COLUMBIA, SC — Michael Glymph was raised during two wars that he did not agree with.
The 23-year-old president of the S.C. Young Democrats is pleased that Democratic President Barack Obama has ended the war in Iraq and plans to withdraw U.S. troops from Afghanistan in 2014.
“We just keep losing Americans lives,” he said, referring to the more than 6,600 U.S. service members who have died in the two wars. “I don’t think these were justified wars.”
After graduating from Dutch Fork High School, Glymph majored in political science at Francis Marion University in Florence. He developed a chapter of College Democrats on campus and now works on an issues campaign with hopes of becoming a political consultant.
The Columbia-area native fears a victory by Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney will bring back the policies of former GOP President George W. Bush, who led the United States into the Iraq war after America was attacked by terrorists, based in Afghanistan.
Romney, a former Massachusetts governor, has said he would boost defense spending to levels closer to where they were after 9/11.
Advocates of that buildup say the United States, after leaving Iraq and soon Afghanistan, risks having the same sort of “hollow,” incapable military that the country had after the end of the Vietnam War. In particular, they point to the rise of China and say the United States needs a larger Navy, which Romney has promised to build, to protest U.S. interests in the Pacific.
Glymph isn’t buying that argument.
“We spend tons of money on the military each year,” he said. “I don’t think Barack Obama is trying to weaken the military.”
Glymph thinks the United States is prepared to face any future conflict, including Iran, which the United States and other countries fear is trying to develop nuclear weapons, a move that could destabilize the Mideast. While the United States and others now are employing economic sanctions against Iran, neither Democrat Obama nor Republican Romney have ruled out eventually using military force to cripple or destroy Iran’s nuclear program.
Glymph says Obama has helped America impose its strength by killing Osama bin Laden and weakening al Qaeda.
“America is a much safer place than it was four years ago,” he said.