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The GOP has been long affiliated with the military, and they use military propaganda as a political cudgel. This is incentive enough for someone to be a hypocrite, rather than merely "wrong."
For the polit clowns it is a reason to be a hypocrit but only if their are people believing it, for the general population not. Somebody has to believe it, so that the propaganda works. And AFAIK McCain has a son, who fought in Iraq and Palin has a son, who is soon to go to Iraq. That's untypical, I know, but a little bit of believe must be in them.

They are so proven wrong on Iraq
Yes, and telling, that one is against this war, or was against it from the beginning isn't something considered 'unpatriotic' anymore, or? Sure, the Republicans play the "Obama is for losing in Iraq" game, this may help to consolidate their most extremist base, but will hardly work to gather independents.
It did work in the run up of the war in 2002. Many say, the then recent memory of 9/11 has boosted that. For sure many Americans after 9/11 did think, the country needed a strong answer (~90% approval to Bush in the beginning of the Afghanistan war); was there a mass enlistment of middle class people with good job chances after 9/11?

If military service were truly "honored" then wouldn't those who favor militarism take care of the soldiers who come home wounded?
The polit clowns use it as propaganda, and they tell they would care well for the veterans. Low information voters might think McCain as a veteran himself will care more for the veterans than Obama.

Der Amerikaner ist die Orchidee unter den Menschen
Volker Pispers

by Martin (weiser.mensch(at)googlemail.com) on Sun Sep 7th, 2008 at 04:12:34 PM EST
[ Parent ]
American culture is politicized. People take sides and talk politics. The only people I encounter who talk about heroism and the military are inevitably white educated Republicans who have never enlisted.

McCain comes from a military family in the officer class, so it's an expected thing that his son would join. McCain's Dad and grandad were also officers. Officer class is indeed, educated, more affluent, more white. I'm talking about the grunts, not the officers.

A huge number of the soldiers over in Iraq right now are part of the National Guard. These are so-called weekend warriors who earn an extra paycheck. I knew lots of NG people growing up and I would not say they joined for militaristic reasons.

Lastly, after 9/11, enlistment dropped among ALL classes.

by Upstate NY on Sun Sep 7th, 2008 at 08:14:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Have you talked to veterans or families of serving soldiers recently? Judging by my canvassing, plenty of them speak that way as well. My last sting was right next to a huge military base (Fort Belvoir) and not so far from the Pentagon.  Mainly not affluent - in fact that seems to be rather rare.

 While I agree with you on who joins up, I think they are a somewhat self-selected group from the poor and middle income population. Most wouldn't have joined if they didn't see it as a way out of a dead end life, but the patriotism stuff tends to be a secondary reason, indeed it's what distinguishes them from their peers who don't enlist.

by MarekNYC on Sun Sep 7th, 2008 at 08:25:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]
A large part of my experience growing up was a family business that catered (literally, served food) to a local National Guard. Now, I know that's not the army, but I have also spoken with soldiers who are currently serving, at least those who take advantage of the GI Bill.

I think that once they're in and have been through boot camp, then yes, I agree, they have bought in to the lore.  By the way, I'm not saying that all of them have disowned that macho bullshit. It definitely plays into some enlistments.

The recruiters talk an excellent game: opportunity, training, free school, etc. Money.

by Upstate NY on Sun Sep 7th, 2008 at 11:54:10 PM EST
[ Parent ]


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