More Distractions in the 2012 Campaign

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President Obama and his supporters continue to find every excuse imaginable to distract voters from actually reflecting on Obama’s record over the past four years, which can be easily summarized: Disastrous national debt, higher unemployment, greater number of food stamp recipients, and higher levels of poverty. The bottom line is that the politics of distraction and destruction is in full sway and only promises to get worse as we get closer to election day.

Mitt and Ann Speak at Nevada Rally

With respect to distraction, the comment that I just encountered on Twitter is another to add to the growing list from the Democrats, the accusation that Mitt dodged the draft:

@bush46 @mittromneyto @voting4romney surprised they invited a #draftdodger to speak

— its me (@_its_all_good_) September 11, 2012

The Tweet has to do with the terrific speech that Mitt gave to the National Guard Convention in Reno, Nevada, earlier today. His remarks mostly avoided politics and praised the National Guard for their service, and he received a standing ovation. This idea is one on which I have written before, and while the accusation is not new, I find it in some ways surprising. Indeed, given the history of Democrat superstar, President Bill Clinton, it seems downright bizarre that President Obama’s supporters would be bringing this up. With respect to Clinton, I had heard accusations regarding his avoidance of the draft, but I only today delved into the background of what had happened. Anyone interested in the subject can read a letter Clinton wrote from Oxford (where he was on a Rhodes Scholarship) to the Professor of Military Science at the University of Arkansas. Based on a post I found on another site, the whole series of events surrounding Clinton’s actions to avoid service is complex to say the least. Was he a draft dodger? I will leave it to others to decide for themselves.

The bottom line of this whole story around the Vietnam era is that according to an article on conscription on Wikipedia,

The United States enlisted 8,744,000 servicemembers between 1964 and 1975. Of those, 3,403,000 were deployed to Southeast Asia.[49] From a pool of approximately 27 million, the draft raised 2,215,000 men for military service during the Vietnam era.

Doing the math on the number of those drafted from the pool of draft-age young men at the time, that comes to 8% of the population being drafted. That means of course that 92% of young men at the time were in the same category as Mitt Romney and were not drafted. Using the Wikipedia numbers again, we see that others chose to voluntarily enlist which raised the numbers of those serving in the military to 32%.

As to those of us who served as missionaries in France at the time, I can say as I have already written that dodging the draft was not our purpose in becoming missionaries. In fact, of the nine in the group with Mitt and me that left for France on 4 July 1966 two of us are retired Air Force officers. One fellow missionary from that group retired with the rank of colonel, and I am a retired lieutenant colonel. Dane, my colleague on MittTheMan.com severed for a few years as a doctor in the Army. All of us strenuously object to the accusation of draft dodger.

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