Tall Poppy Diaries

Observations and musings on life as a happy high-achiever (or what the Aussie's call a "Tall Poppy" ). "Unless you choose to do great things with it, it makes no difference how much you are rewarded, or how much power you have." --Oprah Winfrey

Saturday, August 21, 2004


  Tall Poppy Syndrome and John Kerry

It has long seemed to me that Kerry's greatest enemy in the "war medal" controversy was not the group of former veterans who are now balking at his record. Instead, it is clear that his greatest enemy is his own success. Who would be putting up such a stink if he hadn't won the Iowa Caucus? Now, thanks to an in-depth investigation by the Washington Post (click here or the title link above to read the complete story) in which every one who was on the river the day Kerry "earned" his third Purple heart was interviewed, my suspicions have been confirmed:

Many Swift boat veterans opposed to Kerry acknowledge that their disgust with him was fueled by his involvement in the antiwar movement. When they returned from Vietnam, they say, they were dogged by accusations of atrocities. While Kerry went on to make a prominent political career, they got jobs as teachers, accountants, surveyors and oil field workers. When he ran for president, partly on the strength of his war record, their resentment exploded.

Many people have a hard time "giving the devil his due" when they feel that they never got their own. The fact that Kerry was in Vietnam at all at a time when priveleged guys of his ilk were skipping out left and right (including our president and VP) speaks far more of his character than this ongoing non-sense about his record there.

Kerry's record in Vietnam doesn't sway me in his direction, nor does his Senate voting record. But I have to say that I have a soft place in my heart for Tall Poppies who get chopped on and strangled simply because they dare to succeed. Been there and done that (on a much smaller scale)... and it's not fun. If anything will make this Southern moderate-conservative voter swing toward a liberal East Coast Senator with whom I feel little other connection, empathy for his predicament as a victim of Weeds and Short Poppies would do it.

Can we not move past this debacle and on to more important topics of national interest? Or is this the only thing we are going to hear about until the election? And if so, could someone PLEASE explain to me what it has to do with education, health care, taxes or any of the other issues that we are supposed to care about this election season? I understand the supposed "leadership" connection, but since most of his Vietnam co-horts support his leadership on the river that day and since the President was MIA in my home state at the time, can't we trade Kerry's day on the River for Bush's day on the WTC rubble and call a truce?

At this point, I may be casting a write-in vote for President. All "candidates" presented to me here will be up for consideration. Any takers?

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