Given the firestorm controversy that erupted in the Comments section of my last Diary, and what appears to be a concerted effort by some to have it hidden from view, I think it is necessary to provide clarification and documentation to what I said. I would refer the DK readership to an excellent article written in July 1997, in The Atlantic entitled: The Widening Gap Between Military and Society by Thomas E. Ricks.
However shocked you will be after reading this article, and you will be shocked, it is important to remember that is article was written pre 9/11 and the military of today is much more Christian conservative, far more right-wing Republican, and much, much pro 2nd Amendment.
In, The Law of Unintended Consequences: Threaten the 2nd Amendment, Alienate the Military, I wrote:
When this paper was discussed at TBS, there were eighty or ninety 2nd Lieutenants in the room and the instructor asked, "If it came to it, how many of you would resign to support and defend slavery?" Everybody laughed and nobody raised their hand, of-course. Then he asked, "If it came to it, how many of you would resign to support and defend the 2nd Amendment of the Constitution?" Every hand in the room went up, including the instructor's. Then he asked, "How many of you would fight, become a combatant against the government, to support and defend the 2nd Amendment of the Constitution?" Every hand in the room went up, including the instructor’s, and nobody was laughing. After class, I went down and asked the instructor if that result was common, and he replied, "As far as I know, in the 7-year history of this presentation, not a single 2nd Lieutenant has failed to raise their hand.To clarify that statement, the academic paper entitled, "Going South" was presented at TBS (The Basic School) as: "The officers that went South prior to the Civil War made an error in judgment. They violated their oath because they resigned and joined a cause (slavery) that had nothing to do with supporting and defending the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic. Those officers should be condemned because they violated their oath. Your oath applies to supporting and defending Constitution, and only the Constitution. When the question was asked, "If it came to it, how many of you would resign to support and defend the 2nd Amendment of the Constitution?" it was asked in the context of a hypothetical time in the country where the Constitution had fallen under the control of a government that was in conflict with the Constitution. When the question was asked, "How many of you would fight, become a combatant against the government, to support and defend the 2nd Amendment of the Constitution?" was in a similar context, and the fact that every hand in the room went up reflects the patriotism and commitment to their oaths.
In 1997, Mr. Ricks wrote:
In the Quantico survey 50 percent of the new officers studying at The Basic School identified themselves as conservatives. In a parallel survey of mid-career officers at the Command and Staff College 69 percent identified themselves as conservatives. In a striking indication of alienation from civilian society, an overwhelming proportion of the Basic School lieutenants—81 percent—said that the military's values are closer to the values of the Founding Fathers than are the values of civilian society. At the Command and Staff College, where students generally have at least ten years of military experience, 64 percent agreed with that statement. A majority of officers at both schools agreed that a gap exists between the military and civilian society, and stated that they expect it to increase with the passage of time. Fewer than half believed it desirable to have people with different political views within their organizations.In, The Law of Unintended Consequences: Threaten the 2nd Amendment, Alienate the Military, I wrote:
The Marine Corps--your Marine Corps--is a very Southern and a very archaic institution. It is full of men and women who are primarily, indeed the vast majority are, from Southern and rural states. I began OCS with 870 officer candidates and graduated with 245, and every last one of the survivors was from the South, a rural state like Wyoming, or a rural part of a state. Being in the Marine Corps means you believe in, and support the 2nd Amendment. You don’t volunteer to be a Marine unless you believe that, and you wouldn’t make it through basic training unless you were raised that way. It’s a cultural thing. The Army is mostly the same way. If you’re not culturally pro-2nd Amendment when you join, you will be after humping an M4 around for four (4) years. All of the special forces: Delta, Green Berets, Rangers, SEALs, and FORECON are all strongly, even radically, pro-2nd Amendment. In short, I have never met a Marine, Navy, Air Force, or Army officer (or enlisted man or woman for that matter) who was not solidly pro-2nd Amendment, not a single one. By "pro" I mean would fight and die to support and defend it. It is very much a cultural thing.In 1997, Mr. Ricks wrote:
Closely related to the above, during the entire time that I was in the Marine Corps, I only came across three (3) Democrats, besides my self, and interestingly enough one of them was Jeffery Chessani, who was in the same company with me at OCS. (As a Lieutenant Colonel, Jeff was the commander of 3rd Battalion, 1st Marines during the extended combat in October and November of 2005 around Haditha.)
