Politics in CAP

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Politics in CAP

Post by Poobah on Wed Nov 28, 2007 1:20 am

Do y'all think that CAP gets too political in the upper echelons (wing and up)? After all, this is a MILITARY affiliated organization, and politics should have no bearing on our program.


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Re: Politics in CAP

Post by topgun on Wed Nov 28, 2007 2:14 pm

There is not question that there are politics involved at all levels of CAP. And yes, it effects everybody in the program. We can just argue how much it effects us.

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Re: Politics in CAP

Post by OconnorRT on Sat Dec 01, 2007 1:14 am

We see it on National, Region, and Wing level, even down to individual power trips. I don't think there is any organization that doesn't have some caliber of politics in it. All we can do is work to minimize it.

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Re: Politics in CAP

Post by jsamonas on Thu Dec 20, 2007 6:48 pm

Poobah wrote:Do y'all think that CAP gets too political in the upper echelons (wing and up)?

My opinion is that your question is too vague and lacks definition of terms. In its broadest sense, politics is "the process by which groups of people make decisions." Going by this definition of politics, it seems natural to me that CAP (and most organizations) must be "political" in the higher echelons of leadership. I'll get back to this in a moment.

A quick aside:
Poobah wrote:After all, this is a MILITARY affiliated organization, and politics should have no bearing on our program.

Carl von Clausewitz wrote:"It is of course well known that the only source of war is politics ... war is simply a continuation of political intercourse, with the addition of other means."
Clausewitz was a soldier, military historian, and military theorist. While I'm not advocating which of you is more "right", I submit that your statement that "politics should have no bearing on our program" is rather vague and lacks clarity, so I shall try to add direction to your discussion.

I assume you speak of the "bad" politics that happens in the levels way above our heads. In that case, what constitutes "bad" politics? I feel like it would be easier to categorize policies as good or bad when one looks at a number of criteria. For example, was sponsoring a CAP race car a good or bad policy? (I'll let you decide yourself.) Is organizing a number of NCSAs in the summer for Cadets a good or bad policy? Was changing our name to U.S. CAP a good or bad policy? Is allowing C/Lt Col's 3 tries on the Spaatz a good or bad policy? These questions seem easy to answer at a glance, but when you fully consider the opinions and feelings of a wide group of people (try 60,000+ in CAP), you may find that placing policies into one of two categories is harder than it seems. How, then, can we objectively and categorically condemn the politics in higher echelons that creates said policies?

I hear time and time again "I hate politics" or "Oh, I don't involve myself in the politics". Some people who eschew the politics of the organization may see themselves as taking a noble step towards a better CAP. I've gradually come to see that decision as a failure to adapt to the organization and the climate within. I'm not speaking of those who don't involve themselves in the politics for personal reasons, such as not having enough time or patience, or who are making the decision with actual thought. Those who instinctively refuse to learn and understand the politics of the organization simply because the connotation of the "P-word" scares them lack imagination. If my political CAP goal was to become the National Commander and increase Cadet Programs funding, would I be "too political"? Would you want to "work to minimize" the politics then?

My intent with this message is not to belittle, anger, or upset anyone. I'm trying to share with you that politics is not an inherently evil machine that will ultimately destroy a person or organization. I want you to ask yourself some questions -- why do I want to minimize politics? How can the political process be improved? How have CAP politics shaped the cadet program and the organization in general? Look at this a little more objectively and let me know what you come up with.

Then again, if I've completely missed the mark, feel free to tell me that too.

I look forward to reading some of your thoughts.


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