with the informational resources of Columbia), is simply staggering. Doubly so considering that it happened at one of the premier institutions of education, reasoning, logic, and research in the world.  Let us hope that the hecklers either outgrow their appalling ignorance very soon or they fail out post haste and make room for someone with a modicum of reasoning ability.  If this were my kid, I’d be demanding my money back from Columbia. If I were the Dean or the board of regents at Columbia, I’d institute an immediate review of the curriculum and the instructors – and any guilty of propagating such stupefying nonsense would either be put out to pasture immediately or sent off on field research somewhere that dysentery is the national sport.

Columbia banned the military from its campus in 1969, during the height of the Vietnam war, and stopped teaching military science classes in the early 1970's. It should be noted that the ban, here and on liberal campuses elsewhere, had absolutely nothing to due with gays serving openly.  DADT became a cause celebre decades later. Columbia students desiring a career in the military are forced to attend ROTC programs and military classes at other nearby colleges - the hypocrisy of this is interesting, given its similarity in some regards to the out-of-sight, out-of-mind logic of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell or the Separate But Equal thinking that preceded it.  Despite the repeal of DADT, and University President Lee Bollinger’s promise to reinstitute the ROTC program at Columbia, little progress toward this end has been made.  A significant fraction of the faculty and a slight majority of the students are against allowing the military to return to Columbia.  Exactly as I predicated, now that DADT is gone other reasons will be found to maintain the status quo.

Other liberal US campuses, such as Stanford and Berkley, are similarly inclined.

At this point, it should be obvious that this really has nothing whatsoever to do with DADT.

The ban on the military has become institutionalized and even though the stated reason for it no longer exists, another will be found or manufactured (Ironic isn’t it? How similar to the hidebound reasoning of those in the military who wished to continue DADT? But I digress).

This is wrong. Wrong, foolish, and shortsighted and I expected better from such a prestigious institution.

Liberals, especially liberal campuses such as Columbia, should be demanding ROTC units.

They should be demanding the right to train America’s warriors.

The reason for this is twofold and should be obvious to even the most limited intellect:

First. lack of a military ROTC program at Columbia is, itself, racist. It’s also classist. It’s also immoral. 

For a lot of people, the military is our ticket to a better life.   Some of you know exactly what I’m talking about.  For a lot of folks, the military is indeed a way out of poverty, a way out of the dead end alleys of the ‘hood and the projects.  For those who manage to survive the streets and the drugs and the gangs and do reasonably well in an over crowded, underfunded inner city high school, a ROTC scholarship provides a path to higher education – and a better life – that might not exist otherwise. The same is true for those of us who come from small town bumfuck America, where the only factory closed years ago and there are no jobs and no opportunities unless you want to flip burgers or milk cows for welfare wages.  Now here’s the thing so pay attention: plenty of people are willing to serve time in the military in order to get that education, to earn that opportunity for a better life. They are willing to risk their lives for their country of their own free will because their lives are already at risk, at risk from drugs, from poverty, from gangs, from lack of opportunity, from dead ends and closed factories and small horizons.

Yes! Exactly, that’s the whole point, Jim you idiot, I hear you say. The military preys on poor people.  Military recruiters entice poor people into the service with a promise of a better life, then sends them off to war. That’s the whole point. It’s immoral!

No, what is immoral is the reasoning that says those people would somehow be better off staying in that dead end.

Let me ask you this. What if, instead of joining the military, that same poor black kid joined the fire department and risked his life charging into burning buildings for a paycheck, which he then saved so that he could one day afford to go to some crappy local community college?

Would that be any more moral?

The simple truth of the matter is that those who would deny the military access to Columbia and other campuses are engaged in a moral hypocrisy writ large – by failing to institute an ROTC program, they deny poor and minority students access to a Top Tier education and regulate them to second class citizenship.

They deny poor people a choice.

How moral is that?