Today [...] The military appears to be becoming politically less representative of society, with a long-term downward trend in the number of officers willing to identify themselves as liberals. Open identification with the Republican Party is becoming the norm. And the few remaining liberals in uniform tend to be colonels and generals, perhaps because they began their careers in the draft-era military. The junior officer corps, apart from its female and minority members, appears to be overwhelmingly hard-right Republican and largely comfortable with the views of Rush Limbaugh. Air Force Colonel Charles Dunlap observed in a recent essay published by the Air Force Academy, "Many officers privately expressed delight that" as a result of the controversy over gays in the military, the Reserve Officers Training Corps program is producing "fewer officers from the more liberal campuses to challenge [the Air Force officers'] increasingly right-wing philosophy." [...]In, The Law of Unintended Consequences: Threaten the 2nd Amendment, Alienate the Military, I wrote:
Former Army Major Dana Isaacoff, who taught at West Point in the early 1990s, routinely surveyed her students on their politics, assessing about sixty of them during each of six semesters. In a typical section, she reported in a talk last year at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, seventeen would identify themselves as Republican, but none would label themselves Democratic or Independent, instead choosing the traditional course of adopting no political label. She concluded that to today's West Point cadets, being a Republican is becoming part of the definition of being a military officer. "Students overwhelmingly identified themselves as conservatives," she said. Here the definition of conservatism is important: this does not appear to be the compromising, solution-oriented politics of, say, Bob Dole. "There is a tendency among the cadets to adopt the mainstream conservative attitudes and push them to extremes," Isaacoff said. "The Democratic-controlled Congress was Public Enemy Number One. Number Two was the liberal media. . . . They firmly believed in the existence of the Welfare Queen."
This tendency toward right-wing attitudes is not limited to malleable students at military academies. A 1995 survey of Marine officers at Quantico, a large base in Virginia that focuses on training officers, found similar views. The Marines are not the most representative example, but because they are the most tradition-bound and unabashedly culturally conservative of the services, they are the most dramatic. They should be viewed as an indicator not of where the U.S. military is today but of where it is heading. The Corps was less altered by the Cold War than any of the other services. With the end of the Cold War the other services are becoming more like the Marines: smaller, insular, and expeditionary.
Our nation has been at war for over a decade, and we have hundreds of thousands of multiple tour combat veterans who have a pretty narrow-minded view of firearms control. You don’t spend a tour in a war zone with a M4 by your side without falling in love with it. (And I do mean fall in love. That weapon is with you 24/7 and it is literally your life.) As far as these people are concerned, the Constitution means the 2nd Amendment and some other things, and every single one has sworn an oath, and put their life on the line, to protect it.In 1997, Mr. Ricks wrote:
"I believe these results indicate the potential for a serious problem in civil-military relations for the United States," concluded Army Major Robert A. Newton, who conducted the survey of Marine officers and analyzed the responses. "Instead of viewing themselves as the representatives of society," he wrote, "the participating officers believe they are a unique element within society." [...]In, The Law of Unintended Consequences: Threaten the 2nd Amendment, Alienate the Military, I wrote:
These isolating attitudes, while perhaps most extreme in the Marines, are also found in varying degrees elsewhere in the military. "There is a deep-seated suspicion in the U.S. military of society," Andrew Bacevich, a retired Army colonel who is the executive director of the Foreign Policy Institute at Johns Hopkins University's School of Advanced International Studies, told me in an interview. It is "part of the Vietnam hangover—'You guys betrayed us once, and you could do it again.'" This suspicion, he added, "isn't going away, it's being transmitted" to a new generation of officers.
If an armed rebellion ever occurs in this country over the 2nd Amendment, the “insurgents” will be a lot of the active duty military, and former active duty military who are honoring their oaths to protect the Constitution. And there will be millions of them.And in December of 2013, Cpl Joshua Boston wrote the letter below to Senator Dianne Feinstein:
Senator Dianne Feinstein,I will let you draw your own conclusion as to the sincerity of that young man.
I will not register my weapons should this bill be passed, as I do not believe it is the government's right to know what I own. Nor do I think it prudent to tell you what I own so that it may be taken from me by a group of people who enjoy armed protection yet decry me having the same a crime. You ma'am have overstepped a line that is not your domain. I am a Marine Corps Veteran of 8 years, and I will not have some woman who proclaims the evil of an inanimate object, yet carries one, tell me I may not have one.
I am not your subject. I am the man who keeps you free. I am not your servant. I am the person whom you serve. I am not your peasant. I am the flesh and blood of America. I am the man who fought for my country. I am the man who learned. I am an American. You will not tell me that I must register my semi-automatic AR-15 because of the actions of some evil man.
I will not be disarmed to suit the fear that has been established by the media and your misinformation campaign against the American public.
We, the people, deserve better than you.
Cpl, United States Marine Corps