Monday, September 29, 2014

Run Forrest, Run!

It is no secret that the current administration is attempting to finance increases in social programs by defunding the military.  Given that the military is a people intensive business, that means that many fine, professional soldiers are finding themselves tossed back into the civilian job market.  Many times these soldiers find it difficult to translate their military skills into the civilian job market.

I have a suggestion:

Run for political office

The military is one of the few places where leadership skills are taught.  No, not the warm, fuzzy theory stuff.  The military trains soldiers in proven techniques that withstand the withering fire of battle. This is the real deal.

The military teaches people skills.

The military teaches goals, organization, methods, project management, logistics...and triage.

If one particular political party is guilty of undermining the military than every primary should involve a challenge to the incumbent or the "establishment" candidate.  Make them accountable for their tacit support for the weakening of America.

If the contestants on the other side of the slate are weak then former military people should campaign for those slots as well.

It is called a "campaign" for a reason.  And that reason is not so they can have a word that rhymes with "Champaign".

Update on the Campaign trail

I spent about 3 hours on the campaign trail today.  I received a couple of unexpected treats today.  One is that Kubota spent about an hour and a half knocking on doors with me. He actually enjoyed himself.

The other treat is that the candidate zig-zagged from door-to-door with us.  He wanted to talk to the home owner if they answered the door.

This became a bit of a problem on two counts.  For one thing, he LIKES talking to people.  He would talk to them for a minimum of 5 minutes.  The door knockers frequently had to wait for him to catch up and that tanked the 50 houses/hour target.

The other issue is that if the door-knocker was on the wrong side of the candidate it was impossible to move.  We were trapped.  We got to hear his patter.

The candidate is a 14 year Army vet.  He had at least one tour in Iraq.  He still flies helicopters for the National Guard.  Part of his patter is that he fought for Americans.  He did not fight in the Republican army.  He did not fight for Democrat or Independents army.  He fought in the United States Army.  He plans, if elected, to represent all of his constituents, just like he fought for all of them.  He included his private cell phone number on the campaign literature.  He is telling them that he wants them to call to prove, to them, that he is accessible...that he works for them.  That is a gutsy move on his part.

Given the disgust that many Americans have for partisan politics that message could be very compelling.

Personally, it would be very satisfying if he knocks the snot out of the other candidate.  Time will tell.


One side conversation I had with the candidate involved the difficulty in finding "normal" human beings to run for political office. The internet does not allow us the grace of hazy remembrance.  That DUI in South Dakota, that brief fling with the Moonies, that stupid joke about the aspirin, the bully person we poked with a really sharp pencil in 6th grade...they are all waiting to destroy our carefully crafted histories.

We find the political channels filling with ciphers and the megarich whose cadres of lawyers can intimidate, or buy, others into silence.  Does anybody remember Paula Jones?

The members of the military are not monks, but they often serve in environments that might as well be cloistered monasteries.  They are a disciplined bunch and they look after each other.

The military may well be the best pool of "real people" who can escape the taint of our over-connected world and be viable political candidates.


  1. Sadly, very few 'honest' people can afford to run, or DESIRE to run given the public scrutiny not only they, but their families will face. And EVERY piece of dirt WILL be dug up and thrown out for all to see...

  2. Add "Duty driven" to the virtues of professional military people.