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President Bush the "War President" and the Next Generation of Young Republicans

By by Bill Hansman  Posted by Walter Brasch (about the submitter)       (Page 1 of 1 pages)   8 comments
 Since the start of his Presidency, George Bush has thought of himself as more than just President Bush. He has worked hard to fashion himself in the image of some of this nation’s great leaders, with the greatest emphasis on Presidents that served this country during our most dire-hour of need—when this country was at “War.”Notwithstanding the events of September 11, 2001, President Bush got his chance in March of 2003 when he ordered the attack on Iraq and he became the embodiment of his most admired Presidents; George Bush became the “War President.” During his interview with Tim Russert, George Bush explained to the nation that he was a “War President” and that he had war on his mind. During that interview and subsequent interviews and speeches Bush was sure to make it clear to everyone listening that he relished his new role of “War President.”Sadly, the one side of all this that was never covered in the press and never discussed anywhere among all the talking heads that fill our Sunday morning talk shows is that no President in the history of the United States that served this country during time of War ever relished the idea, nor flaunted it the way President Bush seems to do in every public appearance.So why has this not caught fire within the ranks of the Republican Party especially among the ranks of the next generation of Republicans, the “Young Republicans”? As this war now drags on through its fifth year and all the branches of the Armed Forces seem to have so much trouble recruiting, where are all the Bush “Young Republicans”? Even his twin daughters show little interest in the war and seem to avoid any connection to it. With their father being the self-proclaimed “War President” one would think that Jenna and Barbara Bush, if not volunteering for duty themselves would be marrying someone in the military. But, Jenna’s new husband, who formerly worked for Karl Rove, never served in the military and, apparently, has no intention of serving. Why aren’t the children of the leaders of the Republican Party as enthusiastic as their parents when it comes to fighting terrorism and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Could it be that paying lip service in support of the war is much preferred among the “Young Republicans” than actually having to have skin in the game by enlisting to defend this nation? As a song once asked, “Where have all the young men gone”? We could be asking that of the “Young Republicans.” Where have they gone? Why is it that they do not volunteer?About a week ago, the “Nightly News with Brian Williams” aired a story about a military family from New Jersey. The mother joined the New Jersey National Guard to make a better life for her family. Her son joined up when he became of age in order to pay back for what he felt he has received from this great country of ours. To top it all off, her new husband was also in the New Jersey National Guard and all three were scheduled to be deployed to Iraq. This family was by no means enjoying the huge benefits that the last seven years of the Bush Administration brought to the super rich, but still they felt blessed for what they had received, the opportunities, and the freedom and decided that it was indeed an honor to serve. This is most definitely a lesson that has been lost on this generation of “Young Republicans,” most of whom have come from families that live above the middle class and have and will benefit far more than this family serving in the New Jersey National Guard ever will. So Mister “War President,” as you strut through the remaining few months of your Presidency, you should be asking yourself how your message of “Service Duty and Honor” seems to fall to those who have benefited the least from your economic policies while those who have benefited the most, including your own family, seem to run from this responsibility of “Service, Duty and Honor.”[Bill Hansman is a Senior Project Manager for the University System in Maryland. He served in the Navy from 1975 through 1983.]  
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Walter Brasch is an award-winning journalist and professor of journalism emeritus. His current books are Before the First Snow: Stories from the Revolution , America's Unpatriotic Acts: The Federal Government's Violation of (more...)

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