[HT: The Patriot Room]
In the Washington Post, Danielle Allen pens a story about how few people serve in the military from blue states as compared to those from red states. In this context, a blue state is a more Democrat state and a red state is a more Republican state (those color definitions strike me as odd; politically speaking, the Democrats are the Reds). The numbers don’t lie:
In 1969, the 10 states with the highest percentage of veterans were, in order: Wyoming, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, California, Oregon, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Ohio, Connecticut and Illinois.
In 2007, the 10 states with the highest percentage of post-Vietnam-era veterans were, in order: Alaska, Virginia, Hawaii, Washington, Wyoming, Maine, South Carolina, Montana, Maryland and Georgia.
Over the past four decades, which states have disappeared from the top 10? California, New Jersey, Massachusetts and Illinois, all big blue states that have voted Democratic in the past five presidential elections. These states and another blue state, New York, which ranked 12th in 1969, are among the 10 states with the lowest number of post-Vietnam vets per capita. New Jersey comes in 50th of the 50 states; just 1 percent of current residents have served in the military since Vietnam.
Rather than concluding that the culture of the red states produces people who place more stock in service and duty and sacrifice for one’s country, she tries to blame the lack of the draft for the uneven numbers. Then she opines:
It is time to think seriously about a structure for national service — both military and non-military — that could successfully integrate young people from different regions of the country so that they will come, at least, to understand each other. We need to weave a fabric of shared citizenship anew.
Why is that lefties dislike the volunteer military so much? It clearly makes for a much better military, which is perhaps what they dislike. Not a lot of people in there who just want to get out. And of course, she uses it as an excuse to push for not only a military draft but some socialists’ dream come true of a civilian corps draft.
I will close with Bill Dupree’s great line from his post on this article on Patriot Room:
She avoids any discussion of the different value systems in Red states versus Blue, or the fact that there are more folks willing to sacrifice for their country (which would make them more . . . cue the liberal shrieks . . . patriotic).
UPDATE: I have to include this link to a column by the brilliant Thomas Sowell on the subject of this idea of mandatory volunteering. What Orwellian doublespeak that phrase embodies.