Now that everyone’s talking about this inconvenient fact, I hoped that the commenters over on Matt’s site would include some military folk who could give us the inside skinny.

I was not disappointed.

Yes, military donations go overwhelmingly to anti-war candidates. And yes, that is a very important thing to fling in the face of people who claim that opposing this stupid, counter-productive war somehow = “surrender” in their tiny little world.

But, and it’s a big but, it’s more complicated than that. Take a moment, here and elsewhere, to consider what’s happening to military people and their families.

Some excerpts:

As someone in the Air Force who discusses and follows politics, here is what I see.

Support for Ron Paul and Obama have more to do with age than anti-war sentiments.

The average age of the typical military member is quite young, and because of selection bias, we also tend to be relatively internet savvy.

Ron Paul and Obama are attractive to both of these demographics.

Anti-war sentiment isn’t a significant part of the decision. We pretty much assume that the war will wind down after Bush leaves office.

In a McCain vs Clinton race, the military will overwhelmingly support McCain for obvious reasons.

For the record, hostility towards Hillary is concentrated among officers and senior NCO’s. The younger folk I talk to are much more open minded.

As a navy guy that discusses and follows politics I largely agree with Rory. The exception is that I see the hostility much more among the NCO’s than the officers. But that’s mainly because NCO’s tend to be more southern, more christian, and more non college graduates (or more precisely did not go to college right out of high school) – so in other words Rush’s core demographic.

And, in taking exception to another comment, this naval commenter brings us this statistic.

Lieutenants have the highest mortality of any rank in the Army, 19 percent higher than all Army troops combined. Marine Corps lieutenants have 11 percent higher mortality than all Marines.

(the same article does say a lance corporal Marine has a casualty rate 3.3 times all troops)

Posted by Kolohe | February 6, 2008 1:58 AM

I can absolutely promise you that support for Ron Paul (in the military) has very very little to do with the war. The Ron Paulites I know are much more interested in things like a “gold standard”, taxes, and monetary policy. The type of people who really care about the war would be way more likely to vote for Obama since he actually has a chance to win. People vote for Ron Paul based on “principle”.

Posted by Rory | February 6, 2008 9:44 AM

As usual, things are a little more complicated than we thought, though not entirely alien. I think an awful lot more attention needs to be paid to the quality of life issues in the military. The military is, after all, one of the biggest parts of our budget, economy, and role in the world.

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