Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Military Matters

Sort-of related to the topic of whether military experience is a good thing to have in a president; it occurs to me that some of highest ranking military people to be president were decidedly mediocre or even bad. Eisenhower, Grant, and Washington were as high ranking as you can get in the military and none of them were particularly good as president. Grant was awful. Washington was burdened with having to be the first in a new nation so I guess we can cut him some slack.

My guess is that generaling and being president are different jobs with different skill sets needed. Being good as one does not necessarily mean you will be good at the other. And there have been some excellent presidents who were never in the military. Lincoln, while he did spend a very limited amount of time in the Illinois militia hunting injuns, wasn’t a military man by any measure and he turned out to be a very effective commander-in-chief. Same with FDR.
Having said that, I think any experience in life helps make one a more rounded person, so I guess having military experience would be a plus. However, time spent in the military can also take away from other life experiences that might be useful too, so it’s kind of a wash for me.

No comments: