Kerry's True Lies
John Kerry insulted American troops when he told a group of California college students that they'd better continue their education or end up "stuck in Iraq." In this, Kerry betrayed a liberal bias I've heard MANY times from my own lefty pals around Berkeley -- that the military is predatory in luring poor, uneducated kids, especially blacks, into deadly jobs in combat units.
According to the conventional liberal worldview, no intelligent, civilized person would freely choose to serve in the armed forces. As such, the thinking goes, social and economic inequalities force some people into service that others can avoid thanks to their greater opportunities. Rich kids' parents send them off to college, which opens doors to more lucrative careers that do not involve carrying an M-16 into a Third World desert, jungle or village. The thing is, there is more truth to this logic than anyone wants to admit. It is human nature to avoid danger, and military service involves risk to one's life and limbs. True, many people who have other options still choose military service thanks to patriotism and a taste for adventure. And the fact is, the armed forces are overwhelmingly populated by people from the middle class, especially white suburbanites.
Still, there are disproportionate numbers of blacks in the military, and many openly admit they chose military careers because doing so gave them better prospects than they would have had otherwise. I myself, though always loving my country and yearning for adventure, signed up for the Air Force while still in high school because I thought college was out of reach, and I wanted more out of life than what my high school diploma was likely to provide. I've said many times that if anyone had taken an interest in my academic performance in high school, I'd have gone straight to college.
So there is plenty of truth to the idea that getting an education and moving up the economic ladder really does provide alternatives to military service. What is so insulting about Kerry's comments and liberal views of military service, however, is the condescending attitude about our troops' intelligence. Kerry and so many lefties are proud of their pointy heads packed with trivia, and they are confident of their superiority to the poor dolts on whose behalf they claim to impose their Nanny State controls and regulations. To them, we’re all too stupid to make rational choices for ourselves, so we need them to do all the hard thinking for us. Never mind that military service actually is a rational choice for a great many who are empowered to lift themselves up thanks to the career opportunities, training and college tuition assistance provided by the military. Forget about the G.I. Bill and veterans home loan programs that have enabled literally millions of Americans to advance socially and economically. Patriotism? That’s for suckers. At least that’s what liberals believe. That attitude makes the underlying truth of their premise utterly repellent.