Mitt Romney was a Draft Dodger

Some voters will make this the reason why Mitt Romney will not get their vote. Others will not care.

During the Vietnam War, especially from 1965-70, many college aged draft eligible men refused to fight the Vietnam War. I guess, one could say it was the fashion or style of the day. This rebellion against authority or those in control germinated with The Beatles in an innocent fashion-long hair and rock music. I know, it is hard to believe. Once the genie was out of the bottle, there was this silent distrust of anyone who was older than 30 yrs. It was a sort of "given" with many teens and college age kids.

The best movie to capture this is "Across the Universe", where it starts in an innocent, respectful time and quickly turns into rebellion of all things "old". The Vietnam war, rock music, drugs, long hair and how you dressed defined on what side you were on then.

Mitt Romney was 19 then, just starting Stanford. From 1965 to 1969, the clean cut young man, avoided the war with draft deferments because he was a Mormon and in college. This was the legal way to avoid fighting in the jungles. The other way, was to run into Canada or elsewhere and wait it out. In fact, none of the Romney boys then (all five) went to the war and avoided it using the same criteria. The military draft had other classifications one could use to avoid going, like, being a homosexual, drug use. In fact, if you were in the military then, you could get a discharge for either claiming to be a homo or using drugs, like weed.

Romney claims that he always supported the American fight there in Nam, but hell if he was going there to help. Romney did protest against the anti-war protesters but Mitt had no intention to serve in the military. By 1970, he opposed the war and now 23 yrs.old. He was still eligible for the draft, but by then, the draft itself was on its last year or so, his number was simply too high to worry about it.

To many vets, this avoidance of serving in the military is a serious flaw. Why? Obama never did. Romney did what millions of college age men did legally. He did not run off to Canada. Does this make him a bad presidential candidate? For some, yes. Some Americans think it is patriotic to always serve in a war that is just a waste, just do your duty. That, it is not patriotic to voice and rebel against what is not right.

Some say that the 58,000 lives lost in Vietnam was worth it. It preserved the "American" way somehow. It was the right thing at the time. Well, 20\20 is always easier in hindsight. But, those who did protest that war and did avoid the draft have been proven right. Vietnam won. Now, they make clothes and Nike shoes that Americans wear and they are still communist. Those lives were utterly wasted.

Some say that Iraq and Afghanistan are similar in the end. With Iraq, I tend to think is was worth it but I agree 100% that the Afghanistan war was and remains a waste. Sometimes, trying to do the noble thing is just not appreciated.

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Comments 41 comments

mikelong profile image

mikelong 4 years ago from The largest convict colony in the United States

I am no supporter of wasteful war...especially Vietnam and our latest Iraqi "adventures"..

However, I think it is wrong for those (especially) who avoid military service to then champion national defense and the military.

Obama was never old enough to live in the draft era, and until after September 11th, the United States didn't really have any real military conflicts. He might not have served, but there was no purpose to do so at that time.

If Romney's religion kept him out of military service (conscientious objector status), then it should probably keep him from serving as the commander in chief. The uber religious will say that they can't be in positions where life-taking takes place....but, the last time I checked, the President is at least partially responsible for taking lives around the world....

But, for Willard, this appears to simply be another flip-flop. If he has to do the hard work in the field and pull the trigger it's immoral....but if he can sit in the White House it's fine?

What a hypocrite that guy is!


John 4 years ago

Your article is inaccurate and fails to make a point. Romney does not meet the definition of a "draft dodger." He chose not to leave college and VOLUNTEER. I think very few us with military experience will hold that against him. I've also never heard of Mormons being exempted from the draft during the Vietnam War. I do know that I've trained Mormons and they are excellent troops.

As for Obama, if he were attempting to join the military today he would be rejected by most services because of his drug use. The Army might take him, but that would require a morals waiver. If he did get in, he would be limited to his specialty based on an inability to obtain a high clearance. Pretty ironic.

Also, those of us with military experience do appreciate a Comander in Chief who understands the military and the only way to truly understand it is through military service. It is certainly not a disqualifier, but certainly is a plus.

It is very clear from your article that you have not served in the military and do not understand the viewpoints of veterans. There is nothing wrong with that until you attempt to say how we feel.


mikelong profile image

mikelong 4 years ago from The largest convict colony in the United States

John:

I served in the Marines. When someone wants to talk tough on defense and praise veterans I weigh his/her credibility on actions. It bothers me that some are eager to gain the reigns of power, but when they were on the "little guy" end they did whatever they could to avoid being subject to that same system.

