Sunday, November 9, 2008

Political and Personal Thoughts

With this historic election now behind us and a new President-elect chosen, many people ask for my opinion from the point of view of the military personnel. 

To begin, the military has a special tie to presidential races because whoever wins becomes the new Commander-in-Chief (head of the armed forces). Therefore, many people feel strongly one way or another based on how they feel each candidate would fare in this role. It is amazing that the strongest military in the world peacefully changes its leader (often to a different political party) every four to eight years based on an election process.

Many people seem think that the military has one overarching opinion on politics, when in reality the views and opinions of military personnel are as diverse as those of the general population. There are democrats, republicans, green party members, independents, and all types of other people who proudly serve this country in the military. 

As an individual member of this group of diverse people, I become very uncomfortable when people ask my political opinion "as a member of the military." It is imperative that I, as well as other military personnel, separate our personnel views from our professional status. Otherwise we unfairly generalize the thousands of perspectives that make our military the great mechanism that it is.