Kerry is best choice |

Kerry is best choice

I never cease to be amazed at the hatred arrogantly and rapidly slung by so many within this county. How many have firsthand seen the casualties of war? They dare claim that John Kerry’s time in Vietnam was meaningless? How meaningless was the life of the fellow soldier John Kerry risked his own life to save?

I have heard so many speak of the honor their relatives have earned serving, yet the very freedom they served to protect is being torn away. Many want all those silenced who wish to express their freedom grant under the First Amendment. What did our ancestors fight for, if not for the freedom to express our opinions?

They call Kerry’s service in Vietnam a disgrace (it is their right to do so) but then support Bush. How many war medals did Bush earn? Not one. How many months did Bush serve in Vietnam? Not one.

I am concerned about a lot that I have read in the “opinions” section of this newspaper. I read one woman’s letter that said John Kerry served a “mere four months” in Vietnam. My best friend is a corporal in the Marine Corps. He served a year and a half in Iraq. After just three months, I received a letter in which he wrote: “These have been the worst days of my life.”

Unless you have seen firsthand the slaughter of war, run to dodge bullets and feared for your life every second, you don’t have a leg to stand on when it comes to mocking someone’s service.

I am a 21-year-old college student studying constitutional law. I will one day be able to defend the rights that so many have died to protect.

I have grown up in Grass Valley and in the last few months have experienced more hatred than I have ever seen before. I have a Kerry/Edwards sticker on my car, causing me to endure vulgar gestures and language from uneducated minds who can think of nothing better to do with their time. When I see Bush/Cheney stickers, I do not feel the need to tailgate, cut off and risk the lives of the other drivers on the road.

I support our troops, themselves, completely. They are serving this great country and doing the best they can in this situation. Having said this, I do not support our government’s decision in sending the country to war. War should be a last resort, not the first.

Sarah Palmer, who was published in this same column, wrote, “President Bush and his administration desire peace, a truer peace than those who oppose the war can even imagine.” Bush has happily given himself the title of, and I quote “The War President.” What kind of peace is he seeking? She also called those of us who protest the war “lesser men and women.” We are lesser for exercising the rights her grandfather and mine served to protect? In order to claim to protect freedom elsewhere, you need to support freedom at home.

Many are claiming Kerry is a flip-flopper and not supporting our troops. They should know the facts. He opposed the $87 billion that was supposedly for the troops because it would be unmonitored and there would be no guarantee that it would go to the troops. This is exactly what happened. When voted through, only $400,000 of it actually went to the troops.

Bush’s administration is in charge of that money – the same Bush who slashed veterans benefits and the soldiers’ pay. Which candidate is not supporting our troops?

I am a Nevada County Democrat because I support a candidate who understands that lives are not his to take, one who understands that creating low paying jobs does not make up for destroying good ones. I support a candidate who will not sit cozily amongst his wealth while American’s die of malnourishment and Iraqi bullets.


Stephanie M. Carnes is a 21-year-old college student working toward her bachelors degree In criminal law. She grew up in Grass Valley and graduated from Nevada Union High School in 2001. She graduated this year from Sierra College with honors.

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