Could Make for Some Interesting Debate

Day-Tripper

5-Year Member
After World War 2 you could not run for political office in America without a military record. This lasted from 1946 (when young men like John F Kennedy & Richard Nixon got elected just months off of active duty) until the early 1990s. Now, when 99% of American manhood either doesn't serve or is never even asked to, not so much.

Since the early 1990s the following war veterans have lost elections to opponents who never served at all (or at least on active duty):

George HW Bush (fighter pilot, shot down over the Pacific)
Robert Dole (nearly killed fighting Wehrmacht in Italy)
Al Gore (REMF, but at least he served, as a "senator's son" he didn't have to)
John Kerry (3 purple hearts)
John McCain (fighter pilot, 5.5 yrs in NVA prison camp)
Max Cleland (triple amputee in Vietnam)
James Webb (Medal of Honor winner; best candidate of either party in 2016; confirmed to occasionally read this website)

Compare this to the overall political success of Vietnam War draft dodgers, whom I will refrain from naming (I could be typing all night long & I'm on my 9th gin & tonic, so I won't bother.)
 

flieger83

Super Moderator
10-Year Member
After World War 2 you could not run for political office in America without a military record. This lasted from 1946 (when young men like John F Kennedy & Richard Nixon got elected just months off of active duty) until the early 1990s. Now, when 99% of American manhood either doesn't serve or is never even asked to, not so much.

Since the early 1990s the following war veterans have lost elections to opponents who never served at all (or at least on active duty):

George HW Bush (fighter pilot, shot down over the Pacific)
Robert Dole (nearly killed fighting Wehrmacht in Italy)
Al Gore (REMF, but at least he served, as a "senator's son" he didn't have to)
John Kerry (3 purple hearts)
John McCain (fighter pilot, 5.5 yrs in NVA prison camp)
Max Cleland (triple amputee in Vietnam)
James Webb (Medal of Honor winner; best candidate of either party in 2016; confirmed to occasionally read this website)

Compare this to the overall political success of Vietnam War draft dodgers, whom I will refrain from naming (I could be typing all night long & I'm on my 9th gin & tonic, so I won't bother.)
Uh...just for accuracy sake; if you mean James Webb, USNA graduate, politician, etc...etc...his decorations don't include the Medal of Honor: Navy Cross, Silver Star, Bronze Star, Purple Heart, and a group of others.

Steve
USAFA ALO
USAFA '83
 
@flieger83 Are you sure about that? I always understood that he had earned awards. His web site states: "First in his class of 243 at the Marine Corps Officer’s Basic School, he served as a rifle platoon and company commander in Vietnam and was awarded the Navy Cross, the Silver Star Medal, two Bronze Star Medals, and two Purple Hearts." The Wikipedia entry for him shows the same (and is sourced). It also has this great story about the Navy Cross award:
"...when the enemy threw another grenade. Observing the grenade land dangerously close to his companion, First Lieutenant Webb simultaneously fired his weapon at the enemy, pushed the Marine away from the grenade, and shielded him from the explosion with his own body. Although sustaining painful fragmentation wounds from the explosion, he managed to throw a grenade into the aperture and completely destroy the remaining bunker. By his courage, aggressive leadership, and selfless devotion to duty, First Lieutenant Webb upheld the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and of the United States Naval Service.

In the October 13, 2015 CNN Democratic Debate, when asked, "Which enemy are you most proud of?", Webb stated, "I'd have to say, the enemy soldier that threw the grenade that wounded me, but he’s not around right now to talk to.”[/QUOTE]
 

NavyHoops

Super Moderator
5-Year Member
I believe the issue was with the MOH. He has definitely earned the other awards, but Mr Webb is not a MOH 'winner'.