Romney did what other wealthy Americans were doing. Were there wealthy Americans who joined up? Oh yes, I am not saying there weren't some who didn't....but I don't see them running for the Commander in Chief position. The Church of Latterday Saints was known for abusing it's

"foreign missionary" programs to keep its members from being drafted....It is what it is...

In terms of drug use, Obama's use would have not mattered, and if he had enlisted he probably would not have told the recruiters..(why should he?)..which means it wouldn't have mattered.

I used to have a TS/SCI clearance....but, regardless of their prior drug use, most military members will never have one. Most specialties in the military require little to no clearance status.

Romney is no man to be trusted in my book...


John 4 years ago

mikelong, if Romney did in fact claim to a be a conscientious objector, then I would not vote for him to be Commander in Chief. If he claimed that status only to avoid service in Vietnam, there is a much bigger issue. Either way, I think it would have come out by now if he did.


mikelong profile image

mikelong 4 years ago from The largest convict colony in the United States


John 4 years ago

Mike, you beat to the response. I didn't see your last post. I agree with the vast majority of what you have to say. I personally would rather have Romney in office than Obama. Ideally I would like to see Ron Paul in that position, but that's never going to happen. Our differences at this point seem to based on personal preference. My background is MI and I currently work for a government contractor. I have an active SCI clearance. I find it a little disturbing that the POTUS would not qualify for one through normal channels.


mikelong profile image

mikelong 4 years ago from The largest convict colony in the United States

Would George W. Bush have qualified? (Without familial connections?)

What of his drug use?

"Drug use"....

This is so rampant inside and outside of the military that it becomes a non-issue.

I worked in MI, and I watched legal drug use (alcohol) and otherwise (whether steroids or other illicit drugs) get used. Our special forces company was rocked with a huge methamphetamine scandal (of course, that's how they stay up for days on end and have the energy to do what they do).

If we look into the past of our presidents, I think we will find a lot of "drug" use. This is nothing new.

A great percentage of our Presidents would have failed to gain such clearances...if all was open and fair.


perrya profile image

perrya 4 years ago Author

Whether Romney did use his religion to dodge the draft, which is what he did, bothers only a portion of Americans. I am sure some vets are not bothered by it because it was a norm to do so for those who did not hold the war was valid. Just because the political wing gets the US into a war does not mean it is just. Other vets are offended because they did not step up and defend America as they were told. But, that was then. We all make bad decisions at 19-23, to hold it against Mitt is just about personal values of what is right or wrong. Mitt might be better than Obama in foreign affairs. Obama is trying to avoid war with Iran at all costs, some may call it appeasement, which will result in the same manner-some sort of conflict. Mitt might have had less patience had he been president. Being in the military as a grunt does not make you more qualified to be president. Now Eisenhower was the exception.


John 4 years ago

Mike, I respect your service and your viewpoints. If the article you posted is accurate, and Romney signed up as a missionary in France only to avoid military service, then I do see a problem. That's a little different to me than a college deferment.

As for the drug debate, that could go on forever.


perrya profile image

perrya 4 years ago Author

Who did not try weed back then, at least once, at a party just because it was cool?


Kyledude profile image

Kyledude 4 years ago

I know I "experimented" a little.


SweetiePie profile image

SweetiePie 4 years ago from Southern California, USA

I am not a big fan of any of the wars, which are just a big dose of foreign intervention that diverts money away from American education and infrastructure. I cannot fathom the talk of cutting school days, teacher pay, and federal jobs when there is still the reality we give foreign aid to other countries, and continue a military presence in many regions. I believe in the self-determination of people, and the Iraq war displaced a lot of people. Saddam was a dictator for certain, but he was also a secularist. Soon after the Iraq war started there was news of women who did not wear head coverings being harassed in the streets, which is something that never happened in Iraq before. A lot of Christians left the country because the war gave more extremists sects reign to harass people. Very little good came out of this war, and we diverted a lot of American resources on it. Now we have the drone attacks, which are just creating more enemies that eliminating. It is one thing to look out for our defense at home, but invading other countries and playing world empire is what made our economy tank. The British discovered they could not do it, and neither should we.


perrya profile image

perrya 4 years ago Author

Thanks sweetie.


SweetiePie profile image

SweetiePie 4 years ago from Southern California, USA

The right wing media is also playing up that Iran wants to start a nuclear war, which it actually is far less likely to do than any other country with nuclear weapons. Look at Pakistan they are still considered an ally, and we give them lots of aid, and they do have nuclear weapons. Iran belongs to nuclear proliferation treaties, and the hype about their nuclear weapons build up is just hype.

