A fellow poster recently expressed great puzzlement at the level of support President Bush enjoys. In truth, this bizarre behaviour is just one manifestation of a much larger problem plaguing the United States.
I share your frustration with the primative political views of the average American soldier, european.
How Bush continues to enjoy overwhelming support among military personnel is both baffling and disturbing. as a fellow enlightened thinker, I humbly offer you the best explanation that I have been able to come up with so far. At the root of the explanation is the unfortunate fact that many American enlisted military personnel are not educated enough to understand what is best for them. Despite seeing what enhanced government power/spending and regulation has done for Europe, these uneducated hicks actually like small government.
Because they have not been to university, they often share in the ignorant political views of their home communities. In other words, they tend to be conservatives.
As we all know, conservatives are simply not as smart as the rest of us. They do not have our levels of education, of sophistication. Their minds are not as nuanced or discerning.
At the end of the day, this is why they should not be allowed to make their own decisions. The military, with its strict chain of command, at least has a head start on this. Sadly, many of the officers share the deluded views of lower-class rabble that they command. Thus, while most officers would agree that a superior/subordinate relationship is the correct way to run an army, they fail to make obvious connection that it is also the correct way to run government policy.
The United States is full of unsophisticated peasants who fail to embrace (and indeed, if you can believe it, actively oppose) the Democratic Party’s enlightened attempts to remove from the lower classes the burdens of self-responsibility. Can these people not see that we are more intelligent, more urbane, and more academically well-credentialed!? Do they not see that by ceding a greater portion of control over their spending decisions to a centralized group of wealthy ex-attorneys in Washington the welfare of the entire nation would be improved?
Let us not forget that in addition to generally being composed of wealthy, educated, superior men and women, the federal government has literally thousands of fellow wealthy, educated people to advise (or “lobby”) them in deciding how the money of the common masses is spent.
Finally there are economies of scale to consider. The common masses uneducated Republican simpletons probably do not even know what this means, and even if they do they probably don’t see how it applies to government spending. So I will try to explain it to them in very simple terms:
Imagine that each of the millions of US citizens each kept $1 for themselves rather than giving it to their intellectual superiors to spend for them. What would each person be able to buy? A pack of gum? Exactly. Now imagine instead that each of these citizens gave their $1 to the federal government instead. With that much money the government (after conferring with their fellow wealthy and educated advisors on the hill) could give literally tens of millions of dollars to Senator Daschles wealthy patrons at Archer Daniels Midland Corporation! Senator Byrd could construct several new superhighways in unpopulated areas that would bear his name!
But just try explaining any of that to the peasants.
Even this board (where one would hope to find a higher class of educated people) you find posters like tigerman and fred_smith. Very nice individuals I am sure – but they clearly have no appreciation for the rightful role that government should play in making decisions for the lower classes.
I wouldn’t be surprised if tigerman thought that adults in France should be able to decide for themselves how many hours they want to work each week! I wouldn’t be surprised if fred_smith thought that poor African-American families ought to be able to decide for themselves where their children went to school (as if were as intelligent and responsible as the wealthy people) rather than allowing the teachers unions keep the poor in their place.
I am afraid that all too often it is people like they that populate the US military. And until the Democratic Party can convince them of their proper role vis-a-vis their Public Servant superiors in Washington, none of this is likely change.
But John Kerry still has six months to close the gap. Here’s hoping that he can do what Mondale and Dole could not!