Our Lefty Military ? say what?
Yesterday I saw this as a Facebook status – Our Lefty Military… and I could only imagine the outcry from some quarters – those who think that the word lefty or Liberal is an epithet, an insult, another word for wuss, wimp. I for one, was told that I could never really be a “real” military spouse, because no “real” service member would be married to or even consider being a liberal. Ha!
The OpEd by Nicholas Kristof is on the hunt for a path out of the economic crisis. He’s not too impressed with the CEOs as being efficient –
The business sector is dazzlingly productive, but it also periodically blows up our financial system. Yet if we seek another model, one that emphasizes universal health care and educational opportunity, one that seeks to curb income inequality, we don’t have to turn to Sweden. Rather, look to the United States military.
The author talks about the healthcare we have in the military. The comments from the article bring up the problems with TriCare – which mirror the problems with health insurance that most of us have on the outside; and yes, I’m going to agree that TriCare isn’t perfect. Absolutely not perfect – but the alternative of NO health insurance is much much worse. That’s experience talking – it’s scary knowing that if one person in the family gets sick or falls and breaks something – you are in deep financial trouble.
The Daycare issue he writes about – I think Mr. Kristof needs a dose of reality there! It is true that there is decent daycare – but there needs to be a lot more of it. The average waiting list on some bases is so ridiculously long!
The United States armed forces knit together whites, blacks, Asians and Hispanics from diverse backgrounds, invests in their education and training, provides them with excellent health care and child care. And it does all this with minimal income gaps: A senior general earns about 10 times what a private makes, while, by my calculation, C.E.O.’s at major companies earn about 300 times as much as those cleaning their offices. That’s right: the military ethos can sound pretty lefty. [emphasis added]
That’s one point I personally appreciate. Mr. Kristof also brought out what we, as military families, know but most people on the outside don’t get. Service – in the best and most fundamental meaning – is bone deep in our ethos.
And while the ethic of business is often “Gimme,” the military inculcates an ideal of public service that runs deep. In Afghanistan, for example, soldiers sometimes dig into their own pockets to help provide supplies for local schools.
I know a lot of liberals, both family members and in uniform, enlisted and officer, in the military. The overwhelming opinion of us, and that which has been carefully nurtured by conservatives, is that of the politically conservative, overwhelmingly religious (and overwhelmingly conservative christian at that) patriarchal and unfeeling. Nice to see that someone else realizes that’s not always the case, isn’t it?