A lot of Iranians in Tehran are civilized and cosmopolitan, and they hate their extremist religious government. Republicans live in the land of the isolated mindset in that they might actually want to show these young people some respect, and realize they are not war bent. Did anyone forget the election of 2009, and the protests against Ahmadinejad?

Now the reality is Republicans and the industrial-military-corporate complex has an interest in this fear mongering because war makes money for this sector, even if the rest of the economy is languishing. Romney would be horrid with foreign policy in that he is an antagonist, and whereas I did not agree with Ron Paul on domestic issues, he was the only one out there speaking sanity on this. The Russians are smarter in that they are not messing around in others foreign affairs today, they have given up that game. So the best foreign policy ideas were actually Ron Paul's, and even though I am voting for Obama again, he is far more interventionist than I had hoped.


Kyledude profile image

Kyledude 4 years ago

Wow, I like to smoke a little pot too, but you are misguided.


Kyledude profile image

Kyledude 4 years ago

"The right wing media is also playing up that Iran wants to start a nuclear war, which it actually is far less likely to do than any other country with nuclear weapons."

Iran does not yet have nuclear weapons.

"Look at Pakistan they are still considered an ally, and we give them lots of aid, and they do have nuclear weapons."

Calling them an ally is quite a stretch. We kill terrorists in their country without their permission. The U.S. just killed Al Queda's number 2 there the other day.

"Iran belongs to nuclear proliferation treaties, and the hype about their nuclear weapons build up is just hype."

Treaties with them don't mean shit.

"A lot of Iranians in Tehran are civilized and cosmopolitan, and they hate their extremist religious government."

Ok, they live in cities and probably should not have overthrown the Shah. Agreed.

"Republicans live in the land of the isolated mindset in that they might actually want to show these young people some respect, and realize they are not war bent."

You mind fucked me on this one.

"Did anyone forget the election of 2009, and the protests against Ahmadinejad?"

See previous answer concerning the Shah.

"Now the reality is Republicans and the industrial-military-corporate complex has an interest in this fear mongering because war makes money for this sector, even if the rest of the economy is languishing. Romney would be horrid with foreign policy in that he is an antagonist, and whereas I did not agree with Ron Paul on domestic issues, he was the only one out there speaking sanity on this."

Very simplistic and the issue is not partisan.

"The Russians are smarter in that they are not messing around in others foreign affairs today, they have given up that game."

No, remember Georgia and if that's not enough just wait.

"So the best foreign policy ideas were actually Ron Paul's, and even though I am voting for Obama again, he is far more interventionist than I had hoped."

I like Ron Paul a lot. Obama can suck my balls.


SweetiePie profile image

SweetiePie 4 years ago from Southern California, USA

@kyledude, You are so rude and out of line. I do not smoke or drink at all, I am a teetotaler. I would not have insulted you, but you are way out of line. You probably buy all the Republican propaganda, but you have not done any outside research. Have you talked to journalists who worked in Tehran, have you read their work? Asadeh Moaveni is an American journalist of Iranian descent who lived and worked there, and her research and articles talk about how the young people hate their oppressive political leaders.

Iranians are not building up a nuclear bomb, but the same people who thought Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction might believe that. In the mean time these drone attacks and wars overseas are creating real enemies, whereas if we withdrew and focused on our economy and infrastructure, things would take their course and eventually Iranians will overthrow their religious leaders. Most Iranians are under the age of forty and less religious than people in countries we are allies with like Saudi Arabia. You might want to read some real info once and awhile. Mr put down committee.


SweetiePie profile image

SweetiePie 4 years ago from Southern California, USA

Oh and I do not agree with Ron Paul about cutting our infrastructure, but if you actually knew what he talked about, he has admitted he does not see Iran as a nuclear threat. I know a lot of conservatives like him for what he says on the federal reserve, but he is the one who realizes countries should make their own decisions, and does not jump to wild conclusions in foreign policy. Meanwhile, the military-industrial complex makes money when wars continue, so they will never be against it.

My pithy comments are well thought out and well researched. I never put up with the put down committee! And Georgia was back in the 1990's in the pre-Putin era. He is more interested in building up his country's oil reserves. He is not advocating intervening in other countries.


SweetiePie profile image

SweetiePie 4 years ago from Southern California, USA

Another thing Kyledude does not get is the people today in Iran are mostly under forty, and were babies or not even born when the shah was overthrown. A lot of secularists thought going along with the Ayatollah at the time was the only way to be rid of him, and they were hoping for a freely elected government. There was still a lot of resentment in Iran after the 1953 Prime Minister Mohammad Mosaddegh, which the British and American governments had supported so the shah could control the country. You see the shah supported foreign oil drilling, and Mossaddegh wanted to nationalize the oil. Now if a foreign country started telling Texans North Dakotan residents they were going to come in and control oil drilling, you know people would be upset. Think about it that way, no country likes another coming in and setting the agenda.

