First, a reader with an angle I had not thought about, involving the way people considering a life in politics handle their first decade or so of adulthood. The reader’s conclusion is, “If you want people in Congress who have done something else in their lives besides politics … veterans are probably your best bet.” The case:
I wonder if the "advantage" of having a new generation of veterans entering Congress (and to the extent it is an advantage, it certainly doesn't outweigh the downsides of the policy choices that made all of these people veterans), is that it creates a path to a political career that isn't this:
The thing about veterans is they are often making a career move in their mid 30s or early 40s … prime age to make a first run for Congress, and an age at which much of the rest of the population is fairly locked into their career path.
I'm 34...there's no way I could take the time off of work for a campaign with no guarantee of a job at the end, and no way I would let go of the job security I have for the uncertainty of a life in politics.
If you want people in Congress who have done something else in their lives besides politics, who are average enough Americans to need to worry about getting their monthly paychecks and job security, veterans are probably your best bet.
Next, from another reader, a more skeptical view of the effect of a military background:
I respect the service of these men and women as well as the With Honor mission. But the emphasis on military service as some sort of qualification for elected office troubles me.