Don't get Kerried away

The other day Senator Kerry said something that he's getting a lot of flak about now. If you somehow hadn't heard, this is what he said. "You know, education, if you make the most of it and study hard and do your homework, and you make an effort to be smart, you can really do well. If not you're going to end up stuck in Iraq."

He is now being criticized because it appears that he was calling our troops stupid. My only question: so what? How is this news?

Kerry claims that he was trying to make fun of President Bush. He says the joke was scripted to end with "If not you're going to end up getting us stuck in Iraq." Either way, it's not very clear, nor is it funny. So what? Senator Kerry is not funny. How is this news?

Throughout this, Kerry has come off as arrogant and elitist. So what? This is the same impression I got when he was running for President in 04. How is this news?

Kerry isn't even running for re-election this year. So how is anything he says important? How is this news?

This whole spectacle comes down to two things. The Republicans are tired of getting Abramoffed, Cunninghamed, Delayed, and Foleyed. So they have been desperate for anything at all that they can hold up against Democrats. The fact that all they could come up with is a misspoken joke from the senator who lost the 06 presidential election and isn't even running for anything this year (and that Harry Reid thing from a while back) points less to the fact that the Democrats haven't been involved in any scandals than it does to the fact that the Democrats haven't been involved in anything lately.

The other issue is the growing disconnect within the Democratic party with the contradictory statement, "I don't support the war in Iraq, but I still fully support our troops." Those on the right like to accuse Democrats of being anti-military, of not supporting the troops. This should be true, if those on the left had the balls to stick to any sort of principles. I'll come back to this in a second.

It has been pointed out that enlisted soldiers actually have higher levels of education than the average citizen. However, I would bet that the average college grad has more education than the average enlisted soldier. So Kerry's [misspoken] statement is not entirely false. Nor is it true. My view has always been that enlisting is not an opportunity for stupid people to get employment, but an opportunity to get a college education for those who would have difficulty going otherwise.

So enlisted men and women are not stupid. It could be said, however, that they lack a certain type of intelligence. The ability to think for themselves. Nearly everyone I have encountered who was, is, or will be in the military has shown an inablilty to think independently and a tendency to parrot back what was told to them by authority figures.

Throughout history, soldiers have always just 'followed orders'. This was the excuse given at Nuremberg. This was also heard after Abu Ghraib. I, on the other hand, hold each person accountable for their own actions. If someone makes the decision to voluntarily enlist in the army, goes to Iraq, goes on combat duty, and shoots and kills someone, that soldier is personally responsible for everything that they did. If you believe that our mission in Iraq is just, then the soldier's actions are just. If you don't support the war in Iraq, there is no way you can support the actions of the soldier who chose to go there. It's as simple as that.

This is what Democrats are too scared to admit to the public. It's really not any different than other statements I've heard from Democrats ("I personally don't agree with abortion, but I don't think it should be illegal," "I don't think people should enter the country illegally, but I don't think they should be forcibly removed," "I don't believe everything in the Bible is literally true, but I believe most of it") Perhaps this was just a Freudian slip by Kerry. Perhaps he is just a jackass who doesn't know how to tell a joke. Either way, the smart thing to do should have been to immediately apologize for the way it sounded. Because the only way the Democrats can win next week is if they can keep the attention off of themselves.


Blogger Erik Opsal said...

Mike at LIB says 96% of soldiers graduated from high school. Whoop de fricking doo. My friends from home graduated from high school and they're absolute fucking morons.

6/11/06 22:21  

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