Retired SEAL Dan Crenshaw thinks vets can help clean up politics

Eric Dehm
May 11, 2018 - 3:19 pm

Photo courtesy Dan Crenshaw

Dan Crenshaw has given a lot for his country. An IED blast in Afghanistan took one of his eyes while he was deployed with SEAL Team 3. Crenshaw understood his enemy in Afghanistan, but he can't say the same for his political opponents as he campaigns for the Republican nomination in the race for Texas's 2nd Congressional District. 

Crenshaw is now in a run-off for the nomination and up to this point he's been accused, among other things, of sending supporters to pull up yard signs (something he strongly denies) and even being a leftist hiding his true views. He's also had his "real world experience" questioned, and been described by a well-known supporter of his opponent as jobless, and living at home with his parents. Technically that's accurate, but leaves out that the retired SEAL veteran recently moved back home to Houston after earning a Masters at Harvard, and shortly thereafter announced his intention to run for the seat. So no, he's not some shiftless layabout crashing in his mom's basement.

It's gotten so bad that the Houston Chronicle columnist Erica Grieder wrote a recent column calling on Crenshaw's opponent to knock it off. Funny enough, she claims that the reason given by some supporters of the opposing campaign for their tactics is that they were prepared to take on any of the others who sought the nomination, but Crenshaw is "too cool" and "sexy."  

In their defense, he was the only possible opponent capable of tweeting out something like this:

Regardless of how "cool" he is, Crenshaw would like it to stop too, calling the mudslinging his "least favorite" part of campaigning. Still, during an appearance on the Morning Briefing radio show, he said that despite the frustration of that kind of politics, he's happy to be running and hopes more veterans seek office in the near future. He says that they, like him, can draw on their military experience to power through the negativity. 

It's just a world I'm not used to but that doesn't mean we can't fight against it," Crenshaw said. "...In Afghanistan and Iraq we would often get cowardly fire and rounds hitting us from the sides but we just hunker down and keep going, we don't turn the mission around."

He also believes there are many similarities between political and military service, even if he doesn't ejoy the political life quite as much as he did being a SEAL.

"It's a little different," Crenshaw says "The job is maybe not as rewarding, you are being taken down a lot. You have to look at it like a calling, it's a public service, you're doing it for a good reason. You should absolutely get involved, especially those local politics like school board seats. That's really where America happens."

You can listen to the full interview with Crenshaw discussing the run-off, how he balances the amount he talks about his military service and much more below.

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