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President's salute not a good idea (Reagan started it)

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kskiska Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-27-07 09:37 PM
Original message
President's salute not a good idea (Reagan started it)
By Dave Zweifel

It raised eyebrows back in 1981 when new President Ronald Reagan began returning the military salutes of the servicemen standing guard when he'd disembark from Air Force One or from Marine 1, the helicopter that would deliver him to the White House lawn.

No presidents before had returned those salutes, not even Dwight D. Eisenhower, who just seven years before he took office had been a five-star Army general. Reagan, who had held the rank of captain in the Army Air Corps during World War II, changed all that and every president since, including our present one, renders the salute.

Although it was far from the biggest issue of the day, many commentators did question the practice at the time, pointing out that while, yes, the president was commander in chief of the military, he wasn't a military person himself and by saluting was insinuating that he was.

I hadn't heard much about that issue since, but noted author Garry Wills, a professor emeritus of history at Northwestern University, brought it up again in an op-ed column he wrote for the New York Times earlier this year.

more
http://www.madison.com/tct/opinion/column/index.php?nti...
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Kagemusha Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-27-07 09:45 PM
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1. This is one of those 'Now that you mention it...' things...
because it's hard for me to picture Reagan without picturing him saluting. And yet, my higher brain functions know that this is not normal, and recall the Eisenhower thing. Yet Reagan made it seem inseparable from him. I guess because Reagan was the actor.
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Solo_in_MD Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-27-07 10:59 PM
Response to Reply #1
4. I was troubled by that. Rule had been if not in uniform you do not salute, even if saluted
I dont salute today when going on a base.
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pnwmom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-27-07 09:45 PM
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2. Yes, he's our civil SERVANT, not our commander-in-chief.
Edited on Tue Mar-27-07 09:48 PM by pnwmom
But his handlers have been feeding him the poisonous idea that, in wartime, he's everyone's commander-in-chief.
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doc03 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-27-07 10:42 PM
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3. I heard one of the people on Air America talking about this
a couple weeks ago. Another thing Reagan started was referring to himself as the Commander-in-Chief, you may have noticed * reminds us he is the Commander-in-Chief every day.
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SeattleGirl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-28-07 01:26 AM
Response to Reply #3
5. Yes, he loves to remind us of that, but notice that he doesn't take
the responsibility that goes along with the privilege of that title. I think that for him, CIC = Dictator.
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fasttense Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-28-07 05:59 AM
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6. I think he should acknowledge the salute but not salute back.
The regs say you always return a salute. Yet the President is not in uniform or in the military. In the Navy, you only salute when you are covered (have your uniform hat on). That half hearted salute/wave thing bush does when he is uncovered and is not in uniform is very strange looking. You can acknowledge the salute (as is appropriate when an officer is not in uniform) by nodding but to salute back seems inappropriate. I think it would be appropriate for the President to acknowledge the salute by nodding or something else but to salute back when out of uniform seems to violate all the regulations.
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Lisa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-28-07 05:39 PM
Response to Reply #6
7. "the half hearted salute/wave thing" -- especially when he's carrying Barney
It does look rather peculiar.
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