I may be the only incredibly conservative blogger who thinks the Military got it right with the original finding on the subject of Sergeant Gary Stein’s remarks about President Obama.
I want to point out three very important points about this specific situation, from both sides of the argument, and point out that you don’t have to agree with me.
Military members making political comments
Firstly: every American should and does have the right to free speech, the responsibility to gauge morality and ethics in each situation hey face, and No military representative is encouraged to perform illegal or unethical/immoral activity. If a marine (or any other specific military representative) is subjected to unfair orders, or those which are under question, they have the right to get it resolved. It is clear that those who go against the grain in the branches of the American Armed forces are singled out; this story is not much different. No one will ever say from my organization that Sgt. Stein was unable to have an opinion or to determine his limits on a given topic.
However, given the situation, Sgt. Stein didn’t make a very wise decision. As many military members know, there are other channels to express your concerns, different measures to be taken to accomplish your goal.
Secondly: as a conservative, I believe that at least part of my ideals include the important theory that we must maintain our history that has worked. Our military members have been stalwart and organized in every administration in history; there has never been a time in American history after the civil war when the National standing armed forces have ever questioned their boss, or acted contrary to their leaders decisions. Like you, I believe Barack Obama is a bad president, I believe he is wrong in his foreign policy; wrong to allow a cut in military budgets, and a bad example of someone who should be followed. BUT Barack Obama WAS elected, he IS our president, and if you work in a position that mandates you should not complain about his leadership BY CONTRACT, then under penalty of Job loss, or even worse, you SHOULD NOT complain about his leadership.
Gary Stein should not be embarrassed for his opinions, he should not be afraid to speak his mind, but as a military member, he should have held his tongue. Unfortunately he was made an example of. It’s disgusting that this man lost (or faces losing) his benefits and is subject for Dishonorable discharge, but the facts are the facts. HE KNEW he could not act this way, and he knew he only had a small amount of time to perform his duties without issues to retire and retain his benefits. It’s a sad case of a mistake overly punished to prove a point in an election year. Mr. Stein had a choice, and made the wrong one. In the end, military members know going into their contracts, that they must not air their political opinions if it could even be misconstrued as disruptive t the organization of their military contemporaries or subordinates.
Thirdly: we are in need of people who can maintain organization, a united front, and a respectful demeanor in the armed forces. It is part of the work we do. It is part of why we are the only remaining superpower in the world. We are the American Armed Forces, who are above reproach in a world of dictatorships, disturbing atrocities of war and immorality, despite some small blips on the radar like a few Viet Nam incidents and the Guantanamo Bay situation (among a few others).
If we cannot maintain that image, we risk looking ridiculous at best, and losing allies at worse. Sure, realistically we could do this whole World Power thing on our own with the right President and administration, but we shouldn’t at this point. Currently we need as many friends as we can get without spending money to get them. I have several friends and family members who I have invited to interview on my website, but they have opted out, without admitting why; I suspect (because I know them) that it is a direct result of the fact that they have strong opinions of the current leadership of this country, but uphold their obligation to stay neutral at minimum. I respect this, and believe this type of “Conservatism” is incredibly important.
It is important to note that my position is one of personal beliefs, not rhetoric to maintain some illusion of what I think we are. I believe those who represent our armed forces are every bit the citizen as any other citizen, and should be able to have an opinion, but the question is whether we should revamp (?) the contract with the military and the people in it, NOT whether a man who agreed not to do something, should be able to get away with it simply because Barack Obama is a bad leader.
Military members may not like him either…but…
There is no question in my mind that Barack Obama is a bad leader, and in my mind he NEEDS to be replaced. But if I were a representative in the armed forces I would respect the agreement I made.
Now, don’t mistake for a minute that I am somehow against Sgt. Stein, or in favor of protecting Obama’s image. Every man and woman in the armed forces (every branch) deserves our respect, regardless of the actions they take in the heat of battle (within reason). They have made a decision to defend our freedoms and they are one of the most important factors in our continuing and enduring freedom. Four years of idiocy will not cripple this incredible nation, and we cannot allow our military representatives to undermine the solidarity of the leadership of our country, no matter how foolish hey have been. Barack Obama is not able to sink this great nation in four years, and he will not be able to continue if we do our part as free and able citizens to voice the truth and help other citizens to make reasonable and proper decisions.
Now he doesn’t have to abide by the same rules of active military members
Activism is important, but so too, is reason, and rationale. In this case, the military got the decision right. I hope that Sergeant Stein does not get too beat up on his exit from his otherwise stellar service record and emerges to become a powerful driving force in removing this horrible president. I for one support his political activism, and would offer him a spot on my team in a heartbeat, now that he has the right to make his opinions well known. He now has the opportunity to become more than just a hero Marine, he now can become a hero to those who know the POTUS is the wrong man for the job the next four years.