How The Military Personnel Stands On Politics and Social Media

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Up to now, national politics was not a priority for the military. Largely, military personnel only cared for a president and administration that encouraged the military both financially and morally. But due to the past administration, many believe those days are in the past resulting from severe financial cuts in the defense budget.

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Twitter and Facebook have become a normal part of life for just about everybody, even the military. However, social media may not be so great for the reputation of the military when it comes to political neutrality.

A new survey of 500 West Point cadets and active-duty officers showed that 75% have seen fellow officers promote or share politically charged posts and links on their feeds. Another 33% said they have seen military members actually advocated for a specific candidate or put one down online. This is usually considered off limits for the military.

The survey also found many other things including:

• 54% called themselves Republican
• 24% called themselves Democrats
• 14% stated they are Independents
• 47% stated they identify as conservatives
• 32% said they are moderate
• 22% stated they identify as liberal

Military Reputation and Social Media

In previous surveys, as many as 65% have stated they were conservatives.

Some believe open participation in politics on social media may come with consequences for the military. Since the United States military is known as the most trusted institution, it cannot be engaging in partisan politics. It has long been considered above the political gray, but that may be changing.

This survey has brought up many questions including:

• Should active-duty military men and women be able to express their political opinions?
• Should the military allow for political talk on social media from service members?
• Is the military really becoming more diverse with politics?
• Should military service members keep their political opinions off Facebook and Twitter?

These questions are very important and may lead to the military taking some sort of action before the reputation changes. Remaining as a nonpartisan entity is important when it comes to the confidence and trust people feel towards the military. Engaging in politics on social media threatens this trust and confidence and many think it shouldn’t be allowed.

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