Note - I hate using the word winner as it's not a game or something to be won. Just wanted to make no one misconstrued my use of 'winner.'
 

cb7893

5-Year Member
Bush 41 flew a bomber. (Just read the Jon Meacham bio)

Bush 43 served in the Texas Air Nat'l Guard

McCain flew an A-something or other. (Read his book years ago)

Webb ran unsuccessfully for President last year. None of his opponents in the Democratic Primary served in the Military
 

NTWLF ONE

Member
President George H.W. Bush flew the TBM Avenger, a torpedo/bomber with VT-51 off USS San Jacinto.

President George W. Bush was a F-102 Delta Dagger fighter/interceptor pilot with the TX ANG, 111th Fighter/Interceptor squadron

Senator John McCain was shot down on his 23rd mission flying an A-4 Skyhawk with VA-163. He also survived the horrible flight deck fire onboard USS Forrestal (CV-59) off the coast of Vietnam. If you watch the grainy PLAT video closely, you can see him egressing from his aircraft as it lights off.
 

kinnem

Moderator
5-Year Member
Note - I hate using the word winner as it's not a game or something to be won. Just wanted to make no one misconstrued my use of 'winner.'
I often catching myself making the same mistake.... even when "talking" to myself - as do must people. On better days I immediately change it to "was awarded" or "awardee". It feels so much better to me but I'm confident others have thought of more appropriate phrases.
 

NTWLF ONE

Member
"The Medal of Honor is the highest award for valor in action against an enemy force which can be bestowed upon an individual serving in the Armed Services of the United States. Generally presented to its recipient by the President of the United States of America in the name of Congress."

A service member is a recipient of the Medal of Honor.
 

Day-Tripper

5-Year Member
It's too late to Google this info, but I didn't realize that Dole, Gore, Kerry, and McCain lost elections. Also, Webb retired from the Senate, he wasn't defeated.
And the dodgers are a nonpartisan group: Clinton, Biden, Romney, Cheney and Trump to name a few.
But there is a small influx of veterans, so things look hopeful: http://taskandpurpose.com/meet-7-veterans-newly-elected-congress/
It's too late to Google this info, but I didn't realize that Dole, Gore, Kerry, and McCain lost elections. Also, Webb retired from the Senate, he wasn't defeated.
And the dodgers are a nonpartisan group: Clinton, Biden, Romney, Cheney and Trump to name a few.
But there is a small influx of veterans, so things look hopeful: http://taskandpurpose.com/meet-7-veterans-newly-elected-congress/
Bob Dole ran for president several times and lost, most recently in 1996 to Bill Clinton.
Al Gore lost to George W Bush in the 2000 presidential election.
John Kerry also lost to George W Bush, in the 2004 presidential election.
John McCain lost to George W Bush in the GOP primary in 2000 & to Barrack Obama in the general election in 2008.
Jim Webb lost the Democratic primaries in 2016.

That's a whole lot of cumulative military experience losing to a lot of opponents who never served (at least on active duty, nod to GW Bush).

It's pretty much a given that the 2+ million American veterans of the Vietnam War won't produce a single individual who will become an American president.
 

AF6872

10-Year Member
For a guy who never lost an election I would nominate MOH recipient Senator Daniel Inouye. I mostly never agreed with his politics but I respected him as a patriotic man. For the record I always admired Tip O'Neill although he never served. Hey, we were all stoners so who would want us as President. Haven't you seen Platoon or Apocalypse Now?
 
Last edited:

Day-Tripper

5-Year Member
For a guy who never lost an election I would nominate MOH recipient Senator Daniel Inouye. I mostly never agreed with his politics but I respected him as a patriotic man. For the record I always admired Tip O'Neill although he never served. Hey, we were all stoners so who would want us as President. Haven't you seen Platoon or Apocalypse Now?
Hey sometimes people who've lost elections are regarded pretty well regarded, historically speaking.

For example,

John Adams
Andrew Jackson
Abraham Lincoln
Teddy Roosevelt
Gerald Ford
Ronald Reagan
George HW Bush
Winston Churchill (a few times)
 
Top