kerry tells a joke
Recently, John Kerry tried telling a joke and anyone who's seen him speak before probably could have foreseen that he'd screw it up, and sure enough, that's what happened. However, the enormous outcry about this is simply ridiculous. If one reads the actual text, which I will post shortly, there are any number of ways it could be interpreted. In addition, the fact that other democrats criticized him as well, to the point that Kerry felt it necessary to apologize is downright absurd. Here's what 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."
This could quite easily be interpreted that only with a good education will one be able to see one's way out of Iraq. In the context of Kerry's overall thought, this does not mean anything about the military personnel in Iraq. But of course, republicans (who are truly those who don't care about soldiers) and weak-kneed democrats took a badly worded phrase and turned it into a media frenzy of who could say the worst thing about John Kerry. I admit that the man can be an idiot sometimes, but seriously, all the hoopla was disgustingly self-serving.
But wait, let's for a moment take Kerry's statement to be exactly what the republicans would have us believe, that only the ignorant get stuck in Iraq. Is there really nothing to this? Recent polls indicate that the vast majority of soldiers still would vote for Bush. More and more each day join the military for the sole purpose of fighting the "war on terror." Many actually believe that the WMD's that never existed were shipped out of Iraq and that Saddam actually got along with binLaden.
None of these statements are rational and all of them indicate at the very least a vast sea of ignorance. Simply because someone becomes a soldier does not mean that they are then incapable of being criticized. Notice I didn't say demeaned. Nobody deserves that. But given that the training most people receive in the military is designed not to encourage free-thinking and rational ability, but to obey orders, no matter what they are, I hardly think it's a stretch to say that the end result of such training is close-minded "yes-men."
The people who serve this country in the military are no more deserving of our praise than the man who works three jobs to support his family or the single mother who is trying desparately to raise her children to be good people. Notice that I didn't say that they don't deserve praise, they do, but they ALL do. One role does not indicate a better person. It is the actions in that role that determine whether the person is worthy of praise. And quite frankly, there are a lot of ignorant people who serve in the military, just like there are a lot of ignorant people who serve in any field. Ignoring that fact is not "supporting the troops," it is perpetuating a lie, and it is one that gets people killed.
Every one of your relationships to man and to nature must be a definite expression of your real, individual life corresponding to the object of your will. -Erich Fromm