September 18, 2004


Salute could cost Kerry the election (B. Wayne Quist, September 18, 2004, Minneaplois Star-Tribune)

It was a perfect September day at the Minnesota State Fair and I was pleased to be on stage with Sen. John McCain. I was proud to be an American, active for the first time in our political process.

What got me going is the "veteran phenomenon" caused by a rupturing of the wound in the American body politic called "Vietnam." That wound has never fully healed, and it started festering again when Sen. John Kerry saluted and announced to the American people that he was "reporting for duty" at the Democratic Convention in Boston.

Kerry's statement didn't sit right with a lot of Americans, and especially with many who served in Vietnam. Most veterans admire Kerry's highly decorated Vietnam service but question his qualifications to serve as commander in chief because of his antiwar activities and ambivalent voting record on defense issues while serving in the Senate. Veterans are also concerned about Kerry because the Iraq War is the most important issue of the campaign and the bulk of the Democratic Party seems to be virulently antiwar.

Since 9/11 I have been speaking and leading seminars around the country on the origin and nature of radical, militant Islam and why the war in Iraq is so important to the future of the Western world. My audiences consist of Democrats and Republicans and include well-meaning people seeking to find answers to complex questions. Having lived much of my professional life outside the United States and in the Middle East, I try to bring a balanced perspective to the issues in the region.

But this year, because the stakes in Iraq are so great, I am actively supporting the reelection of President Bush, who advocates advancing liberty in the broader Middle East and bringing a future of hope through freedom. And I have learned in the process about the "veteran phenomenon" that is sweeping the country and helping Bush in the polls.

Who'd have thought that just four years after Bill Clinton left office the Democratic Party would have fully reclaimed its "soft on defense/blame America first" mantle?

Posted by Orrin Judd at September 18, 2004 2:06 PM

The link is bad!!

Posted by: ray at September 18, 2004 2:48 PM