MSM Killing Military Recruiting
By: Warner Todd Huston
With the talk of Charlie Rangelâ€™s second try to get the draft reinstated, it is interesting to take a look at how leftists are attempting to destroy our military and one of the ways the left is trying to undermine our military is by attacking its recruiting base in high schools across the country. Activists are trying to persuade kids of military recruitment age to “opt out” from allowing their schools to provide the student’s public information to military sources.
The anti-military left has also found a constant assistant in the MSM toward this goal. Every few months the MSM comes out with articles highlighting military recruiting and invariably they also give free publicity to the anti-ilitary groups trying to stop recruiting.
For example, a recent USA Today report, titled Some opt out of military options, introduces us to a school in northern Illinois where a large number of parents, totaling about half the class, have signed forms to stop the school from sending the military their info — a trend that has grown there since at least 2004.
USA Today helpfully supplies a graphic showing the “Opt out” split in the school body. 2004 saw 2,126 opt outers in a student body of 4,505. 2,802 of 4,573 in 2005 and 2,920 out of 4,472 this school year. This stat shows a pretty steady growth toward the anti-military position.
It almost mirrors the voting trend north of Chicago in Lake County, Illinois, where the school is located.
Lincolnshire, Illinois, a northern suburb of the city of Chicago, is in Lake county. It broke close to even in the 2004 election with 50% going for Bush and 48% going for Kerry. And, while they voted overwhelmingly for Democrat Barack Obama in 2004, the rest of the votes were weighted Republican at least since the 2000 general election. But in this 2006 cycle, the GOP took a hit with Democratic votes gaining for most of the top offices, as it did in many areas of the country.
But, what the USA Today article proves most clearly, is that the left is doing what it does best; organize. And they are organizing in an effort to undermine the US military. The article covers several organizations that have organized to fight Military recruiters from having access to school records.
Even cities have taken up the anti-military cause. The school board in San Francisco has recently banned the Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps from operating in city high schools, despite complaints from students, over the â€œdonâ€™t ask, don’t tellâ€ that supposedly discriminates against gays. School board member, Eric Mar, was quoted as saying “â€¦in many ways, we’re preventing military values on students at the high-school level.â€
The reason I use this article as an example, though, is in the unusual aspect of it. It gives both sides of the argument where few others do. This article gives space to military spokesmen and gives some info to mitigate the attacks by the anti-military left. The most salient points being that the military isn’t asking for any more information than colleges and Universities get from schools and that the military can get the student’s info from other sources quite legally, anyway.
Still, we get a pretty detailed listing of several of the anti-military groups formed to mount an attack on the US military’s ability to recruit in schools. In that USA Today helps the anti-military as much as possible.
As I said, that mirrors the common drift of most of the stories on the issue of recruiting. A quick perusal of some of the stories over the last couple of years — since the war in Iraq started — on military recruiting shows a constant drumbeat against the military. Whether it be a dour report on the military missing its goals or the resistance being mounted in schools to disrupt military recruit efforts, these stories constantly show a heavy bias against the military.
A few examples:
A writer from the Portland Oregonian gins up a tale about how military recruiter’s misconduct ” is a growing national problem as the military faces increasing pressure to hit recruiting targets during an unpopular war.” ( a story the subject of which that I proved to be pure hyperbole since the stats show an extremely low number of such cases.US Army Recruiters’ ‘Misconduct’ Over Reported By Media )
The San Francisco Chronicle delighted in reporting that the “U.S. is recruiting misfits for army
Felons, racists, gang members fill in the ranks”.
A2005 story informs us that the army is having trouble because “Parents can opt to deny this information to recruiters, and antiwar groups are mounting a national effort to encourage them to do so.”
Then there was the 2004 PBS story that highlighted the work of “the head of a local San Diego peace group which has serious problems with military recruitment at high schools.”
In 2002, Mother Jones Magazine complained that military recruiters access to students “undercuts the authority of some local school districts, including San Francisco and Portland, Oregon, that have barred recruiters from schools on the grounds that the military discriminates against gays and lesbians.”
In any case, the inference is clear. The stories show a mounting effort to undermine the US military’s recruitment efforts. Sadly, in this time of mounting security risks, one of the most threatening things that recruiters face seem not to be the prospect of new recruits being sent into combat, but teachers and unpatriotic parents telling their kids they don’t have any duty to their country.
We have heard the sobriquet of “Greatest Generation” bestowed upon those who fought WWII. One wonders what title these kinds of people might be saddled with in the decades to come? Perhaps the “Weakest Generation”? And, it would not be the mantle given to the youngsters who now serve, but their parent’s generation, instead.