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We need a president with active duty experience

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Brovane

Diamond Member
Dec 18, 2001
3,960
33
91
Look at the ones that did

Carter
Kennedy
Eisenhower
Truman

These we are all, more or less, pretty good presidents, at least compared to the ones since Carter. We need less governors and senators and more millitary men.
Well I guess FDR couldn't have been president under your criteria? Ronald Reagan served during WW2 but couldn't go overseas because of his vision. I guess you are going to disqualify him to? Oh yes Bush 41 was a active duty aviator during WW2 and even got shotdown.
 

yllus

Elite Member & Lifer
Aug 20, 2000
20,583
430
126
Is this based on the Robert Heinlein claim that all other things being equal, a man with military service is a better man than one who did not serve? I thought that was true then but I'm not so sure now.

I actually think Western democracies need someone who's quite the opposite from a life history point of view: A technocrat with a solid understanding of how businesses and bureaucracies work. The Presidency appears to be more of a CEO role than that of a general; and in wartime you still need to control your sprawling government if nothing else than to tame the beast of logistics.
 

blankslate

Diamond Member
Jun 16, 2008
8,471
423
126
He wasn't nearly as bad as people make him out to be, and he deserves credit for appointing Paul Volcker to head the fed and then bearing the heat for Volcker's unpopular but ultimately successful interest rate policies.
The thing that really hurt him was the failed rescue mission of the embassy hostages in Iran.

President Obama learned from that lesson and insisted that the SEALs have a back up helicopter and sufficient numbers to fight their way to a safe pickup area if the mission failed. Remember at the last minute the CIA weren't as sure as they wanted to be that Bin Laden was in the compound.
 

NeoV

Diamond Member
Apr 18, 2000
9,530
0
0
I'm not sure military experience is more valuable than any other experience/background, like Business, law, etc.
 

kage69

Lifer
Jul 17, 2003
17,234
7,374
136
41 saw combat in WWII.
Correct.

The Japanese shot his ride all to hell and he was on fire, but he kept it together long enough to drop his ordinance (successfully, I might add) and then make to a safe distance to bail out.
 

Matt1970

Lifer
Mar 19, 2007
12,321
2
0
Oh no, you are not one of those "Bush lost the election" conspiracists, are you? It is in the same group as we faked the moon landing and we used super thermite to take down the twin towers.
He does have a point. We basicly had a President that lost the popular vote. Reguardless of if you liked Bush or Gore, that's not Democracy. The Electoral College is outdated.
 

werepossum

Elite Member
Jul 10, 2006
29,876
460
126
Is this based on the Robert Heinlein claim that all other things being equal, a man with military service is a better man than one who did not serve? I thought that was true then but I'm not so sure now.

I actually think Western democracies need someone who's quite the opposite from a life history point of view: A technocrat with a solid understanding of how businesses and bureaucracies work. The Presidency appears to be more of a CEO role than that of a general; and in wartime you still need to control your sprawling government if nothing else than to tame the beast of logistics.
That's Romney to a 'T', and while I like Romney, I can't recall of the top of my head a case of a similar President to bolster that case. I want a President with executive experience (preferably a governor - a full term governor), extensive business experience, and a healthy understanding of and appreciation for both capitalism and freedom. I think though that the ability to clearly articulate a vision and persuade others to his or her way of thinking might be the very most important thing. That, or maybe a will of iron.
 

werepossum

Elite Member
Jul 10, 2006
29,876
460
126
The thing that really hurt him was the failed rescue mission of the embassy hostages in Iran.

President Obama learned from that lesson and insisted that the SEALs have a back up helicopter and sufficient numbers to fight their way to a safe pickup area if the mission failed. Remember at the last minute the CIA weren't as sure as they wanted to be that Bin Laden was in the compound.
I think Carter was one of the worst Presidents post-war, but in his defense, at the time of the disastrous rescue attempt there was no unified SOCOM command, and the people in command knew little about the actual conditions and needs they would face. Planning was atrocious, and while it looks like even the simplest neophyte could have done a better job planning the mission, in reality the planners made a decent plan for an entirely different scenario than the one facing them. Remove the choppers' filters in Europe? Probably worth the damage. Remove the choppers' filters on a mission which involves landing in the desert? Not so much.

Reagan through Obama learned from those mistakes, but even more the military learned from those mistakes. They put aside (somewhat anyway) their squabbling, established a unified SOCOM command, began running field exercises together. Reagan and his successors benefited from all that, so while I dislike Carter, we can't really blame that fiasco on him. It was a noble attempt that as a nation we were totally unprepared to attempt.
 

Triumph

Lifer
Oct 9, 1999
15,032
13
81
Guardsmen are, at times, on active duty orders, but they are still not active duty members, any more than reservists called up for deployment are active duty members (they are not). In my experience in deployed settings, Guardsmen tend, other things being equal, to be the least fit and disciplined military members, though as members of the Reserve and Guard have increasingly been relied upon for deployment this has improved somewhat.
In my (fairly extensive) experience, Guardsmen and reservists are a much more rounded bunch of individuals, coming from all different backgrounds and skillsets, bringing those differing opinions and talents to the table when it comes time to conduct a mission. They often times have a geographical bond, some of them having known each other since childhood. It really pisses me off when the active duty troops look down at guardsmen and reservists, meanwhile they've been living in the highly socialized and coddled active duty lifestyle where pretty much everything you need is provided for you. Guardsmen/reservists have to worry about being a soldier as well as holding down a job, providing for their family, etc. There's nothing wrong with active duty, but the way they look down on part timers is really misguided and disrespectful.
 

yllus

Elite Member & Lifer
Aug 20, 2000
20,583
430
126
That's Romney to a 'T', and while I like Romney, I can't recall of the top of my head a case of a similar President to bolster that case. I want a President with executive experience (preferably a governor - a full term governor), extensive business experience, and a healthy understanding of and appreciation for both capitalism and freedom. I think though that the ability to clearly articulate a vision and persuade others to his or her way of thinking might be the very most important thing. That, or maybe a will of iron.
Heck, Romney should campaign on this angle - it's pretty convincing. Maybe he'd be the best head dude ever.
 

