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My Introduction to Realpolitik

While the dust is still settling from last Tuesday’s election, I’d like to discuss my own introduction to the realities of the political world.

I had many memorable ship assignments over 36 years in the Navy, but the first one introduced me to realpolitik at an early age.

A political scientist might tell you that there are basically eight types of government: democracy, republic, communism, monarchy, oligarchy, theocracy, fascism, and socialism.

In one three-year tour overseas, I saw them all.

When I enlisted in the Navy in 1959, I scored high enough on the entrance exam that I was able to pick my first duty station.

I told the official filling out my paperwork that I wanted a ship “far, far, away and always steaming.”

He said, “How about going right to the USS Springfield (CLG-7), the Sixth Fleet flagship, homeported in Villefranche sur Mer, France, on the beautiful Rivera? All it does is sail from one end of the Mediterranean to the other, showing the flag.” I said, “Sign me up!”


He said, “Dude, you already have.”

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