Tuesday, October 31, 2006

What John Kerry Said

I believe that people eventually mean what they say, whether they realize it or not. That’s how I earn my daily bread, discerning what people really mean – and I mean other agencies and professionals more than I mean patients when I write that.

Today comes all Kerry's counterspin about our wonderful troops who deserve better than the leadership they now have, blah, blah. It’s offensive. John Kerry stated yesterday that the people who go to Iraq are those who didn’t do well in school. He meant it.

I say this with some assurance because I come from that group. Things like that are exactly what we said during the 60’s. The guys who went into the military from our highschools were looked at disdainfully by my crowd – people who weren’t very bright, liked violence, needed to be told what to do and what to think. We would grudgingly acknowledge that some seemingly bright people went into ROTC, but we suspected something was wrong with them. Why would they want to hang out with such dumb people? Maybe they had some weird hankering for violent excitement, or were slavishly devoted to a family military tradition and unable to think for themselves, or something. Or maybe they were insecure about their masculinity or whatever. We said all those things, and worse. Listen to Tom Lehrer’s “It Makes A Fellow Proud To Be A Soldier” and all the sneering condescension of the era will come back to you. It wasn’t just a disapproval of war or of violence – we thought we were smarter and better. Kerry still thinks it, as of yesterday. This may actually be worse than when an average prick like me thought it. Kerry has had his attitudes publically confronted, and thus had opportunity to rethink his positions and prejudices. I’ve had little of that imposed on me by others. He has known a wide variety of military people, and had ample opportunity to observe how many differ from his stereotype.

Perhaps he just couldn’t resist the temptation to play to his young academic audience, thinking he knew what they wanted to hear (he was half right). I don’t see how that’s morally better.

No, John Kerry doesn’t understand other reasons someone might go into the military. It’s opaque to him. The circumstances of his own enlistment in the Naval Reserve are pretty revealing (I grant that he seems to have been dutiful and perhaps even courageous once in the Navy).

Postscript: My son tells me that the AP headline was something like Kerry, White House Trade Barbs. Yeah, like Iago, Othello Trade Barbs. Shameful coverage.

6 comments:

Wyman said...

I'll admit it's all appalling, but he does have the step on you by actually having been in the military, whereas you are outside of it. I'm more likely to be forgiving of a former military man (albeit a painfully embarrassing example of one) for his prejudice than I am of a civilian with the same prejudice. This is why I have so much nausea whenever a political candidate brings up "the ghetto." And they bring up "the ghetto" a lot.

Michael said...

Kerry's biggest mistake was his defiance! He should have said "It didn't come out the way I intended and I apologize for any offense taken . . . blah, blah, blah." Instead, it nearly turned into a "right wing conspiracy" argument. Unfortunately for him and his fellow democrats, there was a tape of the event.

Anonymous said...

...A tape, a tape...

...There is always a tape...

---BubbaB

cold pizza said...

AVI might not have served in the military, but he's got experience dealing with delusional minds, whacked-out egos, and pyschopathic personalities. I say he's emminently qualified to comment on "Jon Carry."

Kerry has no step up. His entire frame of reference is 40 years out-of-date and if anything, because he's so stuck in the Vietnam mindset, he's incapable of seeing the reality of today's military. Prior HONORABLE service might have given him an edge--however, his subsequent actions immediately after his discharge demonstrates that he was merely seeking notoriaty as a means of obtaining political office. Afterall, life as a Senator certainly beats having to work for a living. -cp

bs king said...

Kerry's biggest mistake was trying to tell a joke. He is just not a funny man. Al Gore learned that he's funniest when parodying himself (did you see the SNL episode he did with Phish???), Kerry should learn to do so too. I don't think he should be given another shot though. I'm done with him. Dismissed.

George said...

Aren't you describing something I've read over on Dr. Sanity's site that goes by the name Narcissistic Personality Disorder?