16 May 2010

Soldier Citizens Step Forward

Real Clear Politics: Soldier-Citizens to the Rescue?

Usually a handful of ex-soldiers seek political office every election cycle. But well over 20 Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans are running this fall for Congress alone. Almost all are riding a wave of public anger at incumbents over a profligate government and dishonest Wall Street -- and a general feeling that the current Democratic remedy has proven as bad as, or worse than, the recent Republican disease.

The shenanigans of the previously Republican-controlled Congress -- the "Culture of Corruption" -- simply continued under the congressional Democrat majority, thanks to the likes of Chris Dodd, William Jefferson, Eric Massa, Charles Rangel and the late John Murtha.

Reform candidate Barack Obama has run up more debt in 15 months than unpopular spendthrift George W. Bush did in eight years. Obama once talked of a new unity, but he has polarized America far more rapidly than did the cowboy-sounding "decider" Bush.

In other words, the public is desperate for civic-minded leaders who are untainted by Washington, but who have a proven record of competent service on behalf of the nation.

We live in a wartime of economic crisis, crushing debt and endemic political corruption. Rules, obligations and laws don't seem to matter. Personal honor is an archaic, fossilized concept.

But suddenly, amid public malaise, dozens of nontraditional soldier-citizens have stepped forward out of the shadows to argue that right now in America, neither money nor incumbency matters as much as civic duty and the old idea of public service. And unlike most of us, they once put their lives on the line to prove just that.

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