George Washington established a powerful link between soldering and the American Presidency, and many presidents since have served in the military. Some were good presidents, others not, because running an army is not like running a country. And yet, it is mind-boggling that draft-evader, Mitt Romney, son of a governor, with more than six years of repeated draft deferments, and who never served a day, can say, “I wished I could have gone to Vietnam.”
In the 1940s, every male had to register for the draft, and if you were classified 1A, at age 18 most were called up. It was a time when citizen-soldiers were ardently supported. A hitch hiker in uniform never had to wait more than minutes for a ride.
Soldiers drafted in the mid-1960s were not as fortunate. They were also likely to go to Vietnam, a war that divided the country. Students were sitting on floors in the offices of their deans, and the draft was drawing public protests. But not by Mitt Romney at Stanford in 1965, comfy with the first of several educational deferments, laughing broadly while picketing in his white slacks and dark sport jacket, one hand in a pocket, the other holding a sign: "Speak out. Don't sit in." Those around him, some having biked over for the photo shoot, are laughing too, all with the relaxed demeanor of young preppies taking a break.
Today, no one is drafted and our professional military is widely admired. But there's also plenty of claptrap political lip service, including by presidential candidate, Mitt Romney, who dares to say, “I wish I could have gone to Vietnam.”
Ann should wash out his mouth with soap.
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