Dialogue with Yankee Sailor
Yankee Sailor asked a few questions [scroll down to Comment 10] so here are the answers:
Since the first two discuss the war, I note that this blog hasn't taken a position on the war itself. Furthermore, since our military is 85% male, I'll use gender-specific terms for convenience only.
First question: Is OYE arguing that the offspring of war supporters, by not volunteering, somehow discredit the opinions and positions of their parents?
First answer: To start, let's broaden the question from "offspring" and "parents" to include anyone eligible to serve who is closely connected to a prominent war supporter.
While all American adults make their own decisions on whether to volunteer for military service, as well as their political opinions, the parents' public positions supporting the war are not helped by the "other priorities" of their sons. OYE would be satisfied if such parents encouraged their sons to consider military service. Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney (R) has publicly stated that he has not done that. No one else has even answered that question.
It certainly makes it more of a challenge to convince the American people to continue to support the war if political leadership won't even encourage their own sons to consider military service.
Second question: Is OYE arguing that because College Republicans can't be seen lining up on the street at recruiting offices, their conclusion that the war in Iraq is justified and needed is incorrect?
Second answer: As the future leaders of our governing party, the College and Young Republicans are missing an excellent opportunity to Support President Bush by fulfilling their national leadership responsibility to set a good example for the rest of us.
Again, it certainly makes it more of a challenge to convince the American people to continue to support the war if even the future leaders of our governing party all have "other priorities" than military service.
Third question: Is it your argument that recruits must accurately and inerrantly represent the entire cross-section of society?
Third answer: Exact proportionality is impossible when we're dealing with the voluntary choices of individuals.
What would definitely help America, to include civil-military relations, is for all cross-sections of society, to some extent, to participate in military service, so that a far greater proportion of Americans personally know a servicemember or a (recent) veteran, than is the case right now. This includes our national leadership establishment: not just public officials, but also their prominent supporters.
That's why OYE has called upon a single member of the Bush clan, or anyone closely connected to a Bush Ranger (raised $200,000+) or Bush Pioneer ($100,000-$199,999), etc., to come forward to help us show the American people that our national leadership establishment really understands, and cares. The difference between zero and one is enormous; between four and five, less so.
And if not a single individual closely connected to the national leadership establishment of our governing party has actually served in Iraq or Afghanistan, especially as an enlisted servicemember or officer at Lieutenant Colonel (O-5) or below, then it makes it even more difficult for President Bush to convince the American people that what he is trying to do in the Global War on Terrorism is worthy of their support.
Note: One can be an "outlier," but we'll start there. The ideal number would simply be enough to convince the American people that the well-connected are also serving in our military.