Row Your Swiftboat

Linda Sharp - Author - Columnist - Media Guest - Event Speaker

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Row, Row, Row Your Swiftboat

George Bush and John Kerry, listen up.  I am a voter, one of the people you are supposed to be wooing, swaying and persuading to put faith in you come November.  And I'm warning you now, you'd better start sending chocolates and flowers because as of this writing all you have both managed to do is irritate, patronize and piss me off.

And I would wager a guess that I am not in my swiftboat alone.

I abhor election years.  They do not bring out the best in candidates, they bring out the worst, courtesy of their teams of witch doctors who think they "have their fingers on the pulse".  I have news for them, my "pulse" does not respond kindly to skullduggery, potshots and muckraking.   By the time I get to the voting booth, it will come down to who I dislike the least. 

Let's take the whole Vietnam/National Guard/Swiftboat/Nanny-Nanny-Boo-Boo affair.

If the horse they are beating is not yet dead, it certainly deserves the Purple Heart, The Silver Star and a humane bullet through the head to speed the process.


I do not care if Kerry built the damned boat he was on.  I do not care if George pushed paper and phoned in his National Guard service.  The fact that John Kerry served in Vietnam, means nothing to me.  The fact that George Bush did not, means nothing to me.  I don't consider a candidate's military service or lack thereof in my decision making.  And I certainly do not need Kerry's continued trumpeting of the Vietnam War as some backassed Red Badge of Courage.

Military service is honorable, I respect every single soldier and their families.  I marvel at their sacrifices, their courage, their bravery.  My father was in the Air Force, my brothers were both Marines, but that is not what I think of every time I see them.  They are people first, veterans second.  And quite frankly, they have all moved on in life.  Their medals, awards, stripes and yes, Purple Hearts are nobly tucked away - not paraded at dinner parties.

The reality is that Bush's and Kerry's service is largely generational.  It was a different time in history.  There was a draft.  And even without a draft, over the hundreds of years we have been a free nation, enlistment has been a young person's best, often only, option.  This was the case with my brothers.  That does not negate any of their service, it puts it in perspective.

There will eventually come an election when neither candidate will have served.  My children will vote in elections where candidates will truly have to run on the issues, their plans, their ideals.  They will elect a man or woman who will be no less effective as Commander-in-Chief, even though the only badges they have earned in life came from scouting.

So my advice to John and George?  Either get off the swiftboat or join Paul and Ringo on the yellow submarine, because in my opinion, you are both sinking fast.

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