Friday, April 21, 2006

Citizen President

Our recent readings discussed the problems of a military government, and obviously I don't advocate transferring the entire government to the DoD. However, the discussion on citizen soldiers, blended with the discussion of generals trying to influence politics made me wonder something. At least among some segments of the American public, men who have served in the armed forces are viewed as having earned a certain degree of respect. This isn't just because of the ideals of sacrificing oneself for one's country; there's also the vague idea that someone who's been in the military has probably been shaped into some sort of respectable citizen, honest, dependable, and all those other old-fashioned virtues.

To that end-why do we let men run for president who have never served in the armed forces?

One of the books from the summer reading (regrettably, I've forgotten which one) suggested that presidents who had served were less likely to get the country involved in wars, and more likely to actually use "overwhelming force" and end a conflict quickly once it started. From a national security standpoint, surely someone like that is best choice for Commmander-in-chief?


Cavour said...

The difference is that a president is presumably elected. What makes people nervous is the thought that unelected officials with access to really big guns might decide they know better than elected officials. I don't think anyone would mind a veteran president if they were duly elected. Or am I missing your point here?

Rusalka said...

It was a bit of a frivolous point. As much as I'd like to require military service for the leader of the free world, I'd wouldn't want it if anyone was serious about enforcing it.