Second but just as importantly, Liberals, such as those at Columbia who are so critical of the military, are self-selecting themselves out of the decision making process.  They are leaving the professional Officer Corps – which defines the senior US military leadership, including those who advise the President and Congress and formulate US military policy and who often go on to post-military careers in politics and business – to be shaped almost entirely by conservative educational institutions.  

Up above I asked you if you noticed anything missing from Columbia’s list of distinguished graduates. 

I noticed it right away. Did you?

How many graduates on that distinguished list were career military leaders? How many of the them were Generals, Admirals, Chairmen of the Joint Chiefs, Secretaries of Defense, National Security Advisors, Directors of the CIA or NSA?

Sure, there have been a few, a very few, such as Admiral Hyman Rickover and Alfred Thayer Mahan.  But what percentage compared to the number of notable scientists, engineers, statesmen, politicians, lawyers, judges, diplomats, and business leaders? 

By denying the military access to Columbia, Liberals make the military all the more a bastion of conservative thought.

This is dangerous. Dangerous to the military and to institutions of higher learning alike, institutionalized single points of view are always dangerous.  This stratified attitude is contrary to democracy, to the republic, and to the very ideals which liberal institutions such as Columbia claim to hold dear. 

Ironic isn’t it, that liberals are at least partially responsible for shaping the very attitudes among our military leadership that they themselves despise.

Ironic isn’t it, that a deeply conservative institution, such as the military, has almost always benefited from a liberal education.

Those two military leaders I named above, Rickover and Mahan, brought radically different viewpoints to the military – to the Navy specifically.  They were both responsible for initiating fundamental transformations of the force.  Alfred Thayer Mahan became one of the world’s greatest military strategists, he formulated the Mahan Doctrine and played a significant role, along with his classmate Teddy Roosevelt, in establishing the United States as a world super power during the early part of the last century. Hyman Rickover is considered the father of the nuclear Navy, one of the pillars of modern US military strength, and one of the principle reasons we still are a super power. 

If more professional military leaders were trained at institutions such as Columbia, perhaps it wouldn’t have taken 17 years to repeal DADT.

You might want to think about that for a minute or two.

Funny how it’s military conservatives who are the ones seeking a liberal education.

Funny how  it’s liberals who are denying them the opportunity.

Irony indeed.

 

26 comments:

  1. Interesting point, Jim. Although, when I read the bit about the students calling Maschek a racist, I didn't think the rationale there had to do with the whole Military Targeting Poor (Black) People for Recruitment thing -- I would've thought it was more along the lines of a belief that the military is involved in fomenting hatred against Muslims.

    (Not that this makes it better or anything. Calling an individual a racist based on the belief that an organization with which he is associated has racist members is some high-level hypocrisy.)

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  2. NZ, there is certainly some of that, i.e. war in Middle East against Muslims = racism (though to be anal about it, Muslim is not a race but rather a belief, making the accusation of "racism" rather ignorant for students of a major educational institution. The proper accusation would be "Islamaphobe" or perhaps "Misoislamism")

    But, generally speaking, based on my own experience (as career military) with far left individuals who hold the military=racism belief, it's because they believe military recruiters target the poor, i.e. racial minorities. This is more common with those who attend strongly liberal universities, and I suspect (though I have no proof) that this belief is promulgated via Professors who were protesters and held this belief during Vietnam

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  3. You know, the more educated I become, the more liberal I get.

    I don't consider such a turn of events to be a negative outcome, mind you - it just makes me wonder if excluding ROTC from liberal institutions of higher learning isn't a two prong attack. One from the left, and one from the right.

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  4. It's a standard Conservative canard to accuse institutions like Columbia of liberal bias and brain washing.

    I think there is some merit to that, as evidenced by this event and others like it. However I think that it's more an artifact of exactly what you pointed out, Janiece, i.e. the more educated you get, the more liberal you become. Which goes a long, long way towards explaining the Religious Right's War on Education. Just sayin.

