It’s Time for Another Veteran in the White House

Where have all the veterans gone?

None of the candidates in this presidential election have a military background. The same could be said about the election of 2012. The last candidate, of a major party, with military service was John McCain and he lost to Barack Obama in the 2008 campaign.

The candidates prior to that had ties to the military, in fact it was rare that there was an election without veterans. You have to go back to the presidential election of 1936 – between Franklin Roosevelt and Alfred Landon – to find an election without one or both of the candidates having military service.

The remaining GOP candidates: Cruz, Trump and Kasich have not served in the military. Neither have Sanders or Clinton on the Democrat side. The candidates who served in the military – Rick Perry, Lindsey Graham and Jim Webb – have all gotten out of the race.

The veterans weren’t always the winner – Clinton vs Bush, 1992, for example – but military service mattered to the voters. Why doesn’t it now?

Presidential ElectionThe decline in the number of veterans who seek higher elective office is not limited to the presidential race, however. Over the last four decades, the number of Senators and Representatives with military service has fallen precipitously. After the Vietnam War ended, 78 percent of Senators and 72 percent of Representatives were veterans. Currently, there are 13 members of the Senate and 80 members of the House with military experience.

The draft was ended in the early 1970s, and the percentage of people who join the military has been falling ever since. Currently, less than two percent of the population serves in the military. The percentage of veterans in the general population is dropping as veterans of World War II, the Korean War and Vietnam die.

These demographics play a large part. With the end of the draft, the military downsized and it became a matter of choice to serve. The reputation of the military took a serious plunge following the Vietnam War and military service no longer carried the same distinction it carried following World War II.

Unfortunately, the ideals and values that the military attempts to instill in its members are also lacking in current politicians. Sacrifice, respect and integrity are sadly lacking in the current campaign. On both sides of the ticket.

It’s too late to nominate a veteran during this election – we are stuck with what we have – but this country has a revolution every four years. It’s usually peaceful, rarely dignified and graphically serves to remind the voters of what should be important. It has happened every four years since George Washington was elected in 1788 and sworn in the following spring.

Usually there is a veteran, and we need one during the next election.

Disclaimer: The content in this article is the opinion of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the policies or opinions of US Patriot Tactical.

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Matt Towns

Matt is a former military journalist who spent 10 years in the US Navy. He served in various posts during his career, including a couple of deployments on the USS Valley Forge (CG-50). After leaving the Navy, he worked in management for a number of years before opening his own businesses. He ran those businesses until 2012 when he chose to leave the retail industry and return to writing. Matt currently works as a freelance writer, contributing to the US Patriot blog and other websites about political affairs, military activities and sailing.
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