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dhinojosa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-13-05 12:05 PM
Original message
Has the military always been "republican"?
For a long long time, it was always known that the military has always, as a majority, been republican. I think all this had to do with the Vietnam war, and their dislike for Lyndon Johnson. Would I be correct in thinking that, or would I be way off?

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liberal N proud Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-13-05 12:08 PM
Response to Original message
1. I don't know the history but I have always perceived the same
military = republican
I have 3 brothers who were liberal as I until they went to the military.
Same with my brother in law, although I think he is starting to snap out of it. He retired and went into teaching.

I think there is some brain washing that goes on while they are in there.
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Kolesar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-13-05 12:13 PM
Response to Reply #1
4. Rush Limbaugh gets a whole hour on the Armed Forces Network
AFN plays NPR for one hour for "balance". What a sham.
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ElectroPrincess Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-13-05 12:30 PM
Response to Reply #4
10. Newsflash! I've heard "the scoop" from a retuning troop ...
who stated outright that he can't stand that scum-bag Rush Limbaugh. He suggested that Tavis Smiley would have been much preferable. I think that would be grand because, IMO, Tavis does come across the airwaves as balanced politically, i.e.,not too far right or left in tone.
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Kolesar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-13-05 12:40 PM
Response to Reply #10
13. Well, that is news
Thanks for sharing.
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Hippo_Tron Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-13-05 10:02 PM
Response to Reply #4
30. I wish that the satellite radio companies would donate service...
And equipment, or at least contract it out at a greatly reduced price. That way, they could listen to whatever they want. You'd think that they would be all over such an opportunity because of the great TV ads that it would produce. Then again, we can't even get the phone companies to give free phone service to the troops.
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malmapus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-13-05 12:16 PM
Response to Reply #1
5. Its funny, military had opposite on me
I was leaning right when I signed up (more of a rebellion against my parents than any real beliefs), and started seeing how left I was when I was in.

I guess its because I saw how people lived in developing countries (espicially Africa) and didn't feel like anyone deserved to live like that. Espicially when I would come back home to the states and then see people living here in about the same conditions.
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SteveIrving1 Donating Member (103 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-13-05 12:10 PM
Response to Original message
2. After WW2...
Most of the Military was Democrat mostly because of FDR and Harry Truman.
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ewagner Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-13-05 03:16 PM
Response to Reply #2
23. Agree with that
My career-Navy father was intensely Democrat because the Dems stood up for the military....

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Kolesar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-13-05 12:12 PM
Response to Original message
3. To get into the military academies, you need a Congressional appointment
Edited on Mon Jun-13-05 12:20 PM by TheBorealAvenger
That automatically selects for those in the rich, powerful, and well-connected community--IOW, republicans.

When I was in the Navy, we were still in the early years of the all-volunteer military. The young people I got to know in the ranks had this "counter-culture permissiveness" cough, cough. I don't know if I could really judge the officers. It is hard to sort out the world when you are 19. At that time, I had only a vague impression of the right wing. edit:spelling!
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malmapus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-13-05 12:17 PM
Response to Reply #3
6. Its scary that I actually got a recommendation when I was in

I turned it down because I worked for a living, lol never could see myself with a commission.
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Hippo_Tron Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-13-05 10:06 PM
Response to Reply #3
32. Congressional recommendations aren't that hard to get and...
Just because you get one doesn't mean that you are automatically in. Generally, if you have good grades and display that you are a capable candidate for the academy, you get a recommendation. Getting accepted, however, is extremely competative and that might be where the well connected have the advantage. Then again, military academies are not places that spoiled rich kids generally would want to go to school.
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hobbit709 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-13-05 12:17 PM
Response to Original message
7. By the time
I got out of the Air Farce in 1973, I was even more radical than when I went in.
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Inland Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-13-05 12:23 PM
Response to Original message
8. No, but the volunteer military
is drawn from rural areas and the south, which have become more republican, and the republicans have made a particular point of being more "pro-military" from the days of Reagan--by which I mean snappy salutes and lots of memorials.
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tabasco Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-13-05 12:39 PM
Response to Reply #8
12. The republicans like to spend money on stuff like Star Wars ...
and then proclaim, "Look how much money we give to the military.! We're pro-military!"

I was infantry for twelve years. Under Reagan we got Jack Shit. Under Clinton, we got new vehicles, radios, machineguns, and barracks.
Many generals retire to the boards of war-profiteering corporations. Of course, they scream "vote republican" because republicans serve the corporations.

The republicans have been very successful in their propaganda that they are the party of the red,white, and blue. But they are really pro-corporations, not pro-military. More and more people are waking up to this fact.
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ElectroPrincess Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-15-05 04:57 AM
Response to Reply #8
36. Way too much generalization? Please consider that there
are many notable exceptions? That is, 40% of the military DID VOTE for Kerry. We're NOT talking folks of "one mind." There are many good young men and women from working class families in the Midwest also. Please resist the broad brush?

I can say with some confidence that many within the Officer Corps that I have had the opportunity to interact with, especially the field grade (Major - Lieutenant Colonel) and general grade (Full Colonel - General) ranks tend to voice Republican views.

