… getting as upset as the right-wing hysteria machine thinks is appropriate over this now-famous clip of John Kerry’s recent remarks about the importance of an education.

John Kerry is guilty here of no more than Jerry Falwell is routinely guilty of: a clumsy locution. I don’t think he’s saying that people who volunteer to serve in the military are idiots so much as acknowledging the reality that the uneducated often find themselves with no route toward self-sufficiency but military service and training followed by the G.I. Bill. Indeed, as everybody with two eyeballs and a television set well knows, that’s one of the Army’s chief sales pitches to youngsters who find themselves at loose ends.

Click for larger imageAccording to this report from the Office of Army Demographics, less than 5% of the enlisted troops have BA or BS degrees, and barely 7% have any college experience. College degrees are found almost exclusively amongst the officer corps.

Really, much too much is being made of Kerry’s (yes, clumsy) remark. It would be better to discuss what overwrought, self-aggrandizing hysterics in search of broadcast time and Web-site hits have done to the so-called “national conversation.”

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