Monday, October 8, 2012

military politics

The not surprising news today is that military personnel tend to be Republican and pro-Romney. The Military Times newspapers conduct a poll of subscribers and report results here. The respondents are probably a reasonable cross section of subscribers, but hardly of the armed forces. Only 16% of the people in uniform are officers; over 1/3 of those in the poll were in the middle officer grades. Moreover, 80% of the respondents were white and 91% male. So older white male people in uniform tend to be Republican. Hardly breaking news.

My worry is not how people in the armed forces vote, but whether they identify openly with a party and proselytize for it, and thus undercut public confidence in their ability to follow the orders of whoever is commander in chief. I don't think we are anywhere near a danger point on that score, as we were during the Clinton years, but civilian control is always a fragile thing.

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