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Why have none of the GOP presidential contenders ever served in the military?

When I hear the bellicose ravings of the candidates seeking the Republican presidential nomination, I despair. I'm particularly discouraged by Sen. Marco Rubio, who wants to start ground wars in four different countries.

You recently published columnist Cal Thomas, who never met a war he didn't advocate, wanting a contract on entitlements ("Time for a new Contract with America," March 5). I hoped for some response. Seeing none I would like to suggest a fallacy in his thinking.

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Not all government functions are accomplished with an equal amount of ease. The "entitlements" that Mr. Thomas wants to curtail from his Christian Right Country Club are actually fairly routine government functions. No civilized social democracy has great difficulty providing for what should be considered basic human rights such as food, shelter and health care.

Given our gargantuan wealth there is no reason why any American should be homeless, starving or unable to secure health care. Governments are good at making sure these basic needs are obtained, although Mr. Thomas clearly wants to make these harder to get.

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By contrast, starting ground wars in the Middle East is trickier than a 10-foot snake. No good outcome is ever a given despite the best intentions and expenditures of blood and treasure.

It is my understanding that all of the candidates for president are non-combatants. To paraphrase one of my favorite writers ( Paul Fussell) I don't demand that Sen. Ted Cruz, Gov. John Kasich, Donald Trump or Mr. Rubio be exposed to battlefield carnage. I only note that none of them have been.

Paul R. Schlitz Jr., Baltimore


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