David Strom

Democrats often get their hackles up whenever anyone questions their judgment on anything military.

Sensitive to the perception that they are reflexively dovish, even anti-military, Democrats have been cultivating a more moderate image. In fact, many of the candidates the Democrats recruited to run for office this year were veterans, who were not as likely to be seen as anti-military.

Unfortunately, it appears that all these attempts to reshape the image of the Democrats are nothing more than window dressing. The top brass of the Democratic Party are as anti-military as their reputation suggests, and are doing little to hide that fact.

John Kerry made quite a stink a couple of weeks before the election, implying that military recruits were the intellectual rejects of our society. As a potential candidate for President, he was forced to backpedal quickly, calling his gaffe a “failed joke” aimed at the President, not our troops.

Charlie Rangel, incoming Chairman of the powerful House Ways and Means Committee is not under the same political constraints as Kerry, and has no intention of hiding his contempt for all things military.

Rangel, a supporter of bringing back the military draft, has taken direct aim at the quality of our recruits in the all-volunteer military of today. In a recent interview on Fox News, Rangel attacked the volunteer military for two reasons: having an all-volunteer force makes it too easy to go to war; and the all-volunteer military is composed of the poor and undereducated, and hence is imposing the cost of going to war on the lower classes.

In Rangels view, these are really two sides of the same coin; we can go to war more easily because the “haves” who want war don’t care about the “have-nots,” who have to fight it.

Here’s how Rangel described our military recruits: “No young, bright individual wants to fight just because of a bonus and just because of educational benefits. And most all of them come from communities of very, very high unemployment. If a young fella has an option of having a decent career or joining the army to fight in Iraq, you can bet your life that he would not be in Iraq.”


David Strom

David Strom is the President of the Minnesota Free Market Institute. He hosts a weekly radio show on AM-1280 "The Patriot" in Minneapolis-St. Paul, available on podcast at Townhall.com.

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