Some of them suck. Some are dishonest. Some are lazy. Some are corrupt. Some are psychotic.
Can I say that? Is that too controversial? Does stating this mean I hate America? Seriously, this military-worship has got to stop. It seems to me that Wal-Mart’s new policy of “We guarantee we will hire any honorably discharged veteran” is incredibly short-sighted, and likely to leave them with plenty of awful, less-qualified employees. Please don’t think I’m just some military-hating leftist here, I’m still on active duty myself, so I know what I’m talking about. I’ve seen it first-hand. I’ve worked with some complete and total losers who have been honorably discharged. The only way to get anything other than an honorable discharge is to fail a drug test or commit a serious (felony-level) offense.
This policy is, essentially, affirmative action for veterans, and with it will come the litany of problems that always accompany affirmative action, the most significant of which is that it demeans everyone who is a part of the group. The fact of the matter is that I don’t want any job unless I’m the most qualified applicant. I don’t want people to suspect that the only reason I was hired is because I’m a veteran. Quite frankly, there are plenty of veterans who aren’t fit to be a cashier at Wal-Mart. You can see them every day on the street corner holding up cardboard signs (fortunately, many of those people are lying about being veterans, but presumably some of them are not).
So the next time you’re at Wal-Mart and you receive exceptionally poor customer service, ask yourself whether this policy might have been a factor. Whether Wal-Mart hired an unqualified applicant solely because they used to be in the military. Once this policy goes into effect, I would recommend avoiding Wal-Mart at all costs.
I am a little confused about your attitude on Veterans. I agree that ‘affirmative action’ for veterans is a literal loser (since I think that everything veterans gain as a ‘bonus’ should be available to anyone who is willing to do what it takes to obtain it) but aren’t veterans, specifically combat veterans, entitled to respect? Isn’t the risks they have taken, their very own lives, the definition of ‘earning their place’?
Bear in mind, I am a veteran of an earlier era. I see the joke that modern day ‘service’ has become and compare it to my own experiences… the times when it wasn’t about ‘getting an education’ or ‘sitting in a cubicle in uniform for four years and therefore being set for life’, but rather it was about ‘willingly putting your own body, life, and soul in between an enemy and the people you are sworn to protect’
Bear in mind, I suppose I would strictly be considered a paleoconservative (If I understand the definition correctly) rather than a true libertarian.
The thing is, actual ‘affirmative action’ is rigidly a form of identity politics, meaning that it grants special priveleges to special groups of people WHO HAVE DONE NOTHING TO EARN THE PRIVELEGE. If ANYONE in this country has done something worthy of privilege, wouldn’t it be those who have willingly offered up their most cherished possession, their own life, given away their ‘human rights’ for a period not less than 4 years, in an attempt to satisfy honor, and protect their own?
I am not disagreeing with many of your assertions… today’s military is a bloated mockery, used as a political bludgeon rather than the defensive force it was intended for, but each individual? they are not responsible for the obscene uses to which they were put, and almost every one of the actual ‘combat veterans’ would still willingly lay down his life to protect his community… doesn’t that count for SOMETHING? doesn’t that deserve at least a modicum of respect?
This deserves an answer, but my answer is a little complicated. Also, I don’t want to talk in-depth about my own experiences until I’m officially out (which is still about a month away). Look forward to an entire post addressing your questions sometime in late September.
Short version: No, I don’t think the military is entitled to anything special, not even “respect.” They do a job and they get paid for it. So does the guy who makes my hamburgers at McDonalds. I might be willing to entertain the notion that individuals who were drafted into the military deserve something special, but that’s probably about it.
I take it you are an officer?
it might be a difference in the officer versus enlisted mindset. I am looking forward to your post, since I am likely to bring up a lot of disagreements based upon the enlisted, old-school point of view. Even your ‘job’ within the military might have a strong influence upon your point of view. But, of course, I will keep my disagreements polite 🙂
My biggest argument is, of course, that ‘Walmart can do whatever the hell it wants to’. If that means preferential hiring of veterans, or even refusing to hire veterans, well… it’s their store. If the stockholders disagree, they will move their money elsewhere.