It is official. Red-staters are more patriotic than blue staters.
Even more important than these general demographic shifts is the change wrought by the end of the draft in 1973. Until then, military service was distributed pretty evenly across regions. But that is no longer true. The residential patterns for current veterans and the patterns of state-level contributions of new recruits to the all-volunteer military have a distinct geographic tilt. And tellingly, the map of military service since 1973 aligns closely with electoral maps distinguishing red from blue states.
In 1969, the 10 states with the highest percentage of veterans were, in order: Wyoming, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, California, Oregon, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Ohio, Connecticut and Illinois.
In 2007, the 10 states with the highest percentage of post-Vietnam-era veterans were, in order: Alaska, Virginia, Hawaii, Washington, Wyoming, Maine, South Carolina, Montana, Maryland and Georgia.
Over the past four decades, which states have disappeared from the top 10? California, New Jersey, Massachusetts and Illinois, all big blue states that have voted Democratic in the past five presidential elections. These states and another blue state, New York, which ranked 12th in 1969, are among the 10 states with the lowest number of post-Vietnam vets per capita. New Jersey comes in 50th of the 50 states; just 1 percent of current residents have served in the military since Vietnam.
Yes, the numbers are revealing. To make this more palatable for many, the op-ed was written by a scholar from the Institute for Advanced Study based in Princeton, New Jersey Of course, blue staters will opine that dissent is the ultimate form of patriotism or other such balderdash. I prefer the traditional definition. A patriot is someone who loves his nation so much he is willing to commit the ultimate sacrifice to defend her.
The bias against the South (heavily red states) in major media and among coastal elites (excluding the Gulf Coast, of course) has been scandalous. I made this point-as well as noting the varying degrees of willingness to serve in the military-in an article I wrote for the American Thinker last year, The South Rises.