Sometimes I wonder if some of my liberal fellow-citizens really don’t like change, progress, innovation, and experimentation all that much. I really thought that conservatives were the ones who were supposed to look only at traditional solutions, while liberals were open to a variety of ideas.
This afternoon I was doing some writing in my living room, where I sometimes work when the juices are flowing slowly. There’s nothing like turning on a little TV news to annoy me enough so that I’ll start writing at my maximum typing speed. The story that got me started today was about a Marine run High School in Chicago. The link is not to the story I was watching, because I changed channels and can’t remember where that was, but the story and the tone is the same.
Here we have a High School that young people want to get into, that offers an opportunity for discipline and learning in a structured environment, and what do the critics have to say? Oh no! We’re preparing them to be soldiers! In this case that should be Marines, but why should an Air Force vet like me care about a minor issue like that?
Now I have to wonder why it is such a bad thing if these young people are prepared for military service. That gives them an option, even a number of options, including reserve and national guard service. It should also prepare them to go into training to become police officers for example. But more importantly, especially in areas where the public schools do not provide an education in a disciplined environment it will simply produce a high proportion of students who can successfully go on to college or to training for other careers.
It is not the only option for students, and there are certainly students who don’t belong there, but we should welcome such opportunities, especially in the public school system. Providing options that work should be regarded as a good thing.
Finally, we need a military made up of people who are willing to carry out the orders of the civilian leadership. Any horror one may feel at the orders given to the military–and I myself am horrified by some of those orders–should pale in comparison to the thought of a military that is not prepared to carry out the orders of civilian authority, or of a country with no professional military service at all.
Complaints of poor people being forced into military service do not reflect well, in my view, on those complaining. It’s a risky job, but it is a job. It is a job that needs to be carried out, and we should honor each and every person who is willing to do it. We should not denigrate them by suggesting they’re just too stupid to do anything else.
PS: While I was writing this, the story came up on Fox News whose interviewer asked the imbecilic question–“Why do you need so many of these schools?” Hmm!?!? Perhaps they work?