Four Stars in Politics and Presidential Elections – Survey Results
By Charles Bausman
Two weeks ago, we wrote an article regarding the rising trend of retired General Officers endorsing Presidential candidates and it’s historical precedence. Here is what we found:
- Of our respondents, 52% are currently active duty, reserve, or national guard military members. 32% are veterans, and 16% are civilian.
- Within the currently serving or veteran responses, 8.7% are E-1 to E-5, 34.8% are E-6 to E-9, 34.7% are O-1 to O-3, and 13% are O-4 to O-6.
- The survey results showed a similar numbers in disapproval for both the endorsing and campaigning for political candidates. 80% of the respondents in both categories disapproved of the retired Generals and Admirals involving themselves in Presidential election process.
Below you will find the graphs depicting your responses, as well as additional comments. Thanks to all of you who responded! Click here for the original article.
“I don’t like it but these gentlemen are civilians upon effective date of retirement. Therefore, they can be as politically involved as any other civilian.”
“4-star Generals never really retire. They are always Generals, and as such, should maintain the sanctity of the institution. A big part of that is non-partisanship.”
“General officers, by and large, are now professional politicians. Very few attach themselves to the apolitical views talked about in this article. It is a congressionally appointed position, with ties to many constituents dollars and votes. To think that these retired generals will not be somehow compensated with contracts, positions, or some other form of payment is ignorant. Most of these men will create a void in the service that only they can fix when they retire. This can be through assisting companies they enforced in their previous life, a contract to replace a program that they, themselves, cancelled a couple of years prior, or advisors for various agencies. To have a view that most of them have the well being of our nation at the forefront of their mind is admirable. They have bought into a bureaucratic system that rewards playing the game of investing and supporting large national corporations, lobbyists, and political moves. Gone are the days of true military statesmen. Officers like Mattis and Nagata are some of the few that actually buy into the ideals of the military officer. War is a profitable and sustainable profession when it comes to the enemy we face. Endorsing candidates will yield some form of reward, regardless of if they choose the winning team. These men have been professional lobbyists years before they left the service. The sad reality is, that most of these retired officers are just continuing the legacy that they have ultimately left on their respective branch.”
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