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"We do not need to divide America over who served and how."
- Sen. John Kerry, 1992


ETA: The full speech.
  • Current Mood: cynical cynical
Sorry, missed part of your question. He said it on the floor of the senate.

Here's the full quote:
"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."
It's too bad neither side will talk about things that really matter and not a war that's been over for 30+ years.

However, in Kerry's defense, I wouldn't let anyone slur my name, especially if I had volunteered for a war like Vietnam, either. Both my uncles and my father volunteered and I'd be pissed as hell if someone who wasn't there started besmirching their deeds, no matter how trite/small/insignificant that person thought those deeds were. JMO.
Well, I did watch the RNC and they didn't spent the week talking about Vietnam ;)

Problem is that half of Kerry's platform seems to be "I went to Vietnam, vote for me". It's no big shock that people are wondering whether his deeds there are qualification enough.
Oh, I'll absolutely admit that the campaign has been run badly from day 1. They've never really been clear on their message or the issues, everything has a long explanation - which most voters won't seek out. They'll take the soundbite over the explanation any day. (not you, of course ;)

Kerry does have explanations for his stance on the issues, but the campaign is badly run (by a guy who nearly destroyed NARAL from the inside out) that most voters don't *know* his stance. It's only recently that he's gained some direction due to a change in advisors.

In addition, you could pick any senator on the hill and accuse him/her of flip-flopping, simply because that is the way the game is played. Most Americans don't understand it, nor are they interested in learning about it. Nobody wants to see *how* the sausage is made, you know?

However, I don't agree with attacking his service or deeds any more than I do with attacking Bush - it isn't relevant to the things that are going on in the world today. He served, so did Bush - isn't that enough? Do we really need to be tearing them apart on where and when they were standing on what line? Isn't the only important thing to know that when the time came, they stepped up? Is it important to know how *severe* the injuries were? I mean, come on - some people are even suggesting that Kerry self-inflicted those wounds - that's just so far over the line, those people can't even see it anymore. Does the concept of supporting our troops (no matter what controversy they involve themselves in, i.e. Abu Ghraib) only apply to those who served *after* Vietnam? Or do they only apply to those who aren't running for president?

Besides, things both during and after that war are so muddled and mired in controversy, I'm amazed that anyone would start pointing fingers about who did what. It was a nightmare mess for everyone involved. Not to mention the fact that the military doesn't just give medals away without some kind of vetting and anyone who is familiar at all with the system knows that. But again, it requires explanation - which most people won't sit still for.

Besides, Bush gives us Dems plenty to talk about without Vietnam in the mix and vice versa with Kerry.


Besides, Bush gives us Dems plenty to talk about without Vietnam in the mix and vice versa with Kerry.

Agreed -- I think we need to deal with the issues of this decade, and not the 60s and 70s.