August 22, 2004

Swift Boat Psychodrama

I haven't written about the Swift Boat Veterans controversy for a number of reasons. One, I hate the Vietnam War. Two, that war ended when I was three years old and we are in a different historical era twice removed. Three, I can't stand mudslinging politics on this level. Four, I don't have the patience to sift through the Andes of accumulated hack pieces to figure out who is and who isn't a liar. Five, although undecided voters make up the target audience, participating in the game is for partisans.

I also have a reason number Six. I am neither a veteran, nor a Baby Boomer. I don’t feel the need to argue about the 1960s until I’m “eating” through a feeding tube in a nursing home. I have no right to harrumph that George W. Bush, like me, never saw combat. Nor is it my place to say John Kerry’s wounds weren’t bloody enough, as Bob Dole said today. (Bob? Was that really necessary?)

For one reason after another, this is just not my fight. But it’s everywhere now, and it gets harder and harder for me to stay away from it.

Andrew Ferguson in The Weekly Standard has written what I think is the very best piece on this subject. He psychoanalyzes the partisans on both sides of the controversy. The Democrats (according to Feguson) are trying to convince themselves they aren't wimps. And the Republicans are trying to talk themselves into voting against a war hero in favor of a war dodger instead.

I don't need to convince myself I'm not a wimp. Nor do I care a rat's ass that George W. Bush (or Bill Clinton or anyone else) doesn't have a war record. So I guess I'm the right gut to approve of Ferguson's theory. I suggest you read it, especially if maybe - just maybe - you think a reality check might do you some good.

(Also, please read the whole thing before sounding off in the comments. Thanks!)

(Hat tip: SoCalJustice)

Posted by Michael J. Totten at August 22, 2004 7:54 PM
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