Friday, June 10, 2005

Why Don't Young Republicans Enlist?


One would think that young Republican men and women, filled with chest thumping patriotic fervor and quick to label Democrats as traitors and anti-American, would be flocking to their local recruitment centers to support their president and go overseas, do a little Crusadin', and kick some Ay-rab butt.

So why, then, are we facing a crisis in our all-volunteer Army? The Chicago Sun-Times reports that the Army is likely to fall short of its full-year recruiting goals for the first time since 1999. The numbers are so poor that the Army reduced its recruitment goal for May, explaining that they needed to "adjust for changing market conditions". Yes, indeed, the market for young Republican chickenhawks is dropping like a rock.

Perhaps our Republican friends are simply emulating one of their heroes, Dick Cheney, who received five draft deferments during the Vietnam war and justified his cowardice by saying he had "other priorities in the '60s". They might be following the example of their beloved war president who ran to his daddy to keep him out of Nam and then deserted the cushy assignment he'd been given while the country was at war.

Perhaps our Republican friends have been spooked by the many scandals that have rocked military recruitment centers, where recruiters are so desperate for cannon fodder they've been reduced to intimidating teenagers and even kidnapping potential soldiers for our Imperial Army.

Or perhaps, as we suspected all along, our young Republican friends are simply cowards, ready to talk tough and slap yellow ribbons on the back of their SUV's but, when push comes to shove, they hide like frightened children and expect, as their leaders did three decades ago, poor people to fight their wars.

The Army, realizing that it was a mistake to appeal to the patriotism of young Republicans, is now considering a much more successful strategy - appealing to their greed. Army officials are considering asking Congress to double the bonus given to new recruits to $40,000, as well as providing up to $50,000 in home mortgage assistance for those signing up for an eight-year tour of duty (smart of the Army; they know they won't live that long after a few whirls through our new Empire, so this will be cash they can put in the kitty for our next war of aggression in Iran).

In the end, though, despite the attractive strategy of shoveling money at young Republicans to do what Democrats have always done for free, the "cash for your ass" plan is doomed to fail with this bunch. Reason? It's in the photograph above. They'll cheer for our country, smear political opponents for it, howl about "defending our freedom" for it, but they won't die for it.

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