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Friday, September 3, 2004
“Five Deferments” Live On

By Steven Taylor @ 5:53 pm

As per clips from the news today, it seems the Kerry is fixated on the deferments issue, and the idea that he won’t be questioned by people who didn’t serve.

The logic here is rather dubious. For one thing, if taken to its logical conclusions then Bill Clinton shouldn’t have been elected President. For another, since a Viet Nam vet who has a more impressive record than he, i.e. John McCain, has endorsed Bush, shouldn’t Kerry just quit the race? I mean if the fundament of Kerry’s argument is some perverse game of Hearts in which Viet Nam service is the trump card to end all trump cards, doesn’t a McCain trump a Kerry? Yes, it is ridiculous logic, but it isn’t mine: it belongs to the junior Senator from Massachusetts.

And I would remind us all of the sage words once uttered on the floor of the US Senate:

The race for the White House should be about leadership, and leadership requires that one help heal the wounds of Vietnam, not reopen them; that one help identify the positive things that we learned about ourselves and about our nation, not play to the divisions and differences of that crucible of our generation.

We do not need to divide America over who served and how. I have personally always believed that many served in many different ways. Someone who was deeply against the war in 1969 or 1970 may well have served their country with equal passion and patriotism by opposing the war as by fighting in it. Are we now, 20 years or 30 years later, to forget the difficulties of that time, of families that were literally torn apart, of brothers who ceased to talk to brothers, of fathers who disowned their sons, of people who felt compelled to leave the country and forget their own future and turn against the will of their own aspirations?

These words were uttered, of course, by Senator John Forbes Kerry on February 27, 1992. He was, of course, defending Bill Clinton, whom it seems Kerry thought fully fit to be CinC despite his lack of service.

Filed under: US Politics: 2004 Campaign
  • The American Mind linked with Kerry's House of Ketchup #25

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7 Comments»

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  1. Maybe all those who served in Viet Nam (and don’t feel betrayed by Kerry) should vote Democratic while all those who didn’t serve in V.N. should vote for Bush.

    Comment by Richard Arnone — Friday, September 3, 2004 @ 6:14 pm

  2. What will Kerry say about John Edwards, who also did not serve in Vietnam?

    Comment by Mark — Friday, September 3, 2004 @ 7:47 pm

  3. Kerry took an undergraduate student deferment. So did Bush. Either both were dishonorable or neither were dishonorable. Bush entered the Texas Air National Guard. IIRC, Kerry entered the Naval Reserve. Either both were dishonorable or neither were dishonorable.

    Comment by Dave Schuler — Friday, September 3, 2004 @ 7:58 pm

  4. I’m sure there’s a 527 editing the footage as we speak.

    Comment by Paul — Friday, September 3, 2004 @ 8:01 pm

  5. Seeing as to how Kerry sought a deferment and then, when he couldn’t get it, joined the navy, some interesting questions arise:

    1. What was Kerry’s draft status? Best I recall, there was a lottery, my number was 300 something and I was not likely to be drafted. What,pray tell do you suppose Kerry needed a deferment for? Was he set to be drafted into the ARMY? I don’t recall the navy having the draft in those days when I joined.
    2. IF Kerry was likely to be drafted, then joined the navy to avoid the Army, did he then attempt to evade the war?

    Maybe I’m wrong here, my memory may have failed on how the draft worked, but…I surely do not believe the navy was drafting people. If not, perhaps Kerry is even more hypocritical than he actually appears to be.

    Comment by Randall — Friday, September 3, 2004 @ 11:39 pm

  6. Maybe it’s just the limitations of my pubic school education, but I seem to remember learning in high school Civics class - I know, they don’t even teach such neanderthal Americanism anymore - that the very reason the founding fathers provided in the Constitution that the popularly elected president was the Commander-in-Chief of the military was to assure that the armies of the Republic would always be accountable to the people. Can John Kerry really not grasp that any citizen, regardless of whether they have served in uniform or not, has a right and a duty to question anyone who would campaign to serve in the highest office in the land, and as the Commander-in-Chief of our military?

    Comment by No Citizen Soldier — Saturday, September 4, 2004 @ 10:55 am

  7. Randall,

    See my post from today (Sat 9/4) entitled “On Deferments and Cogent Arguments” to at least partially, and perhps completely, answer your question.

    S

    Comment by Steven Taylor — Saturday, September 4, 2004 @ 1:22 pm

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