Polls consistently show that Americans, by a wide margin, trust the military more than politicians. That infuriates progressives, who see the military as symbolic of all that’s wrong with America. William J. Astore seeks to help progressives understand why Americans are so fond of the military. He points to two reasons.
First, the military is the most diverse institution in American society. Here, people are truly judged by what they can do, not by phony racial, gender, political, or class divides. That stands in sharp contrast to, say, academia, where diversity is a hollow motto.
Second, the military is the last bastion of male identity. Here, a young man’s masculinity is encouraged and honored, not denigrated or feminized. Even with the increased efforts to open up the services to more women, the military is still first and foremost a fighting machine, dominated by testosterone.
The fact that progressives stand on the wrong side of both those issues explains why they just don’t get it.
The comment by John Kerry in 2006, to the effect that students who can’t make it in college end up “stuck in Iraq,” struck many Americans as grossly unfair precisely because military service still remains a proud first choice for many young Americans.