Friday February 2, 2018
The New York Times recently profiled three military veterans who are running for Congress. All three are women and all three graduated from the US Naval Academy in Annapolis. The Times highlighted the military experience of the women, which they plan to rely on to establish their credentials for running for Congress.
Of course, hardly anyone asks the obvious question: Why should serving in the military operate as a credential for serving in Congress? At the risk of belaboring the obvious, the members of Congress don’t personally do the types of things soldiers do, such as drop bombs on people, torture people, or assassinate people. So, why should a person’s military service operate as any special credential for serving as an elected representative in Congress?
Some people might say, “Because they served their country.” That seems to be the mindset of at least one of the three women, Mikie Sherrill, who said, “It’s incredibly important that I decided to serve my country before deciding to run for office.”
But there is one big important thing about her statement: It’s not true. Sherrill, like other US soldiers, was not serving her country when she was a soldier. She was serving her government. There’s a difference, a big one.