Charles Kopp - Contributor
Kopp is a graduate of the New School for Social Research.
He is a composer and musician, and an ardent lover of poetry.
He has been a teacher and a systems analyst. In Lafayette,
California, he now designs websites and works on creative
projects. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org [go
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Kerry’s Faux Indignation
Strategic distraction is core to the campaign...
[Charles Kopp] 3/4/04
Several times a week now, it's become common to find Mr. Kerry
bemoaning the injustice of Republicans who’ve supposedly
attacked his patriotism. “I'd like to know what it is
Republicans who didn't serve in Vietnam have against those
of us who did,” he says, as if all Democrats were war
heroes, despised by Republicans who were all National Guardsmen
Of course, this makes no sense. And if this outrageous charge
were true, why was Al Gore trying so hard to disqualify absentee
ballots from overseas military in 2000? No, the phony indignation
hides an agenda -- it is being used regularly to evade questions
Mr. Kerry cannot possibly answer.
Kerry likes to say
Republicans should talk about ‘real
issues’, instead of “…engaging in the politics
of fear and questioning our commitment to fighting for the country
we fought for in uniform.” Kerry seems to believe, or at
least to hope, that his voting record will not be questioned,
because his patriotism during his tour of duty cannot be questioned.
It is certainly understandable that he’d like his voting
record to be off-limits.
Of course, no Republican
has questioned the patriotism and heroism of Mr. Kerry’s
military service, as he well knows. The only person who seems
to have questioned it is he himself, apparently
having viewed it as a mistake after he returned home to his anti-war
activity. He made numerous statements about his fellow veterans,
at hearings recorded in the Congressional Record and in numerous
magazine interviews, statements which he is trying to disavow
today. He pretended to throw away his medals, though he still
has them on display in his office.
He has claimed recently
that his opposition to the war was “mainstream
American opinion” by that time. It is true that opposition
to the Vietnam war was a majority view by the time Mr. Kerry
adopted this position. It is not the case that a majority of
Americans were rooting for the North Vietnamese Communists, as
was Jane Fonda.
that Kerry had every right to oppose the Vietnam War. But a
war hero running for the Presidency cannot
expect to hide his decades of Senate votes and foreign policy
decisions behind his heroic actions in Vietnam. To manifest this ‘outrage
on cue’ is simply a calculated cynical strategy to deflect
excellent and unanswerable questions by attacking the questioners.
Why did Senator Kerry
oppose our military defense of Kuwait, which would have allowed
Saddam Hussein to annex Kuwait if Kerry’s
views had prevailed?
Why did Senator Kerry oppose numerous weapons systems which
our soldiers depend upon for success and survival today?
Why did Senator Kerry make numerous accusations against his
fellow Vietnam Veterans, never proven nor apologized for?
It is perfectly fair
to question the Senator’s votes,
and to consider what he has envisioned as a strong defense. If
he is elected President, our lives will depend on this.
It is not a question of whether Mr. Kerry loves his country
or served our military well. It is a question of whether his
views would be compatible with a strong defense, and with necessary
aggressive actions against terrorists, in the future. Why should
it be, after 32 years of opposition to military and intelligence
It is a question Mr.
Kerry will not answer, except by this well-rehearsed and theatrical
indignation. It’s his own ‘Checkers” speech,
and it will have the desired effect once or twice, but it ages
2004 Charles Kopp