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One of the first times I saw Mitt Romney speak was on television during his 2007 campaign in Iowa for the Republican nomination.  Now I try to give all Republican candidates the same chance as Democratic or Independent candidates, though it doesn't take long before a Republican's views or policies start to rub me the wrong way.  

By the time the clip ended I could tell that Romney was not going to get my vote.  

At a campaign stop Romney was asked by a anti-war activist why none of his five sons were not in the military, given Romney's support for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.  Romney's response was that his sons were doing their part by getting him elected.

Romney also mentions that we thankfully now have an all-volunteer army.   I'm sure Romney remembers the terror of wondering when his draft lottery number would come up and hoped to spare his sons of the same ordeal.  Romney applied for and received four deferments during our conflict in Vietnam.  One of his deferments was for a 31-month missionary tour in France for his church, though the Mormon Church was a supporter of the war. As an undergrad student at Stanford, Romney didn't protest against the war, he was FOR IT.

It's one thing to say "my boys are grownups and they can do whatever they want" but it's quite another to suggest that driving around Iowa shaking hands is as important to their country as driving an IAV Stryker through Iraq.  It is insulting to every fallen service member and every veteran who has served this country. It is insulting to every family member who has lost a loved-one in the military or spent months worrying that theirs comes back safe.  Unlike Joe Biden, John McCain, Jim Webb and Sarah Palin and countless other American parents or spouses, Mitt and Ann will never have to worry about a knock on their door when they're not expecting company.

Romney is out of touch on so many things but his views on the military are nothing short of callous.  We’ve already witnessed his omission of the military in his nomination acceptance speech in August, using the deaths of four Americans in Benghazi to score cheap political points and Ann’s comparing military service to Mormon missionary service.  But these aren’t gaffes, they are the way Mitt Romney sees the military: faceless employees doing the dirty work that enrich him –or if he were to become president- make him look good.  He would no doubt treat the military as The Help, becoming indignant if veterans demanded more benefits.  His support of expanding the Pentagon’s budget is not a desire to give them the very best weapons but to keep his defense contractor donors happy.

Of course, you don’t have to serve in the military to be Commander in Chief.   President Obama didn't serve in the military, but he has been given accolades by military leaders for his handling of the our country’s efforts against terrorism.   Michelle Obama has also advocated for military families and veterans.

I was canvassing door-to-door in Virginia this weekend and saw a house with a large "Veterans for Romney" sign in the yard.  I myself have never been in the military but it struck me as ironic that someone identifying his or herself as a veteran was supporting someone who went out his way to avoid military service while actively supporting the war he was avoiding.  As we saw with George W. Bush and Dick Cheney (five deferments), there are enormous consequences when power is given to someone without at least an understanding of the military and an appreciation of why they serve.  

If Romney wasn't campaigning to keep our troops in Iraq or Afghanistan indefinitely or start a new war against Iran and Syria, his attitudes about service and sacrifice would be unfortunate.  Instead they're uninformed and if guiding the hands of a Commander in Chief they can prove tragic.    

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Comment Preferences

  •  I totally agree (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    weck

    Further, I think that his increase in the defense budget has nothing to do with keeping us safe, but would be a huge pay day for the defense companies, many of whom support his campaign.  

    "Education is a better safeguard of liberty than a standing army" Edward Everett 1852

    by Alan Arizona on Mon Oct 22, 2012 at 02:06:08 PM PDT

  •  i can understand the (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Orinoco, chimene

    way you feel about rmoney's callousness and deceit.
    I am a proud veteran of the U.S. Army and i will ensure that President Obama gets to work for us for another 4 years. At the Ca. V.A hospitals that i have been to over the last month or so, the vets are voting or voicing their support for the President by an overwhelming number. I think greater than ~80% in hospitals i've visited. Even spouses are speaking up for the Prez. I have personally witnessed groups of veterans, black and white shouting down romney supporters whenever one rears its head. The Prez has the vet vote  in Ca. sewn up.

    Another thing, that picture of rmoney lazing on the beach beside an in the sand " i heart ann" message, screams out the vapidness and utter lack of recognition suffered by the members of the military. This fool, who inherited money and now uses that money in an insidious manner to further enrich himself, at the expense of the good people of this country and at the expense of foreigners whose poverty and suffering he marvels at, in the 47% video. This SOB is a blood sucker.

    Life is just for living - Ernie Smith http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y3AegEwa124 DON'T VOTE HATE, VOTE FREEDOM

    by longtimelurker on Mon Oct 22, 2012 at 02:59:32 PM PDT

  •  As with so many other things Radical Republican, (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Alan Arizona

    the All Volunteer Military came from the twisted libertarian mind of Milton Friedman, who saw an all volunteer military as a market mechanism that set prices for military service, and that if military salaries are set high enough, the market of Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines and Coast Guardsmen and women would clear and be in equilibrium.

    http://oll.libertyfund.org/...

    Note: Friedman article at bottom of page linked above.

    I guess the Romney kids just haven't seen the military serives meet their price to get them to sign on the line.

    Apparently, Mitt was able to get enough deferrments during the Vietnam War, which he also refused to serve in, despite his "support" for the war.  Or maybe the military just didn't meet his price point, either.

    Republicans are like alligators. All mouth and no ears.

    by Ohiodem1 on Mon Oct 22, 2012 at 03:05:57 PM PDT

  •  No Military Service (0+ / 0-)

    Since the first Romney arrived in the USA as an immigrant not one Romney family member has served in the armed forces. Not one. Repeat. Not one Romney has ever served their country in the military. Commander in Chief?

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