Home > Uncategorized > The Vietnam War: A Political Stumbling Block?

The Vietnam War: A Political Stumbling Block?

cartoon by Taylor Jones, Cagle Cartoons

As Richard Blumenthal, Bill Clinton, John Kerry, and several other American politicians now know, their time during the Vietnam war can be sticky to recall. Most recently, Richard Blumenthal, Connecticut’s attorney general and a candidate for the U.S. senate has caught heat for “misstating” his Vietnam service on several occasions. Blumenthal, admits that he has misspoken in the past when he said he served in Vietnam, but said it was “absolutely unintentional”. Yeah…right. His claims are insulting to those who served in Vietnam and lead one to question his integrity and character. To make matters worse, Blumenthal responds: “I will not allow anyone to take a few misplaced words and impugn my record of service to our country.” His arrogance is overwhelming.

In past elections, we’ve seen Bill Clinton labelled a draft dodger, George W. Bush  criticized for enjoying cozy service in the Texas Air National Guard, Dick Cheney mocked for avoiding the draft with claims that he had “other priorities in the ’60s than military service”, and the legitimacy of John Kerry’s Vietnam military service achievements questioned. All this would make you think that current-day political candidates would be more careful while talking about their military service during Vietnam. Apparently, Dick Blumenthal never got that memo. Blumenthal, who never left the east coast during his 6-month service in the reserves, has spoken in front of veterans about the abuse Vietnam vets suffered upon their return to the U.S., using language making it seem as if he was among them. He has never corrected any publications’ claims that he served in Vietnam and has using unclear and misleading language to further these claims. This, coming from an attorney general and a Senate candidate, is worrisome.

Thanks to politicians, “misspeaking” and “misrecalling” have become often-heard excuses. When was the last time we heard a public figure apologize for LYING? As attorney general, Blumenthal has demanded honesty, fair advertising and accountability from Connecticut companies. He should be held to the same standards. No excuses. Although Blumenthal has won the Democratic nomination, he should realize that he is on thin ice.

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