This Magazine

Progressive politics, ideas & culture


Maybe Kerry was right

This Magazine Staff

Democrats can’t get away from him fast enough and Republicans hope his “botched joke” marks a turning point in the U.S. mid-term elections, but what few people are not saying about Senator John Kerry—flubbed comedic stylings or not—is that he was right on Monday when he said a lack of education will get you stuck in Iraq.

Sam Graham-Felsen of The Notion lays it all out:

No, the troops are not stupid, but let’s state the obvious: a great many of them join the military because college isn’t an option.
The military recruiters know this. That’s why they specifically target inner-city and rural schools, and stay away from places like Phillips Andover, where you can go to Yale even if you get crappy grades—where you never have to make a choice to potentially sacrifice your life for financial reasons.

It’s a shame when reactionary Republicans and their supporters can frame this news item as an outrageous slight against brave soldiers, when any way you slice it Kerry had a point. When, in the current issue of This, Murray Dobbin said that “those who successfully frame the issues will almost always win the battle of ideas,” he wasn’t kidding.

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