But I'm sure you can find a number of Democratic Generals and Republican Privates if you knew where (what background) to look. ;)
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ElectroPrincess Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-13-05 12:25 PM
Response to Original message
9. Only the "Officer Ranks" vote mostly a Republican ticket ...
Edited on Mon Jun-13-05 12:25 PM by ElectroPrincess
It seems that the "catapulting the propaganda" has worked on far too many people. Nope, the Military TRADITIONALLY is supposed to be neutral and follow the orders of their leaders (civilian and military).

Unfortunately the rhetoric became caustic under that scum Newt Gingrich. Further, the potty mouth of Rush Limbaugh "repeated lies" about the military until the American Sheeple (and far to many in the Military) began to believe it.

Look at the Enlisted Pay Scale and ask yourself - Should any troop who is concerned about his/her family's economic best interests vote Republican? The correct answer would be a resounding, "NO!"

The officer corps is a different story altogether. They tend to be more conservative. However, I did have the opportunity to mingle among a few fellow Democratic voting officers during my four years of Active Duty Army service.
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tabasco Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-13-05 01:21 PM
Response to Reply #9
17. Do you have info on the voting trends in the officers corps?
Edited on Mon Jun-13-05 01:22 PM by tabasco
Or are you just taking the opportunity to officer-bash? :)

I knew quite a few democratic officers. A couple of them were even from that liberal bastion of Massachussetts! OTOH, I knew quite a few freeper-type NCOs. But I will forego making sweeping generalizations from my personal experience.

Most of the troops I knew and worked with didn't really care too much about politics either way.

I think a lot of people are starting to wake up to the fact that the republicans exist to support the corporations, and nothing else.


edit typo

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ElectroPrincess Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-15-05 04:30 AM
Response to Reply #17
35. I'm a former Army Intelligence Officer, so yes, I have a clue :-)
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denverbill Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-13-05 12:34 PM
Response to Original message
11. Almost every military is 'conservative'.
This is almost inevitable.

Militaries are created to defend existing institutions. Tradition is an important part of their code. It's natural that they are conservative just by nature of their job.

Left-wing military coups are almost non-existant. The only time they ever occur is under the absolute worst of circumstances, like dire poverty and repression. Right-wing military coups are common, with the military intervening to depose left-wing governments.
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NAO Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-13-05 12:40 PM
Response to Original message
14. The military personal in WWII were overwhelmingly Democratic
according to my father who was a WWII vet.

He said that the overwhelming majority of the soldiers he met in every place he was stationed remembered how FDR's New Deal saved their families from destitution and gave them productive work thru the Public Works and Civilian Conservation Corps.

My parents were devout evangelical fundamentalist Christians, but they never forgot the Great Depression - how Hoover turned his back on the starving freezing masses, and how FDR and Democratic policies literally saved their lives and their families. They went to church every Sunday, and made me attend a Christian School...but they told me to "never mind about that 'God wants you to be a Republican' crap". That was the only area where they did not accept the teaching of the Church. (This was in the mid 70's - early 80's - The Evangelical Fundamentalist Christian=GOP stuff did NOT start in the last few years. It has been going on since at least the mid 70's)
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eallen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-13-05 01:07 PM
Response to Reply #14
15. WW II moved a large & representative cross-section into the military.
And after the war, most returned to civilian life. The military's make-up since has been different.
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theboss Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-13-05 10:32 PM
Response to Reply #14
34. The country was overwhelmingly Democrat then
And there was a draft.

Erego....
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Bigmack Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-13-05 01:16 PM
Response to Original message
16. "... suspended animation..."
"My mental faculties remained in suspended animation while I obeyed the orders of the higher-ups. This is typical with everyone in the military. "

USMC Gen. Smedley Butler... two-time winner of the Medal of Honor
- - -
Ol' Smedley D wasn't a shrink, but he certainly understood the military mindset. Just suspend your disbelief and vote Repub.... as you do your 4th combat rotation in an unnecessary war.
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AX10 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-13-05 01:25 PM
Response to Original message
18. Once the draft ended, only conservatives joined the ranks.
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ThomWV Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-13-05 02:55 PM
Response to Original message
19. Far From It - Not Until Nixon
Traditionally the source of manpower for our military has been the southern states. That remains true to this day actually. Prior to Nixon the south was generally called "The Solid South" in recognition of favoring the Democratic Party. The old Democrat racists simply changed stripes and became Republicans and their children, who are today's military, followed suit.

