7.04.2004

Fahrenheit Fact no. 31: Large number of Congresspeople are veterans

Moore does his best in Fahrenheit 9/11 to present U.S. Congresspeople as wealthy, ignorant aristocrats who send poor soldiers to die in a war zone to which they will not commit their own children. However, a bit of research shows us that our representatives and senators may not be as aloof as Moore implies: According to a tally compiled by Richard Aragon and John Rossie, 101 of the men and women sitting in the House of Representatives formerly served in the military. Of these, 17 saw active duty in combat zones. When we consider that there are 435 seats in the House, we see that close to a fourth of them gave a portion of their lives to the U.S. military. The Senate numbers are even more surprising. Of the 100 U.S. Senators, 36 of them are former military servicemen (9 of whom saw combat duty). That means a little over a third of America's senators once served in the very vocation Moore implies they know nothing about. -TRC (Thanks to David Kopel's article for the lead)