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  5. The system we have in Australia seems somewhat similar, a scholarship for the course of your choice (bigger depending on the specific course, art degrees won't get get you as much as a medical degree) then you serve for a number of years. I considered it myself before ending up doing an arts degree which seems somewhat incompatible with a military career, ho hum.

    Of course that doesn't change the fact that if people can take advantage of a scholarship to get out of hardship, they should be allowed to.

    The ADF comes along to universities during O-Week (the week before classes begin, when new students get to freak out over the size of the campus) and while I've read complaints in student papers I've never seen a single protest regarding this; apparently a reserves unit trains on campus without any complaints either, so I guess us Australians are more bloodthirsty than you Yanks?

    Basically yeah, good post, it does seem foolish to deny people who may be more inclined to change the military from within an education. And then complain about how conservative the army is.

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  6. I work at a private Catholic college, and compared to all of the institutions I've attended (yeah, I switched schools and majors a lot), it's the most liberal. We DO have an ROTC program here. The young men and women in the ROTC program are extremely bright... these are very smart people we're preparing to be future leaders of the military. I've had a few opportunities to chat with some of them, and I've asked about their take on DADT. They laugh, and say something to the effect that, "M'am, that is SO not an issue." (I love how polite these cadets are. They give me hope that the human race may survive.)

    I totally get that these young men and women are also learning that FOLLOWING ORDERS is actually a life and death matter. This is good. But its also good that they're learning to use those amazing brains the Deity gave them. I guess my point is that, although I'm not a fan of war, I AM a fan of ROTC programs... especially at liberal schools of higher learning.

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  7. My university, which is not liberal Ivy-League, but rather part of the underfunded public California State University system, does have ROTC. We are also actively recruiting veterans. Both groups make excellent students- I know, because it is my job to advise many of them. They are goal-driven, clear-thinking, and, as I constantly hear from faculty, add a lot to the classroom.

    I also agree that much of the anti-military thinking comes from people who stayed in school to avoid the draft, and found that all that education led to faculty jobs. Of course, time has gone on, and that cohort is starting to retire in greater numbers.

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  8. All Ivy League schools are obviously not created equal. I have to mention that the Ivy League university from which I graduated (which is even more liberal than Columbia) does have a ROTC program.

    I have performed interviews of prospective students for the past 13 years, and no interviewee has ever inquired about the ROTC program.

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  9. I seem to recall that Nobel prize-winning physicist, Richard Feynman, tried to get into Columbia and was turned down because they already had met their Jewish quota. So he went to MIT instead.

    Anyway, that was nearly 100 years ago; ancient history. Just an institutional tradition at this point, I guess.

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  10. I recently read a book where the author explored several different types of religions which made the usual predictions about the world coming to an end on say, Saturday, March 31st at 2:01 pm. Or that aliens were coming down in their spaceships to take away all the true believers before destroying the world. Or that Jeebus was coming on Jan 1st, etc. All the followers of each of these religions would get ready for the end of the world by giving all their possesions away, selling their houses, drinking coolaid, etc, then presto whamo, nothing happened. What did the majority of these people do? You guessed it, they continued to believe.

    You would think that under these circumstances that these followers should get all pissy with their leader(s) and call him names, and perhaps beat the crap out of him for making them look like douche bags, before going away to become rational people. But time and time again instead of kicking themselves (and their leaders) in the ass about being silly enough to fall for this kind of stupid crap they would continue to believe their guy. The author called it cognitive dissonance.

    Here's how Wicki defines it.

    Cognitive dissonance is an uncomfortable feeling caused by holding conflicting ideas simultaneously. The theory of cognitive dissonance proposes that people have a motivational drive to reduce dissonance. They do this by changing their attitudes, beliefs, and actions.[2] Dissonance is also reduced by justifying, blaming, and denying. It is one of the most influential and extensively studied theories in social psychology.

