Free Wheel Exclusives Nonpartisan Opinion

Why Veterans Should Avoid the Two Parties

If you’re a veteran or current service member, I believe you’re a great fit for a new political movement that aims to save America from itself.

First, in the military, there are both written and unwritten rules about expressing political views. It’s clearly written we cannot participate in extremist organizations. There’s also an unwritten rule in which it’s seen as improper for military leaders to voice their political opinions. Thus, our military service helped make us truly apolitical. We have been forced to learn how to discuss politics from a neutral point of view.

Next, we’re a diverse group. We have leaders and followers of all ages, genders, and races who come from a wide variety of socio-economic backgrounds. Look at a few chain of command boards or formations and you’ll see quite a range of individuals. As we enter the senior ranks we work with foreign militaries, blessing us with a foreign look into our own culture, and a window into theirs.  We’re eyewitnesses to the fact that someone’s demographics have no bearing on their level of success and that better outcomes are achieved when people with differing views and backgrounds come together as a team.

Third, we are trained to think from the opposite viewpoint. In the military we red-team our own plans and opinions prior to applying them. This consistent application of “red-team exercises” helps us learn how to think from the other side and apply the other side’s thoughts and actions into our plan. This skill is extremely useful for creating and identifying bipartisan solutions in the current hyper-partisan political environment.

Finally, as military leaders we constantly take pragmatic approaches to solving problems. Every military leader who deploys to a combat environment wants to bring all of their subordinates home alive. However, by the same token, we understand the mission may require us to order our subordinates into harm’s way, causing us to lose someone. We maintain idealistic goals of perfection while recognizing and admitting the realities of each situation.

These qualities make veterans a natural fit as nonpartisans. But what exactly is a nonpartisan?

A Nonpartisan chooses reason over loyalty to party; they don’t simply vote party line. A Nonpartisan attempts to sympathize and empathize with the “other side”, so they can better understand the issue at hand and how to work together to solve it. Nonpartisans more concerned with taking a pragmatic approach and developing solutions to American problems than they are about cementing their party’s power in Washington.

Bottom line, Nonpartisans are America’s solution to a huge political problem.

In conclusion, if you’re a veteran or current service member you should look into being a Nonpartisan. As service members, we’re used to approaching political subjects in a neutral way, understand the benefits of diversity, know how to use other people’s opinions to better our solutions, and take pragmatic approaches to problems, all of which are key ingredients for this new label.

Politicians acting in this pragmatic way won’t always put forth solutions that benefit us the most personally, but these politicians are the best hope for the nation we all love; the nation we swore to put before ourselves.

This article was written by an active duty U.S. Army Captain who wishes to remain anonymous because they are currently serving in a Command position and do not want any chance of their political views affecting command relationships.

The opinions written above are those of an individual service member. This article DOES NOT reflect the opinions of the U.S. Military and is not any sort of official position or endorsement.

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