It’s always interesting to see psychological projection at work. Kerry and his allies–obviously the Dems are defending him, aren’t they?–are blaming the troops for the Dems’ own ignorance and stupidity. I mean, it’s hard to imagine anyone stupider than Kerry. Only a total buffoon would attack the troops at a key moment in the campaign. It makes it possible to say that the Dems really are the party of Kerry, Murtha, and the other appeasers. Must be Rove hypnosis at work.
Secondly, it underlines the near-total alienation of the American intellectual elite. I dare say that the leading news and editorial rooms, like the offices of the major universities, are full of people who quite agree with the notion that our troops are stupid and underprivileged. Each time one of our children ships out to the Middle East, we get condolence calls from friends and relatives. They simply cannot fathom it, it is so totally removed from their own experience and from their own narcissistic lives. They do not know uniformed people, they have only a totally misleading stereotype.
Third, I believe that the percentage of veterans in Congress is under fifteen percent. That makes it difficult for them, as a group, to understand military virtue or war. Obviously military service is not a panacea, as Kerry and Murtha have demonstrated. But I do think that in times of war it would help to have more veterans in the legislatures.
Finally, we know lots of military people, from bestarred generals to lance corporals. We’ve spent plenty of time with them, especially those who have been shot up and blown up. It would help the elite to spend some time in military hospitals, they’d be quite surprised at the intelligence, thoughtfulness, and good character of most of the men and women in uniform nowadays.
Quite aside from the politics of Kerry’s buffoonery, this is a serious matter. The war is almost surely going to get worse, and we need leaders with a grasp of what it’s about.