    The way I see it is that this is a human condition that can be applied to all kinds of beliefs, not just fundamentalist mouthbreathing wack-a-doodles. It really is difficult to change your beliefs, even when someone shows you proof positive that you are being a nimrod. That is why cops who *believe* that a guy is guilty will cover up evidence which disproves it. Or when a scientist is confronted with evidence that discredits his theories may spend years trying to prove his point.

    I know I've had to examine some of my beliefs which I have held near and dear. It takes a strong person to stand up in the face of such pressure, most especially when you think that you are right, no matter why.

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  11. I've always been something of a conservative liberal, so while I'm disappointed that the military is often the best answer for the poor to pull themselves out of poverty, until we can provide them with a better choice, I agree with you.

    It's wrong to deprive people of opportunities, and it's wrong of colleges to block ROTC programs for the same reason.

    Joe

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  12. Jim I agree with you but the bigger question is "why" students at Columbia behave they way they do. They didn't just make this stuff up. They were trained to act that way. So the question is who trained them and why? I don't think the answers are too mysterious - just too politically unacceptable to be discussed.

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  13. CW, concur. See my previous comment. They're getting this stuff from somebody, most likely certain long-haired professors. If it was only one or two loud-mouths that would be one thing, but when it's over 50% of the student body it's an institutional and cultural issue.

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  14. Yes, as a certified Liberal Democrat I have always stopped friends who start ragging on the military...Da was WW2 Marine, and both my older brothers served in the US Air Force. And I almost (but not quite) ended up in the Air Force at the end of the unpleasantries in SE Asia.
    To the Point...
    I think many of our pals on the left were brougnt up with the Vietnam Syndrome (wrong war, bad ally etc..) I don't see it that way the Military has however (due to no draft) been increasingly the province of the middle class or lower middle classes, if the rich had to go to war instead of sending OTHER people's sons and daughters to war...well it would be a different thing...Chirst Wolfowitz is now banging the drum for a Libyan incursion...

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  15. I'm reminded of the West Wing episode where Toby goes to meet the protestors and takes a newspaper. He sits on the stage as the people rage around him, reading the paper. When the police officer assigned to escort him asks why he's not doing anything, he points out that all these people are protesting about how minorities, Africans, Asian, etc are all being taken advantage of by the World Bank (I think it was the World Bank, it's been a few years), however they're a sea of white faces. Fairly well privileged white faces.

    As a raging liberal, I was an AF ROTC scholarship recipient. While I can debate the effectiveness of that in my life and the resulting fall out, it was there when I needed it. Most kids in ROTC are just trying to better themselves, and the see a military career as a way to do that. A few are following tradition. And despite my encounters with a certain Cadet Major, the vast majority of them are not dicks.

    I expect it's more the type of family Columbia draws from, and that the environment draws students with shared world views. They don't have the experience to see that their well rehearsed beliefs have no basis in real life. And it just goes to show that both sides of the debate have dicks in their rolls.

    As a raging liberal, I also support diversity. In that vein, these campuses should allow ROTC to come in, once DADT is gone (as I remember, the policy is just not being enforced, it won't be removed until the branches report back to Congress that everything will be okay, which will be sometime this summer). Maybe if these students were exposed to more people in the military, they might come to learn the truth about others.

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  16. Liberal Ivy League counterexample.

    I held off on disagreeing with you and wasn't even a hundred percent sure I would, but Harvard manages to prove a point that would have been speculative if I'd commented previously: that Columbia's actions probably say more about Columbia than about liberal arts colleges or Ivy League schools.

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  17. Eric, you're not the first one to point that out to me today. Not even the second. Or third ;)

    As somebody else said to me earlier, I prefer to believe that I shamed them into it. Yes.

    Who knows, I may even be right - a lot of folks from Columbia's IP address have been by here recently. Today liberal colleges, tomorrow the world!

