There is a good reason why neither Massachusetts Senator John Kerry nor Arizona Senator John McCain is or was President of the United States of America; neither had the full support of the veteran community which could have swayed sufficient votes in their direction to guarantee election if it so desired.
If you apply classic media reasoning to their campaign support equations – for instance, every person of Hispanic descent in America votes for Democrats and every black voter in America (as well as some who don't exist) voted for Barack Obama – then you have to wonder why every veteran, minus blacks and Hispanics in McCain's case, didn't vote for either Kerry or McCain.
The answer is that the classic media equation is bogus – not every person of Hispanic descent votes Democratic and not every black voter voted for Obama, except in Philadelphia and parts of Ohio were there were far more votes than voters. And, considering that American voters are smarter than either the media or the political parties think they are, the veteran community like other voting blocs looks beyond the superficial when making their selections.
Neither man could garner sufficient votes to win the presidential election because there was significant opposition to Kerry's and McCain's candidacies from within the veteran community even though they are both veterans; well, allegedly in Kerry's case. I mean, he served, but there is considerable speculation that he was separated from the service dishonorably which pretty much negates his classification as a veteran.
This is all of interest once again because of the withdrawal of Susan Rice, currently the US Ambassador to the United Nations, from consideration as the next Secretary of State, and media reports that President Obama may appoint Kerry as Hillary Clinton's replacement by Christmas. I have been waiting for months for Kerry's name to surface again in this regard, so I'll dispense with any further comment about Rice and concentrate on him.
When Kerry was running for president in 2004 a number of veteran groups and individuals lobbied intensively and unsuccessfully for him to sign Standard Form (SF) 180 which would authorize the release of his military records to the public. He refused, thereby denying the public an answer to a question that has dogged Kerry since the 1970's; was he dishonorably discharged from the Navy for providing aid and comfort to the enemy – or any other reason?
Further, veterans want to know if that alleged dishonorable discharge was reversed by president jimmy carter, when he gave blanket amnesty to draft dodgers and deserters in the post-Vietnam era.
Kerry's entire service portfolio has been marked by: self-generated hype over his actions during his abbreviated tour of Vietnam; his use of high level political and military connections to obtain medals that many combat veterans believe he didn't deserve; his traitorous actions in his bogus "Winter Soldier" hearings and Congressional testimony in which he falsely branded his fellow Vietnam vets as murderous Neanderthals; and the belief that he sold out his country by giving aid to our communist enemies while still obligated to the US Navy.
All of this was brought to the forefront in his presidential campaign by the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth and other veteran groups that opposed him. There even was Vietnam Veterans Against John Kerry website.
(The website still exists although one of its founders, former Green Beret Ted Sampley, died in 2009 after complications from surgery at a VA hospital. A similar site went up when McCain was nominated. The liberal media - not to mention Kerry and McCain - hated Sampley and wrote some pretty caustic and to some, unfair, articles about his opposition to McCain and Kerry, but all that did was give more attention to his cause.)
But there is another issue that really rankles many veterans, especially those who served in Vietnam, that being the conduct of Kerry and McCain – in concert – as co-chairman of the Senate Select Committee on POW/MIA Affairs in the early 1990s.
They were charged back then with getting to the bottom of allegations that hundreds of American prisoners of war were left behind in Laos when Richard Nixon and Henry Kissinger agreed to the debacle known as the Paris Peace Accords in 1973. There were live sightings and even a couple of people who turned up in Vietnam long after the government - which halted back payments of their federal paychecks - declared they were dead.
Many in the military and intelligence communities knew of the POWs in Laos, nagging reports of live sightings and other evidence kept surfacing and the issue was kept alive by the League of Families and other POW-MIA organizations.
But Kerry and McCain declared that there was no credible evidence that any POWs were still alive, closing the books on the issue and classifying much of the information that was presented to their committee as secret, removing it from public view. There was dissent from within the committee, but the dissenters have been relegated to the media's "nutjob" file and are no longer taken seriously.
So, what do we do now with a man who has such a speckled history of 'government service' potentially being nominated for Secretary of State? How about, renew our call for release of Standard Form 180?
How about the Good Old Boys club, also known as the US Senate, act in the best interests of the country for a change instead of the self-interest of its members? How about we really find out what went on with Kerry back in the 1970s that played so heavily on his actions in the 1990s as well as his failed presidential campaign, and determine under real questioning in the confirmation hearings whether this man is truly qualified to be the international representative of the United States of America?
That would be a real accomplishment for a government body that is seen as a group of self-absorbed ego driven puppets wouldn't it? Yeah, I know, not likely. But hope springs eternal.