John Nagl: Does Military Service Still Matter for the Presidency?Roundup: Talking About History
John Nagl, a retired Army officer, is the Minerva professor at the U.S. Naval Academy and a veteran of both wars in Iraq. He is the author of "Learning to Eat Soup With a Knife: Counterinsurgency Lessons From Malaya and Vietnam."
In every presidential election since 1992, the candidate with the less distinguished military résumé has triumphed.
Bill Clinton defeated war heroes George H.W. Bush and Bob Dole; National Guard pilot George W. Bush beat Vietnam veterans Al Gore and John Kerry; and Barack Obama was decisively elected over John McCain, who had displayed extraordinary valor during years of captivity as a Navy pilot in North Vietnam.
In 2012, we won’t have the chance to test this trend: For the first time in modern American history, neither major candidate for the presidency has any military experience.
This is a dramatic change. The crucible of combat not only created these United States but has also given us many of our most successful presidents...
comments powered by Disqus
- Trump Budget Proposes Devastating Cuts to Federal History, Archival & Education Programs
- Alabama governor signs law giving thousands of felons their right to vote back
- Jerusalem Post recalls history of the Six-Day War
- Smithsonian launches campaign to raise $10 million for women’s history initiative
- Trump Was Not Always So Linguistically Challenged
- Jill Lepore: Americans Aren't Just Divided Politically, They're Divided Over History Too
- AHA joins protest of Trump’s plan for drastic cuts to the NEH
- Diane Ravitch says the Democrats paved the way for the education secretary's efforts to privatize our public schools
- Mark Moyar explains why he came to believe the Vietnam War was winnable
- How should Texas high schoolers learn history?