The Senator's service


Seemingly, Senator Chuck Hagel's service in Vietnam has endowed him, in the minds of Democrats and the mainstream media, with the aura of having the absolute moral authority that Maureen Dowd and others have granted Cindy Sheehan. As Eliot Cohen points out in his bookSupreme Command: Soldiers, Statesmen and Leadership in Vietnam, serving in the military is not a sure—fire indication, by any means, of who would serve as a good political leader during wartime.

While witnessing brutality in wartime would naturally lead to an aversion towards violence, such an emotional impact may distort decision—thinking processes by permitting personal emotions to interfere with bold political leadership. A recent New York Times op—ed by Presidential biographer Edmund Morris pointed out the danger of permitting emotionalism to sway the Presidential decision—making process.

The passion on the part of mainstream media to grant Hagel authority because of his war—time experience would permit his emotionalism to run riot over the clear—headed  (and yes, at times hard—headed) decision—making required of our leaders.

Ed Lasky   8 22 05