The Question I’d Ask The Candidates

Posted by: on Jan 27, 2016 | No Comments


The Question I’d Ask The Candidates

55 years ago this month, in the final days of his time in office, President Eisenhower warned our country and our citizens about the increasing power of the military-industrial complex: In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists, and will persist. This coming from a retired 5-star General who led our country in Europe during World War II, served as President for 2 terms, and was a Republican. He was also clairvoyant.

It seems like there are a lot of folks running for office these days who’d like our country to be exactly that. One huge military industrial complex. To police the world, take on all comers and fight wars as a first resort to keep world peace.

As it has been many years since our country held a military draft, and even longer since serving in the military was considered an American’s duty as a citizen of our country, I’m thinking most of the people running for elected office in our country (especially those running for President), have never served in the military. That the only time they have held a firearm of any kind is at gun range, or while hunting. They have never been on the other end of that weapon, never faced a true enemy in combat, and have absolutely no idea what that feels like. Other than the stories my father has told me about his service to our country in Europe during WWII, I know I have no clue and I’m thankful for that every day of my life.

But the interesting things about these people who have never served, never faced the other end of that weapon, never faced an enemy in combat (and Dick Cheney being shot in the face doesn’t count), is that they seem to have no problem telling everyone how quickly they will send our armed forces into battle, to fight the good fight, and possibly die doing so. The last President of America to serve in armed forces was actually President Bush the first; not his son who son in the reserves; and who was the only President in the history of country to wage multiple wars, raise military spending and cut taxes all at the same time (but that’s a story for another day).

So here’s my question that I would like to ask all the candidates running for President, Senator, Congressman, who serve on the Armed Forces Committee, anyone who has anything to do with sending Americans into harms way. If you are elected, will you send members of your own family to serve? Your sons, your daughters, your grandchildren, nieces, nephews, brothers, sisters? Whoever you have in your family, who is of age and able to serve our country. WILL YOU SEND THEM OFF TO WAR?

Now, I’m sure our elected officials don’t want to fight every war; don’t want our citizens being injured, maimed or killed; and most of them do actually want world peace. That’s not the issue. The issue is – for most of them –  they themselves have never been in combat,  I would think that they don’t really want their own family members to be in combat, and I don’t think those family themselves want to ever be in combat. But I still think the question should be asked – Will you send your own family members off to war? And if the answer is no, what gives you the right to ask anyone else to serve, to send anyone off to war, to fight a fight you yourself have never fought.