Uniformity

I look forward to the day when all the veterans from World War II and Vietnam are finally dead and gone.That probably sounds unimaginably harsh, but I can't help it. I don't hate the men, but what's become of their duty in pop culture. Those were the last two major wars that used a draft, and the last ones to become a kind of milestone or clearinghouse for large sections of American youth. Men of a certain age who are running for office are now expected to have participated in those actions, and those who haven't are painted as being somehow less committed. No one thinks war is a good thing, but a vet running for office is still happy to have the experience under his belt. But the wars of my generation are scattered, mismanaged affairs, and in 30 years a candidate for office will — I hope, I pray, I plead — be able to say, "No, I didn't fight in either of the Iraq wars. I thought they were bad ideas, so I went to college and got a job instead." I'm just sick and exhausted of having to assume someone is better or stronger or more courageous simply because they went to war. They're not, and that's a dangerous way to elect someone.