A lot of the secularists who went along with installing the ayatollah regretted it, and fled Iran. Some live in Europe now, and one documentary maker actually befriended the shah's wife. The young people of today were not part of the 1979 Revolution, but they do not want the shah back. They actually yearn for a Democratic government, kind of like what western countries have.


Kyledude profile image

Kyledude 4 years ago

"You are so rude and out of line. I do not smoke or drink at all, I am a teetotaler."

Maybe you should start.

"I would not have insulted you, but you are way out of line. You probably buy all the Republican propaganda, but you have not done any outside research."

You assume I am republican because I disagree with you? Wrong!

"Have you talked to journalists who worked in Tehran, have you read their work? Asadeh Moaveni is an American journalist of Iranian descent who lived and worked there, and her research and articles talk about how the young people hate their oppressive political leaders."

Iran has a young and educated population. They wasted the majority of their previous generation on human wave attacks against the Iraqis. They show a lot of promise.

"Iranians are not building up a nuclear bomb, but the same people who thought Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction might believe that. In the mean time these drone attacks and wars overseas are creating real enemies, whereas if we withdrew and focused on our economy and infrastructure, things would take their course and eventually Iranians will overthrow their religious leaders. Most Iranians are under the age of forty and less religious than people in countries we are allies with like Saudi Arabia. You might want to read some real info once and awhile. Mr put down committee."

Over simplified.

"Oh and I do not agree with Ron Paul about cutting our infrastructure, but if you actually knew what he talked about, he has admitted he does not see Iran as a nuclear threat."

Ron Paul does not want to cut the infrastructure spending. A constitutionalist, true conservative, believes that the governments is there to maintain our infrastructure and provide for a national defense.

"I know a lot of conservatives like him for what he says on the federal reserve, but he is the one who realizes countries should make their own decisions, and does not jump to wild conclusions in foreign policy. Meanwhile, the military-industrial complex makes money when wars continue, so they will never be against it."

Partisan and overly simplified. Military-industrial complex? Do you really believe that is the conspiracy behind all wars?

"My pithy comments are well thought out and well researched. I never put up with the put down committee!"

Again, mind fucked on this one.


Billrrrr profile image

Billrrrr 4 years ago from Cape Cod

If you are not old enough to have lived through the Viet Nam era, it's going to be hard for you to understand just how unpopular that 'Conflict' was among the citizens of the United States.

Desert Storm, Iraqi, & Afghan vets are revered and respected.

Viet Nam vets were not. Those brave soldiers had to fight an unwinnable war on two fronts: One overseas and the other at home.

Not since the Civil War, have young men been so conflicted about whether to serve.

We must always honor those who did; as we try to understand those who did not.


SweetiePie profile image

SweetiePie 4 years ago from Southern California, USA

First off, swearing is not allowed on Hubpages, and I have done my research and I know what I am talking about. If you think the industrial-military complex is a conspiracy theory, you have not done the research. I do not care if you disagree with me, but I do know you are highly misinformed about world politics. You said the young people of Iran should not have overthrown the shah, when it was their parents who did. You probably never did the research to find out a lot of secularist who did support the overthrow of the shah regret the situation because they went from censorship to no freedom at all. You know during the shah's time he made laws like no one could photograph a camel because he thought it would not make the country modern. People who protested against the government were imprisoned and their was not democracy. The people of Iran were not happy when the Americans and the British turned the other eye during the overthrow of Prime Minister Mohammad Mosaddegh, who was their popularly elected people. Iranians came from several decades of realizing others were controlling their affairs, and they did not like it. There is nothing over simplified about that, but I notice when people point out research like I am, they get called the f word. I am not going to worry about it as you seem to like food fights and not true discourse.


SweetiePie profile image

SweetiePie 4 years ago from Southern California, USA

Also, I need to kind of put the gentlemen's club in perspective here. People like me who read history know that veterans were respected and heroes during World War II, but we also know Korea was a very unpopular war. Actually, I talked to some Korean War vets a few years ago who said they felt under appreciated, even though the protests against these wars were never like the ones against Vietnam. Also, there has always been some civil disobedience and protest to wars from the onset of our country. Thoreau went to prison because he refused to pay taxes for the Mexican-American war because he did not agree with it. Admittedly those who were opposed to war were far less until recent times, but in the past we did not have all out war. In the nuclear age people realize an all out war would be catastrophic to human life, and most countries and people do not want that. A lot of young people today say yes we can recognize veterans, and we should, but there comes a time you need to recognize other patriotic Americans as well. None of you gents would be able to go off to war if it were not for your mom raising you, your teacher who taught you how to read, and many other people who are patriots just as much as soldiers. The world has evolved, and there are many heroes in the current era.


