An August 31 speech given by the president to soldiers at Fort Bliss, Texas, was yet another reminder of Obama’s dismal approval among American troops. The Daily Caller reports that his speech “was greeted with fleeting applause and extended periods of silence.” Obama tried several times to engage the crowd to little avail. Unlike Democratic voters, soldiers cannot be pandered to.
One would be forgiven for wondering why he even tries to rally the troops to his cause. The lingering stagnation from his taking credit for the Osama bin Laden raid last year is still a bitter pill with most servicemen. Not to mention the recent “autopen” scandal that claims Obama didn’t actually sign letters to families of soldiers killed in combat. In addition to this, most military members lean to the right and have little time for a left-leaning president. I remember when I was in the Navy during Bill Clinton’s election and for the first three years of his presidency; it was very difficult to find a supporter among my fellow sailors–and he was essentially pro-military. I can only imagine what the anti-Obama sentiment must be like.
Further proving that he is completely out of touch with anything remotely resembling what makes a soldier tick, Obama announced during his speech that police forces nationwide will be stepping up recruitment of former soldiers for police jobs. Can’t understand why that didn’t go over well. Dang, them soldiers is tough. He could barely get a response even when he promised fewer deployments and more time on the home front. Maybe it was because he took more time to congratulate himself for his own administration’s strategy of withdrawal from Iraq and Afghanistan, rather than thanking the troops for doing what was asked of them. Some people just don’t get it.
Like the majority of his voters, Obama believes that soldiers are only in it for themselves; they are only serving in the military to get something out of it. Obama can’t fathom people doing a job, and loving it, because they feel called to it. For all of the complaining that I heard during my four years of military service (And believe me, there is a lot of it. Probably almost as much as there at any workplace, even yours.), there was twice as much pride and dedication when it came time to get to work. American soldiers are no different than most American workers: they appreciate being appreciated. Pandering to them will never go over well.
Rather than trying to convert soldiers and cater to what Obama thinks is their sense of entitlement (after all, what does a liberal president have to offer other than this), maybe Obama could do what the majority of presidents up until now (even Bill Clinton) have typically done when addressing them: say thank you and job well done. Soldiers don’t care about what you can give them, they are only concerned about doing what is expected of them. Like the job or not, soldiers take their work seriously. In this, they are no different than most Americans who get up day after day to do what is expected of them. And this is the true heart of America: the sense of duty and accomplishment, even in the “small things.” Every day that passes only proves that this president, or his administration, or even his speechwriters, have no idea about what make this country tick. In no way is he a “representative” of the people of the United States.