Fern

Elite Member
Super Moderator
Sep 30, 2003
26,916
172
106
Look at the ones that did

Carter
Kennedy
Eisenhower
Truman

These we are all, more or less, pretty good presidents, at least compared to the ones since Carter. We need less governors and senators and more millitary men.
No. We need less lawyers.

All they're good for is arguing and writing in a complicated/obscure style that no one understands, and they purposefully write that way.

Senators != governors. The latter have exec experience which isn't dissimilar from from the type of helpful experience a military commander has. Serving as a governor is a plus.

The military offers many good things (e.g., can instill principals like honor, duty etc.) but unlike in times past (e.g., WWI and WWII) we have few going into the military so the 'pool' to choose from is quite small.

And I think our current challenges are not particularly well suited to active military duty. Economics and business regulatory environment are among issues more important IMO.

Fern
 
Feb 10, 2000
30,033
64
91
In my (fairly extensive) experience, Guardsmen and reservists are a much more rounded bunch of individuals, coming from all different backgrounds and skillsets, bringing those differing opinions and talents to the table when it comes time to conduct a mission. They often times have a geographical bond, some of them having known each other since childhood. It really pisses me off when the active duty troops look down at guardsmen and reservists, meanwhile they've been living in the highly socialized and coddled active duty lifestyle where pretty much everything you need is provided for you. Guardsmen/reservists have to worry about being a soldier as well as holding down a job, providing for their family, etc. There's nothing wrong with active duty, but the way they look down on part timers is really misguided and disrespectful.
I don't mean to denigrate them, but in a deployed environment, discipline and professionalism are a big deal, and in my experience Guardsmen are the weakest of all in both areas. I also really take exception to your painting active duty life as "coddled" - if it were such a fine and cushy lifestyle presumably most Guardsmen would be on active duty rather than maintaining professional careers as civilians while also serving in the Guard.
 

blankslate

Diamond Member
Jun 16, 2008
8,471
423
126
Reagan through Obama learned from those mistakes, but even more the military learned from those mistakes. They put aside (somewhat anyway) their squabbling, established a unified SOCOM command, began running field exercises together. Reagan and his successors benefited from all that, so while I dislike Carter, we can't really blame that fiasco on him. It was a noble attempt that as a nation we were totally unprepared to attempt.
This is true. But remember President Obama insisted on the backup helicopter which was fortunate since one of the helicopters failed and they had to destroy it.

Yes the capabilities of the Special Forces improved since Carters time but the fact that President Obama changed the initial plan to add in more "fail safes" like the extra Helicopter shouldn't be discounted....

As for Carter, he has largely proved to be a better former President than a President.

Back to the subject of the original post, I have to wonder what might have been if General Powell hadn't been persuaded to not run in the 2000 election. I think I might've liked the years 2001-2009 a lot better.
 

cybrsage

Lifer
Nov 17, 2011
13,021
0
0
He does have a point. We basicly had a President that lost the popular vote. Reguardless of if you liked Bush or Gore, that's not Democracy. The Electoral College is outdated.
The purpose of the electoral college and its role in striving to maintain a little equality between States is no more outdated than having the Senate be made up of two Senators from each State, regardless of the population of each state.
 
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davmat787

Diamond Member
Nov 30, 2010
5,514
24
76
Right now, I think it is more important for Presidents and congressman to have a high understanding of technology, especially in regards to computer tech, than military experience. The apparent lack of knowledge in this arena allows for lobbyists to have even more of an impact for their own agendas, which rarely, if ever, are for the general good of the public.

I base this mainly on my opinion that the internet is becoming a key point of infrastructure for commerce, communications, and the military.
 

Jhhnn

No Lifer
Nov 11, 1999
61,658
13,740
136
That used to be the case, but part of the G. W. Bush/Clinton force draw down was integrating the National Guard and Reserve components into our war plans. A Guardsman today is quite likely to be deployed into a combat situation; we simply can't fight a war without them. Guard components are accordingly also much better equipped than Vietnam-era units, although not quite up to active duty unit levels.

One counterbalancing factor I see in having a former active duty POTUS is the tendency to second guess the experts. Unless his or her experience is relatively recent and goes up to the Joint Chiefs level, a former active duty POTUS could not have enough experience to second guess the Chiefs militarily - but he or she might well think so, which would be a major problem. On the plus side, of course, anyone who progressed beyond junior officer would understand the options laid out, and their likely military results.

But I still think the problem with our exhausted military is much more our American priorities than Obama. We simply demand too much while giving too little, and far too much of what we do give is based on political considerations rather than true needs. Obama isn't willing to give up his own priorities to give the military what it truly needs, but neither is Congress or any serious Presidential candidate back to Reagan, who had and faced down a very significant military threat to our nation. I doubt that even Reagan would have expended much political capital building up our military with our most significant likely threat being Iran or some similar nation. Even if we had a former active duty POTUS who made the military his number one priority, I can't see him or her getting enough through Congress to be significantly better than Obama or Bush.
Gotta love the Ronnie fluffing. By the time he took office, the Soviet military was mostly paint & rust, a paper tiger. His spending on the military was pointless other than as a jobs program... & a propaganda mechanism.

He did triple the national debt in the process even as he radically increased payroll taxes on working people & cut income taxes for the wealthy.

Yeh, Ronnie was a peach-



He did make propaganda films while in the military during WW2- does that count?
 
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