“The Military Is the True ‘Third Rail’ of American Politics”

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Provocative piece by a history professor at the U.S. Naval Academy – and a Marine reserve officer, to boot – in Monday’s New York Times.

Aaron B. O’Connell rues what he sees as the “spiritual effects of permanent preparations for war.”

He notes that it’s not those in uniform most responsible for this current state:

Our culture has militarized considerably since Eisenhower’s era, and civilians, not the armed services, have been the principal cause. From lawmakers’ constant use of “support our troops” to justify defense spending, to TV programs and video games like “NCIS,” “Homeland” and “Call of Duty,” to NBC’s shameful and unreal reality show “Stars Earn Stripes,” Americans are subjected to a daily diet of stories that valorize the military while the storytellers pursue their own opportunistic political and commercial agendas. Of course, veterans should be thanked for serving their country, as should police officers, emergency workers and teachers. But no institution — particularly one financed by the taxpayers — should be immune from thoughtful criticism.

But that, O’Connell fears, is where we are today. Check out his full piece here.