Debating the Debate

Detailing the Issues

by Lorrie Tevabaugh

The news around the world in the last week has almost been overwhelming and certainly gives one plenty to think about, pray about, and ponder. Thirty some odd sub-human terrorists in Russia stormed a school and eventually caused the deaths of hundreds of people. This week the death toll of our soldiers in Iraq officially reaches 1000, while citizens also remember the American losses in New York, Washington D.C. and in Pennsylvania three years ago. Florida faces another deadly hurricane, the third in four weeks, and now the United States suspects that North Korea may have tested a nuclear weapon.

As is usual in an Election year though, the focus of the media remains on the two presidential candidates. While there is nothing particularly wrong with tradition, I personally am becoming frustrated with some of the hot topics that in my mind have been beaten in the ground by the media. Why, I wonder, does the press spend so much time examining military service of these two honorably discharged servicemen? One man, our President, served as a pilot in the National Guard. Why is that now seen as the easy way out of Vietnam? Of course there was a long waiting list to get into the National Guard; look at what was going on in the world. Why is the man being blamed for doing something that was perfectly legal and allowable by our government? It should be remembered that by being in the Guard, Bush was not guaranteed safety from the war in Vietnam. Guard units can and are called to battle. George W. Bush served our country honorably then and continues to do so now.

This week CBS aired a false story about President Bush and while much of the information used for the story has now been proved untrue, the press continues to focus on the matter. I say, report the newfound facts and go on. I personally do not understand either, why Kerry's military service is being examined under a microscope. The man served in Vietnam, has three purple hearts, and was honorably discharged. Now, if he were a deserter that would be a different matter altogether. Did he protest the war after he came home? Yes, he did, but that was his right, his freedom of speech; the very thing our constitution and military forces protect. If his protesting of thirty-five years ago offends some, then those individuals have the right to not vote for the man, but let's not make that the focus of his campaign. Instead of Kerry outlining everything President Bush has done wrong, I would like for Kerry to tell us what he could do for this country.

How refreshing it would be to see the real issues of the world highlighted in the press. What is going on in Iraq and Afghanistan? What has congress been up to? When are fuel prices going to go down and crop prices up? The Vietnam Conflict and our involvement in it will be discussed and argued for decades to come. Please, let's not decide who will be president for the next four years solely on something that occurred over three decades ago.

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