Thursday, October 14, 2004


A Chasm

From the Times-Dispatch:

October 11 editions of Military Times publications (Navy Times, Army Times, Marine Corps Times, Air Force Times) carried an astounding story not likely to get much coverage in the establishment press.

Staff writer Gordon Trowbridge wrote as follows:

President Bush re- tains overwhelming sup- port among the mili- tary's professional core despite a troubled mission in Iraq and an opponent who is a decorated combat veteran, a Military Times survey of more than 4,000 readers indicates.

Bush leads Democratic Senator John Kerry 73 percent to 18 percent in the voluntary survey of 4,165 active-duty, National Guard, and reserve subscribers . . . .

Though the results of the Military Times 2004 Election Survey are not representative of the opinions of the military as a whole, they are a disappointment to Democrats who hoped Kerry's record and doubts about Bush would give their candidate an opening in a traditionally Republican group with tremendous symbolic value in a closely contested election . . . .

Officers and enlisted troops, active-duty members and reservists, those who have served in combat zones and those who haven't, all supported Bush by large margins. And the survey hints that Kerry's emphasis of his decorated service in Vietnam may have done more harm than good with those in uniform.

Duke poli-sci prof Peter Feaver, noting Kerry "has wooed the military more ardently than ever before," says of the survey: "Frankly, the margin [for Bush] greatly exceeds anything that I or any other analyst had expected."

THE MILITARY Times survey, with its yawning 55-point chasm between support for Bush and support for Kerry, confirms much about two cultures in America - one military and insistently conservative, the other civilian and far less so.

Specifically (1) the two cultures agree on little regarding the defense of the nation and the role of the military in it. And (2) they share increasingly few values about life - especially the values inhering in political ideology as it spills into their daily routines - in these United States.

(emphasis added)

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