How quickly we forget.
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pocket Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-13-05 03:00 PM
Response to Original message
20. another reason I do not claim to 'support the troops'
nt
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Tom Rinaldo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-13-05 03:13 PM
Response to Reply #20
22. I do
I believe we still need to have a military. I believe that 99.99% of those in the Armed Forces follow the orders issued them, regardless of whether a President is Democratic or Republican. I believe they would equally follow an order to invade Iran or to save lives in Dafur. I don't want the people who hold the big guns deciding when and where to use them, and our military doesn't, so I support that. The American military, under orders, repeatedly invaded Central America before World War Two, but they also, under orders, ended the Holocaust during World War II. They do this at risk to their own lives. I support them.
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ElectroPrincess Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-15-05 05:00 AM
Response to Reply #20
37. Well that's a damn shame - and waste. Please reconsider ...
if not now, at some point in the future?
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xxqqqzme Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-13-05 03:08 PM
Response to Original message
21. I have always perceived the
military as rethug but I thought it started w/ Supreme Allied Commander elected as prez - Ike.
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Sparkle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-13-05 03:18 PM
Response to Original message
24. The military shouldn't be political.
They are required to take orders from their commander-in-chief whether he/she is democratic or republican. Or in Bush's case, an illegitimate commander-in-chief.
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Hippo_Tron Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-13-05 10:10 PM
Response to Reply #24
33. It isn't political on the lower levels, but the bureaucracy is...
The troops are willing to serve no matter who is commander in chief or what the mission is, one of the many things I admire about people who choose to serve.

The higher level officers who are stationed at the Pentagon, however, are often extremely political. Sometimes they are more loyal to the opposition party's members of congress than they are to the President.
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mtnsnake Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-13-05 03:24 PM
Response to Original message
25. Not Republican, but war mongers are mostly Republican & that's what
gives the impression that the miltary is Republican.

War mongers usually don't have the balls or ambition to serve in the military themselves, but they and conservatives associate themselves with the military to achieve their agenda under false pretenses.
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Protagoras Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-13-05 03:30 PM
Response to Original message
26. My Military service liberalized me and
I know a number of others on whom it had a similar effect.

I think Republicans try and LOVE the Military more than Liberals...but I find that the Military, while conservative, is often composed of people who are strongly independent. I respect them for that. Sure the young punks who just signed up are gung-ho and don't know their ass from a hole in the ground when it comes to politics...

But take someone who's been in for 5 or 10 years and they'll often suprise you with their views. That doesn't mean they're democratics...just that many are not nearly as REPUBLICAN as the party would have you believe.

But more and more we're seeing a huge schism between Republicans and Conservatives.

I suspect that the Military is mostly Republican at the extreme Top and Bottom...while being much more independent in the middle, esp NCOs.
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AX10 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-13-05 09:44 PM
Response to Reply #26
27. Actually, the Generals and top brass are known to be dove-leaning.
They know what war is and they are careful about supporting it. They are very well trained and know that it is important to be careful when going to war.
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K-W Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-13-05 09:55 PM
Response to Reply #27
29. Especially the marines and army.
Edited on Mon Jun-13-05 09:55 PM by K-W
Obviously because they generally take the brunt of the casualties.
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ElectroPrincess Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-15-05 05:08 AM
Response to Reply #27
38. It depends on WHAT generals are at the Pentagon now ...
Remember, once Rumsfeld entered, many Generals retired. The generals "in charge" tend to mirror the civilian leadership at the time. The Civilian Leadership "makes it so."

Now, the General Officers "in the field" are a different story altogether because they are attempting to win a war NOT play political tap dances.
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K-W Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-13-05 09:51 PM
Response to Original message
28. In my opinion, off.
Edited on Mon Jun-13-05 09:56 PM by K-W
Militaries are by nature extremely authoritarian. This in itself makes soldiers, especially career soldier conservative, but that doesnt neccessarily make them republican, especially not neo-republican, that has been drilled in them with propaganda.

Our military is run by the pentagon which has been taken over by the defense industry and thier conservative and neo-conservative allies.

My girlfriend's ex was in the military while she was in college, they told him repeatedly that college was full of gays and lesbians and that she was going to cheat on him with girls. He was a liberal when he went in the army and now he is a reactionary republican. All they watch is fox news and thier information is controlled by the pentagon. They are trained to be extremely nationalistic and trained to hate and kill whoever is considered the enemy.

It is, in a very real sense, a facist institution.

The Vietnam war makes military people conservative not because of Lyndon Johnson, but because people in the military refuse to believe that we werent able to win that war and also refuse to believe it was a horrific war crime. The mythology offered up by the reactionary conservatives that it was in fact the liberals, media and intellectuals is very tempting to people who are tought to think our military is wholly good.
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Stinky The Clown Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-13-05 10:04 PM
Response to Original message
31. A quick read of the answers in this thread point up the truth
the military is much like the country as a whole.

There is probably a slightly rightward lean overall, but not nearly what the right would have the left believe.

The right panders to the military and then abandons them. The left tends to be more truly supportive, but runs from the fact, fearing being labeled militaristic.

The right has better PR. Hence the rightward lean.

As to the notion of some sort of 'brainwashing' .... the fact is an effective military must demand unflinching willingness and readiness to follow orders unquestioningly. In many ways, boot camp (at least in my experience at Great Lakes Naval Training Center north of Chicago in the dead of the deadest part of winter in 1967) is a kind of 'brainwashing' exercise. A group of individuals are brought together, made to feel small and worthless as an individual, and then brought back up as a group with group worth.

It was effective ... but not permanent.
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