Watching the Democratic Convention this week, I am left with one observation:
John Kerry fought in Vietnam!
No, really. He did. I know it wasn't obvious to most viewers, but the guy's a war hero. Sure, the Dems were modest about it and rarely brought it up but if you listened closely, you could hear them hinting at it every now and then.
Now, I'm not sure how well sarcasm plays on the net so I'll just come out and bluntly say that they sure did stress his war background a lot. And I don't see why it should matter. Clinton is probably the best post WW2 President and he didn't fight overseas. If you're a Republican, you might give that title to Reagan and his fighting was all fictitious. So was Dubya's, but for different reasons. But who cares? Well, American voters seem to. If you look back, the majority of their Presidents have military experience. Kerry got nominated because of his military history (it certainly wasn't because of his charisma, speaking ability or clear ideas) and General Wesley Clark looked like he might win for a while despite his lack of political experience.
Now, let's look at Canada. I read a Pearson bio recently that mentioned he was the first Canadian Prime Minister to have fought in the army overseas. And since I'm fairly sure Trudeau, Clark, Turner, Mulroney, Campbell, Chretien and Martin haven't worn many military uniforms in their lifetime, that leaves Mike Pearson as the only soldier PM. Out of 21. And that guy was famous for peace keeping.
I guess it shows you the different mentality our country has on war. It likely also explains why the military is never a huge priority.