Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul has received plenty of support from the men and women in uniform. He has raised more money from those in uniform than any other Republican and as well as any Democrat. That includes President Barak Obama, the Commander in Chief.
The men and women in the military have the same rights as the rest of us on their personal time. They can donate money to political campaigns, work on elections and even go door to door in support of a political candidate. All of this according to the military code of conduct but also as granted in the Constitution and supported by any responsible community.
Cpl. Jesse Thorsen is just like any other individual that lives in the United States. That is except he is a reservist. As a reservist and in his fatigues, he was interviewed on CNN. During that interview, he endorsed Ron Paul for president. Thorsen later spoke at a rally for the presidential candidate. While he is allowed to support any candidate he wants, he just can’t do it in uniform. This rule is also part of the military code of conduct. (…and yes according to the Constitution and supported by any responsible community.)
In many countries around the world, the military commanders stand with selected candidates for office. This is their way of showing support for a political view point, a view point that is often directed by the military junta that controls the day to day activities of the government. Their appearance with candidates doesn’t support a free and open election process. Instead, it creates fear in the hearts of the voters who are being told how to vote – or else, some great harm will come their way to them and their families.
The authors of the Constitution knew in very personal terms the results of having the military stand over their shoulders when voting. Not only from what the English did to the colonist, but what was happening in Europe. That is why there are a lot of road blocks to military control. As a couple of examples, military budgets can’t be approved for more than two years and military personnel could not be quartered in private homes without permission.
Ron Paul, perhaps more than any other candidate, runs a campaign based on respect for the Constitution. In numerated and enumerated ways, the document makes it clear that the military is to stay out of elections and the civilian government. While Paul may not have been able to control the interview of Thorsen on CNN, Paul should not have allowed the corporal to speak at the rally.
Is this an oversight on Paul’s part or his campaign managers? Perhaps it is the mangers, but Paul isn’t the point. Let’s keep the military out of the elections. Unless, of course, we want to move the country in the direction of establishing Eisenhower’s military industrial complex he warned about.