Monday, November 06, 2006

Personal Responsibility

You guys remember that, don't you? I've been thinking about personal responsibility a lot lately, especially in light of the remarks Senator Kerry made about the military. Later, he "apologized" but still placed the blame on everyone else for "misunderstanding" his flubbed joke. Because, you know, if it really was a joke and he flubbed it it's our fault for not understanding what he meant to say.

Shame on us. How dare we? How about accepting responsibility for what you said and not place the onus upon us to interpret your words? If you are going to apologize, then apologize. Either way, you either need your eyes checked for reading glasses or to revisit your elementary reading class, Mr. Kerry, for you left out some VERY important words in your 'flubbed joke'.

Segueing away from personal responsibility, I've been involved in a lively discussion over Senator Kerry's words over at The Original Musings. Some of it has been very enlightening, complete with an obviously uneducated liberal defending Kerry and calling us all idiots (complete with copious amounts of swearing). Some of the commentary has been thought provoking. Some of it has been laughable. A poster who identifies himself as 'Daniel' posted the following response:

At the risk of being jumped on, I have to say that when I read the names and information about the soldiers from Florida who have been killed in Iraq I don't see a great deal of Worth Ave in West Palm Beach adresses listed. Nor do I see that they went to Pine Crest Prep near Star Island. I am most certainly NOT saying that makes them uneducated but it does point to a certain disparity in my opinion on whom is serving in the armed forces right now. Historicly speaking it has always been the poor to middle class who has been the front line solider. From the Irish immingrants given a uniform and gun right off the boat during the Civil War to the working class guys with no college exemption to fall back on during Vietnam. This does not make thier sacrifices any less importnant but it does make me pause and wonder why this is so.

I felt he deserved a well thought out response and not to be 'jumped on'. Following is my response to 'Daniel'.

I'll tell you why this is so, Daniel, because it's hard to make your way in the world when you are poor with little prospects for the future. College is EXPENSIVE. If you want to work more than a minimum wage job, you need skills or an education. That's the way the world works. The military not only gives the most excellent on the job training in the world for EVERYTHING they do, I will go so far as to say young people who do join the military come out better prepared to deal with the real world. Not only will they have valuable job skills but they'll come out a hell of a lot more educated than when they went in. That goes for EVERYBODY, not just the poor and "uneducated". In today's military you do need at a minimum a high school diploma (I'm not sure they accept GEDs anymore, they may). You have to pass a test to get in that is NOT easy. I passed it in high school and it was harder than any other aptititude test I had taken up to that point. By the way, I was a straight A student, on the honor roll, and part of a "gifted student's" program for kids with high IQ's. If it was hard for me, imagine how hard it would be for someone who is "uneducated".

Add in the military benefits, of which there are many. I was married to a Marine for many years with a daughter who was hospitalized many times due to illness. If not for military care, we never would have been able to afford the hospital bills, even with civilian insurance. My ex-husband had more than a chance to go to college and better himself, with a large amount of assistance from the military. He chose not to use that chance. It was his choice but at least the opportunity was given to him.

I added in an additional comment:

Let me add on to what I just said as well. It is never good to paint a single group of people with a broad brush as Mr. Kerry did. Let's not forget that for all of his high class education (which the average person can NOT afford by the way), he had very poor grades after all. He may be educated but I'd go so far as to say he's ignorant. :)

So there it is, in case all of you were wondering (and I am sure you were). That's where I stand on the whole Kerry mess.

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