The political landscape of the United States, and Congress in particular, is constantly changing — one could even claim it is eroding.
The American public’s faith in Congress has never been lower, according to a Gallup survey from late last year that put Congress’ approval ratings at 14%. It has also never been easier to commit military forces to harm’s way.
And, incidentally, there have never been fewer veterans in Congress.
That’s why we wanted to share a GIF that illustrates just how precipitously the veterans population in Congress has fallen. The chart was created by a Tumblr account called the Mendoza Line, but we originally saw it on Imgur.
It used to be that if you wanted to hack it in politics, you needed military experience. At the chart’s peak, in the late 1960s, there were more than 300 veterans in Congress. Today, there are less than 100. Veterans are fewer than 10% of the American population, but there are a lot of good reasons why this country needs a healthy amount of veterans in elected office.
For one thing, military service is one of the oldest and best avenues to civil service. No one understands the spirit of national service better than an American veteran.
Secondly, the perspective of veterans, particularly those who have served in foreign wars, is invaluable when this country’s leaders debate putting American forces in harm’s way. It’s a lot easier to sign off on a congressional authorization of military force when you’ve never been in that position. We have separation of power codified in our Constitution for good reason, and we need elected officials who will hold the president accountable when he or she acts as commander-in-chief. Elected representatives with military experience have the credibility and background necessary to do that.
Lastly, look at the GIF. Watch what happens as the veteran representation in Congress evaporates. It gives rise to a new kind of elected representative, someone described in the charts only as “public service/ politics.”
Do you think the concurrent rise of professional politicians and the fall of public trust in Congress is a coincidence? Neither do I.
Benjamin Franklin nailed it when he said, "Fatigue is the best pillow." True story, Benny. There's nothing like pushing your body so far past exhaustion that you'd willingly, even longingly, take a nap on a concrete slab.
Staff Sgt. Daniel Christopher Evans was arrested on Jan. 29, 2018. (Photo courtesy of Wilmington Police Department, North Carolina.)
A special operations Marine is due in court on March 7 after being arrested last year for allegedly assaulting his girlfriend, Task & Purpose has learned.
Staff Sgt. Daniel Christopher Evans was arrested and charged with assault inflicting serious injury on July 29, 2018, according to Jennifer Dandron, a spokeswoman for police in Wilmington, North Carolina. Evans is currently assigned as a Critical Skills Operator with the 2nd Marine Raider Battalion at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, according to the Marine Corps Personnel Locator.
U.S. Army 1st Lt. Elyse Ping Medvigy conducts a call-for-fire during an artillery shoot south of Kandahar Airfield, Afghanistan, Aug. 22, 2014. Medvigy, a fire support officer assigned to the 4th Infantry Division's Company D, 1st Battalion, 12th Infantry Regiment, 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, is the first female company fire support officer to serve in an infantry brigade combat team supporting Operation Enduring Freedom. U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Whitney Houston (Photo by U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Whitney Houston)
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So earlier this week when the Wall Street Journal published an editorial against women in ground combat by conservative political commentator Heather Mac Donald, the inclination of many ground combat integration supporters was to dismiss it outright. But given Trump's proclivity to make knee jerk policy decisions in response to falling approval ratings and the court's tradition of deference to the military when it comes to policies affecting good order and discipline, it would be unwise to assume the 2016 lifting of the ban on women in ground combat is a done deal.
R. Lee Ermey was laid to rest at Arlington National Cemetery on Friday.
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A B-2 Spirit bomber deployed from Whiteman Air Force Base, Missouri, and F-22 Raptors from the Hawaii Air National Guard's 154th Wing fly near Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii, during a interoperability training mission Jan. 15, 2019. (U.S. Air Force/Master Sgt. Russ Scalf)
The U.S. Air Force has two of its most elite aircraft — the B-2 Spirit bomber and the F-22 Raptor — training together in the Pacific, reassuring America's allies and sending a warning to strategic competitors and adversaries about the sheer power the U.S. brings to the table.
These stunning photos show the powerful aircraft tearing across the Pacific, where the U.S. has increasingly found itself facing challenges from a rising China.