A continuing trend of veterans and active-duty military leaning Libertarian?
According to new polling, Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson has more support from military veterans than the other presidential candidates. Recent polling of active military showed 37% of respondents chose Johnson, reports The Hill.
Depending upon the accuracy of the polling, it may serve as further evidence that military service members are increasingly Libertarian.
The Hill reported:
The online poll of 1,399 people, released Monday by We Are The Mighty, Doctrine Man, Military OneClick and GotYourSix, was conducted between Sept. 7 and Sept. 10 via SurveyMonkey. The poll has a margin of error of 3 percent.
Johnson has garnered strong support from the military in previous surveys — taking 39 percent among active-duty respondents in a Doctrine Man poll conducted in July, and 13 percent in a Military Times poll earlier that month.
GOP nominee Donald Trump came in second at 30% while Democrat nominee Hillary Clinton received only 24%.
Johnson has said he wants to balance the budget and “cut military spending by 43 percent down to 2003 levels and reduce the U.S. nuclear arsenal.”
Despite an outcry from veterans, Johnson could not participate in the Commander-in-Chief forum hosted by MSBNC and the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA). Veterans lashed out at the IAVA for not including Johnson:
“If you don’t let Johnson debate, you can’t claim to be a group that speaks for veterans in any way,” wrote one person.
“It’s shameful for a veterans group to not invite the candidate most popular with veterans,” wrote another.
Angry veterans then contacted sponsors of IAVA. The organization lost Duke Cannon Supply Co.’s sponsorship, one of its biggest sponsors, which is also well respected by veterans.
In response, the IAVA indicated they would hold a separate event for Johnson.
In 2012, GOP nominee Ron Paul, who identifies as libertarian, received the most donations from active-duty military than any other nominee. US News reported Paul received $150,000 from active-duty military in the fourth quarter of fundraising. Mitt Romney, the eventual nominee, and Newt Gingrich only received $10,000 each.
As Doug Bandow at Huffington Post pointed out, most people think those in the military crave and desire war. But polls over the years have shown more and more military members have crossed over to the libertarians, who are non-interventionalists. (They are NOT isolationists. There is a YUGE difference.) Bandow wrote:
While service personnel are willing to serve in combat, most do not want to do so absent compelling circumstances. And few of the interests ivolved in Washington’s conflicts can be considered serious let alone vital. A Marines Corp veteran who supported Paul told [New York Times writer Timothy] Egan that service members “realize they’re being utilized for other purposes – nation building and being world’s policeman – and it’s not what they signed up for.”
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