Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Furor over Kerry's remarks


Sen. John Kerry and students
Originally uploaded by Philocrites.
Seems John Kerry tried to make a joke Monday... while in California stumping for some other political candidate he said, "You know, education, if you make the most of it, you study hard, you do your homework and you make an effort to be smart, you can do well. If you don't, you get stuck in Iraq."

Seems this has caused great furor both in the blogosphere and on the political trail.

According to the Washington Post, Kerry has now dropped off the stump for midterm candidates; he doesn't want to be distraction.

Not even two weeks ago, I wrote about Ken Harbaugh, a 9-year Navy veteran who is now a student at Yale Law School, who read an essay on NPR. In his essay, he discussed how his classmates at Yale don't seem to be interested in service. He said, "The real reason we always send the poor is because the privileged refuse to go." I wrote, "Not that they haven't gone before, but now, today, the privileged are unwilling to serve, don't know what honor, respect, and devotion to duty mean."

Kerry's problem wasn't that he said what he said; Kerry's problem was he framed it as a joke. Let's face it, how many privileged young people choose to serve? Aside from Jim Webb's son, I'm hard pressed to think of anyone prominent in the privileged column. It is, as Harbaugh notes, those with few options who serve.

Perhaps Kerry ought not to attempted to have made light of the situation; it is an issue which will become more divisive in this country at the war in Iraq plods on.

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