Kyledude profile image

Kyledude 4 years ago

I think you need to broaden your research and I never said anything about intercourse.


Kyledude profile image

Kyledude 4 years ago

Damn it Billrrr, stop with the swearing.


Kyledude profile image

Kyledude 4 years ago

Calling this a gentleman's club is also inaccurate. There is never this much talking from women and a lot more nudity.


SweetiePie profile image

SweetiePie 4 years ago from Southern California, USA

The gentlemen's club like a country club where men think only the ones who served are the heroes. I was not even thinking about that other kind of club, I guess we know where your mind is.


Kyledude profile image

Kyledude 4 years ago

Titties?


Billrrrr profile image

Billrrrr 4 years ago from Cape Cod

Kyledude. Good debate on Hubpages is encouraged. Swearing and rudeness is NOT. Since you are new to our group, you probably did not realize that you can be BANNED for these actions.

Issues, not personalities.


perrya profile image

perrya 4 years ago Author

try to stay on topic and avoid personal insults. Yes, Korean war was unpopular, but less so than Vietnam. Iran is building a bomb, only those who are naive would believe they are not. The iranian people are great, they actually like when Americans go there. Very intelligent and English is mandated in schools. If the under 30 crowd could overthrow the government, the new one would be much more pro-west. Tehran is very modern, they have Apple, american car shows and other very western things.Someone should just assassinate its leader.


SweetiePie profile image

SweetiePie 4 years ago from Southern California, USA

Certainly not naive and no Iran is not building a bomb more than any other country in the region. Remember how everyone fell for the propaganda that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction? Let us be careful. Pakistan has nuclear weapons, and so does India, and they actually are more likely to get in a nuclear war with each other than Iran would be towards the west. Most countries ultimately do not want atomic warfare, I refuse to prescribe to the propaganda only being bandied about in the US. Even a lot of Israelis shake their heads at this.

Iran has has actually been attacked by other countries, like back during the Iraq-Iran War. However, as a person who has done their research, I stand by everything I have said. I encourage people to read some books written by people who have worked and researched in Iran in recent times, like Asadehi Moaveni. So it is fine I got sworn at and was treated rude, I am over it. I am the strong cookie type, I stand up for myself.


perrya profile image

perrya 4 years ago Author

Great, because I think your opinion is fine but I think there is enough evidence from satellites, the nuclear talks, the nuclear agencies watching to fully dispute you. In 1938, France and England tried to appease Hitler's ambitions, he played them for a fool. Iran's government is doing it. Iran has vowed to destroy Israel. Then there is Iran supporting Syria now, Hamas and Hezbollah.


dahoglund profile image

dahoglund 4 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids

You say that he was a draft dodger and than say he followed the rules. That to me is not a draft dodger.Clinton actually did avoid it by the legal promise he made to the National Guard and then broke. I find your headline misleading.


perrya profile image

perrya 4 years ago Author

not at all. Semantics. Even if you legally do it via deferments for education, religion, homosexuality, drugs, you are dodging it because anyone can claim them before or after they are in the service.


Kyledude profile image

Kyledude 4 years ago

They certainly are trying to build a nuke and we need to shut them down. I think we should start with their troops in Syria. The world is not a pretty place. I'm fine with the hippies wanting peace, but stay out of the way when people actually want to take action.


Kyledude profile image

Kyledude 4 years ago

Perrya, there is a big difference between legally finding an alternative to a war you don't believe in and "dodging."


debbie0730 profile image

debbie0730 3 years ago

Mike - I think you'd be against Romney even if he HAD served. He's damned if he did and damned if he didn't.


The Frog Prince profile image

The Frog Prince 3 years ago from Arlington, TX

What a load of lying garbage you've created here. So what is Obama's excuse?


perrya profile image

perrya 3 years ago Author

Age, obama would be far too young to go to Vietnam.


Skarlet profile image

Skarlet 3 years ago from California

I am with you Frog and Debbie- Anything to create a negative image of Romney.

Even if this were true, which I know it isn't, I would vote for creating a better economy rather than four more years of Nothing.

Funny how liberals were so against the war and were praising "draft dodgers" and now they are offended by the possibility.


perrya profile image

perrya 3 years ago Author

I may vote for him. If he dodged, it is old history.

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