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  18. If it hadn't been for the Army ROTC program at Penn State & the GI Bill, my Dad never would have been able to go to college. And then he wouldn't have met my Mom & I and my siblings would not exist. My sister sought an appointment to the Air Force Academy (ironically following in Dad's footsteps in order to *not* go to the college that Dad worked at, which is where the rest of us went because they couldn't afford to send us somewhere if we had to pay tuition.)

    I think one problem with Columbia students is that they're liberals who want to help the poor but have yet to encounter any actual poor people. It's a different world. I think another problem is that there's a liberal bias against the military as much as there's a conservative bias against education. That said, since DADT is being phased out, I think Universities should definitely allow them back on campus. Liberal Arts educations are great things for helping people think & learn about the world around them & they can be especially good at exposing students to other students from very different walks of life & different life experiences, which is a great way to get people out of their little bubbles. For that reason alone, they need to allow the military back on campus- as a benefit to both the military & to the non-military students.

    (It's the same reason I always advise art students to go to a liberal arts college over an art institute- you have to make art about something & at a liberal arts school, you'll learn about a great variety of things that you can make artwork about. At an art institute, you learn about art. Hence we end up with film school people who make movies about old TV shows or remakes of old movies. Same with the military)

    It's funny. When I was in college, I was of a somewhat anti-military bend because I was generally anti-authority of any sort (I also stood up in the middle of the student union & yelled "Fuck (College President)!" And then I realized that the college president & several deans were eating lunch there.) I've become less liberal over time, but mostly that's become I've become a bit more realistic & less hot-headed.

    nopect- a protest group opposed to middle eastern oil magnates

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  19. On a good note, Harvard just signed an agreement with the Navy to bring ROTC back.

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  20. I have to agree that by allowing nothing but conservative colleges to educate our future military officers we are doing this country a great disservice. I work for DoD and have found that almost all of the active and retired military are ultra-conservative. It has always amazed me because these people are educated. Certainly the retired non-coms are almost exclusively Republican. Unless of course they are black. Once in awhile I will meet a military active or retired that is not conservative. It's as though they think they have to be. Perception has been that conservatives are more supportive of the military. Facts don't usually prove that true.

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  21. I have to agree that by allowing nothing but conservative colleges to educate our future military officers we are doing this country a great disservice. I work for DoD and have found that almost all of the active and retired military are ultra-conservative. It has always amazed me because these people are educated. Certainly the retired non-coms are almost exclusively Republican. Unless of course they are black. Once in awhile I will meet a military active or retired that is not conservative. It's as though they think they have to be. Perception has been that conservatives are more supportive of the military. Facts don't usually prove that true.

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  22. Thank you for this...

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  23. Thank you for making me think. I hadn't really thought about the correlation between liberal disdain for the military and the lack of liberal voices in the military. That is rather shortsighted in the long run...

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  24. I'm a peace activist and have been for thirty years. I've also spent a number of years practicing a martial art. I don't think the military is going away or should.

    I think that if the military had included more liberals in upper echelons positions some of the military adventurism of the Reagan-Bush years might have been averted and I would have had far less reason to protest.

    I couldn't agree with this more.

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  25. Jim, thank you for articulating this point. My association with the military came the other way around - after wasting two years of my and the professor's time I joined the Army. Four years and tours in Japan, Korea and Vietnam later I returned to school on the GI Bill when I could bring some maturity to bear. One good thing about doing it in this order is that it is very educational to spend some time holding the shit end of the stick (see Two Years Before the Mast). While at UC Berkeley I did resent the prevailing "all the military are warmongering dunderheads" attitude shown by what seemed a majority of my fellow students. I'm also in favor of a universal draft for much the same reason you give for allowing ROTC in colleges: it provides a leavening of what is otherwise a generally right-leaning batch of folks.

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  26. I will point out that Columbia is actively recruiting vets. If I end up there (it's a possibility) I'll let y'all know how it goes.

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