Leadership: February 20, 2000


In the last few years, sundry studies showed that American military officers were becoming increasingly Republican and conservative. These surveys tend to dwell on officers negative attitudes towards homosexuality backing for the death penalty. But when you dig a little deeper you find also tend, more than their civilian counterparts, to favor handgun controls and abortion rights. Officers were likely than their civilian counterparts, to oppose things like banning books "advocating dangerous ideas" Moreover, enlisted personnel are less likely to be Republicans than their peers entering college. One thing that apparently encouraged, and spotlighted, the shift to right among officers was the election of Bill Clinton as president (and the military's commander in chief) in 1992. One of Clinton's campaign promises was to allow homosexuals to serve openly in the military. Officers had always opposed this, and seeing Clinton pandering to a miniscule advocacy group even if it caused considerable problems in the military. For the first time in American history, officers openly criticized the president. Not quite a mutiny, but disturbing enough to make the news. 


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