Posts Tagged ‘Timothy Egan’

NYT’s Timothy Egan: “Soldiers’ Choice” Ron Paul

December 27, 2011

 

NYT: ‘Soldiers’ Choice’ Ron Paul

Writes The New York Times’ Timothy Egan:

Representative Ron Paul, the congressman who favors the most minimalist American combat role of any major presidential candidate and who said all of the above quotes, has more financial support from active duty members of the service than any other politician.

As of the last reporting date, at the end of September, Paul leads all candidates by far in donations from service members. This trend has been in place since 2008, when Paul ran for president with a similar stance: calling nonsense at hawk squawk from both parties.

This year, Paul has 10 times the individual donations — totaling $113,739 — from the military as does Mitt Romney. And he has a hundred times more than Newt Gingrich, who sat out the Vietnam War with college deferments and now promises he would strike foes at the slightest provocation.

What seems, at first blush, counterintuitive makes more sense upon further review. There’s a long tradition of military people being attracted to politicians with Paul’s strict interpretation of the Constitution.

Not even a full 1 percent of Americans are active-duty military. The troops have become props for politicians who shower them with fulsome praise, while dreaming up schemes to send them into harm’s way.

Yet, these soldiers, sailors, air men and women, and assorted boots on the ground know the cost — in trauma, in lives ruined, in friends lost, in good intentions gone bad — of going to war far more than the 99 percent not currently serving. Where they put their money in a campaign, paltry though it may be in comparison to the corporate lords who control a majority of our politicians, says a great deal.

And if the overwhelming service support for Ron Paul is any indication, the grunts of American foreign policy are gun-shy about further engagement in “useless wars,” to use Dr. Paul’s term.

“It’s not a good sign when the people doing the fighting are saying, ‘Why are we here?’” said Glen Massie, a Marine Corps veteran who lives in Des Moines, Iowa, and is supporting Paul for president. “They realize they’re being utilized for other purposes — nation building and being world’s policeman — and it’s not what they signed up for…”

The young people who actually fought in Iraq know better. They can tell a phony warrior from a real one. And in Ron Paul, the veteran who served as a flight surgeon for the Air Force, the man some call crazy, they hear a voice of sanity — at least in the realm of war and peace.