Burnt Out Adjunct: Kerry, Kerry, Kerry discusses the Kerry situation. Although I left a pretty lengthy comment on his blog, I thought it deserved a bit more.
Many of you may not realize that my sweet hubby is former military -- enlisted. He was in the Air Force for 15 years and has been out for 5. Since then he's become ABD at a top-tier political science school and is currently teaching younings at a top-raded liberal arts uni. All in all, he's no intellectual slouch.
While in the military hubby also had a very successful debate career -- and since finishing debate he's been influential in terms of starting an entirely new debate national championship. Suffice it to say, he can out smarty-pants most of the smarty-pants kids on any playground. The nice thing about these accomplishments is that it isn't just me bragging... there are boxes of awards and stuff at home that say my hubby's got a brain-cell or two to rub together... there is a reason I call him my Google.
Having been a military wife for about 10 years and having taught several classes on a military base in Red State, I can tell you that - while hubby is top of the heap -- it isn't as if he was the only bright guy enlisted in the Air Force. This is why Kerry's comments, and the attitude they reveal -- are so infuriating.
The attitude was actually said rather succinctly by a debater nearly 7 years ago, when he told me (as his judge) that 'people are in the military because they can't get regular jobs and didn't graduate from high school'. This is the same sentiment that I see Kerry expressing with his comments.
This sentiment is due to ignorance and and it makes me ill. The ignorance also smacks of elitism, in that the reason most of these yahoos don't know about the military is because the military is generally an option for POOR people (not dumb ones). Thus, they know very few, if any people who have served in the military -- because those people can't afford to live in neighborhoods with the beneficiaries of Big Catsup.
So, while they want to send the military to do dirty work, they won't admit that the people who serve in the military might do so for reasons other than the lack of a good education. Hello -- how about needing a decent job that pays health-benefits, living allowances and pays for school as well. The military has programs that are attractive to the kinds of people they need -- people who are smart enough to use the high-tech equipment Congress buys them, and smart enough not to use it --- even when the use of it could save their own lives (see Colin Kohl in Foreign Affairs Nov/Dec... great article).
The sad thing about all of this is that Kerry isnt on a ballot someplace and that his ignorant comments may be used against good candidates.