“I think people who have had the same experiences connect with people who have had the same experiences. That’s human nature. If you polled the military, the active duty and veterans, and said ‘would you rather have a president of the United States that never served a day in the military or someone who is a veteran?’ They’ve going to say, I would venture, that they would like to have a veteran.
The president had the opportunity to serve his country. I’m sure at some time he made the decision that isn’t what he wanted to do. [emphasis added]“
– Rick Perry, officially an asshole
Seriously, anyone who reads here knows I am no fan of Obama, however this is beyond the pale. Frankly it’s insulting to all of us who never opted to join the military, which is both the vast majority of Americans and the vast majority of our leaders over the years.
Certainly those who have served in the military have the right to feel proud, though I would note that if perhaps there weren’t so many willing, there’d be fewer wars of choice, but nonetheless anyone who risks their lives for others rightly earns praise. However this nation was built on the premise of civilian leadership, particularly of the military. Moreover our forefathers rightly were against standing armies, something that “originalists” seem to always forget. This emphasis on military bona fides should concern us all.
Again, there is no reason not to be proud of having served, however there is no reason not to be proud if you didn’t.
That said, I don’t think Perry cares. He’s just being an asshole and trying to score political points.