Free Markets, Free People

Military: Obama and political parties not very popular with soldiers

The Military Times has a long article out today in which come to the startling conclusion that a deeply conservative institution like the military may find a Commander-in-Chief like Obama to be very unpopular among most of its members.

That should really come as no surprise. And the reasons are pretty well known.

However, I found this to be more revealing than what I assumed was a given.

The loss of faith in lawmakers comes at a time when troops are less likely to identify with either major political party.

In the last nine years of the Military Times Poll, the percentage of respondents who consider themselves Republican has slowly dropped, from nearly half of those surveyed in the late 2000s to just 32 percent this year. Increasingly, readers are more likely to describe themselves as libertarian (9 percent) or independent (28 percent).

Likewise, readers who described themselves as “very conservative” have remained steady over the years, but “conservative” respondents have dwindled as well — down to 29 percent from a high of 41 percent in 2011.

Democrats and liberal readers make up about 8 percent of the poll respondents.

The fact is they’re less and less enthralled with the political class and political parties in general, not just the President (although I think a special sort of unpopularity that transcends party is his). And for the most part they reflect a growing trend in America. It’s ironic that one of Obama’s goals was to make government popular and cool again when he took office. Instead, what is happening in the military is a good snapshot of what is also going on within the country.  People have lost faith in government and see it as a problem for the most part, not a solution.

Obviously Democrats and liberals are underrepresented in the Military Times poll and that again is no surprise. It is, however, a good indicator of why the Democrats and liberals don’t “get” the military. They, for the most part, don’t serve or know many that do. It is one among many reasons why Obama suffers his unpopularity.

But the shift from “Republican” to libertarian or independent should have the GOP worried. This is mirrored among many on the right who call themselves conservative but are just as likely not to claim to be a Republican. While the GOP may not like that and are certainly resisting it, the “mushy middle” is losing out and the conservatives are demanding change if Republicans want their vote (they are just as likely, btw, not to want to see a Bush or Romney on the next ticket either).

Certainly the military is a special institution in and of itself. Much of the dissatisfaction with political leaders has to do with sequestration cuts, which apparently only the military had to suffer. That on top of the unilateral 10% cut imposed on the military by Obama while in the middle of two wars helps explain some of the President’s unpopularity. Social engineering of a force whose whole sole purpose is to fight wars and protect the country is another.

But there’s plenty to worry about for the political parties contained in that poll as well.


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7 Responses to Military: Obama and political parties not very popular with soldiers

  • I don’t see how the military could feel otherwise than the polling indicates.

    They have been hosed by the Collective, and co-opted by social engineers. On the other end of the political spectrum, they see the political game-playing rampant in the procurement process, along with the general stupidity that results from politically-driven crap that directly effects them on a life-and-death basis, such as ROE.

    Everybody in DC swells up with “support the troops” rah-rah, but so few signs of concrete support follow, including the way troops are paid, equipped, and provided medical services. Bullshit flies SHORTER with military people. They notice the gaps between the talk and the walk.

  • I’m in the same boat. I don’t feel well-represented by the GOP, by and large. The other side is monstrous but I swear I’d rather vote for Jim Webb over Jeb Bush.

  • How many of the legislative elite, be they Senate or Congress, have ever served in the military? The number has to be staggeringly small and with it, any real substantive feeling for what the military really goes through on a day-to-day basis does not exist. And if you do not have a clue what these people do for you and what it costs them, then there is no empathy for their plight. For example, most legislators are so used to writing 2,000 page bills, they do not understand why the military needs simply a direct to-the-point mission objective to do their job.

    • Congress has been screwing the military and vets since the 1st Continental Congress reneged on half pay for life promised to officers of the Continental Army.

      It is regrettably a time honored tradition.

  • “Obviously Democrats and liberals are underrepresented”

    Oh, dear. Now you’ve done it. We are going to need programs to incentivize those underrepresented minorities. Extra pay, perhaps. Or faster promotions. Some sort of affirmative action. And punitive action for those who create or allow a hostile work environment. Only temporary measures, of course, until the day when all groups are fairly and equitably represented.

    • pretty much have one, don’t we? wasn’t an element of the dream act Fiat citizenship for illegals that served. Sure a few Swedes might get in but the influx of Mexican should drown those out nicely?

  • Not surprising, really — Priests and Warriors have always been at odds.