I'm curious about what everyone else thinks, so don't hesitate to comment whether you agree with me or not. The recent Kerry debacle and his defense thereof has really crystalized my opinion that a history of military service should give a politician or pundit absolutely zero additional authority when opining on any matter, even national security. I pity John Kerry for how he wasted his potential over the course of his life, and his recent comments defending his "botched joke" illustrate why admiration for military service, though well-deserved, should not translate into the political realm.

The Massachusetts Democrat called the White House attack "a classic GOP textbook Republican campaign tactic" that reveals Republicans'"willingness to reduce anything in America to raw politics."

"I'm sick and tired of a bunch of despicable Republicans who will not debate real policy, who won't take responsibility for their own mistakes, standing up and trying to make other people the butt of those mistakes," he said. "It disgusts me that a bunch of these Republican hacks who've never worn the uniform of our country are willing to lie about those who did."

Kerry is of course free to be disgusted at whatever he pleases, and lies are generally to be condemned, but America is not Starship Troopers in which suffrage is reserved for soldiers. In fact, our Constitution expressly and purposefully puts the military under civilian control. Furthermore, why aren't any Democrats condemning the inherent sexism behind Kerry's comments? If none but soldiers are qualified to opine on military matters, where does that leave presidential-hopeful Hillary Clinton and other women who are biologically incapable of military service?

And so, while I have great admiration for our soldiers, marines, airmen, sailors, and all the rest who defend our country, and I am immensely thankful for the security they provide at great cost, I do not think their present service should later give their opinions any weight beyond the bare merits of their arguments.

Update:

Currently-serving troops apparently have some worthwhile contributions to the debate, however.

(HT: The Daily Spork.)

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