Comments on economics, mystery fiction, drama, and art.

Sunday, October 22, 2017

"Those who have served..."

There is something I find myself almost forced to say, which is a response to a part of this comment by Kelly at his press conference:

“We don't look down upon those who haven't served,” Kelly said at the end of the presser. “In a way we're a bit sorry because you'll never experience the wonderful joy you get in your heart when you do the kind of things our service men and women do.”

The words "those who have served" the country and "those who haven't served" are *dangerous*, because they imply, even if they do not say explicitly, that only those who have been in the military have "served" America. Consider the public health service doctors who help provide health care in difficult situations. Consider the researchers at the Centers for Disease Control. Consider the people who work to help low income families and the homeless find affordable housing. Consider the people who volunteer in shelters, in soup kitchens, in schools.

Consider the people at the BLS or the BEA who compile and analyze data that help us understand how our country is doing. Consider the lawyers at the DOJ--criminal or civil--who help protect us and our rights. Consider the folks who investigate airline/railroad crashes, trying to make out lives safer...the people working at the Consumer Product Safety the Consumer Finance Protection law enforcement at the national level.

Consider the people whose work, at the Department of Transportation is essential in building and maintaining roads designed for safety as well as speed of transportation...the people at the EPA working to protect peoples lives and health...

To collapse "service" to this country into one very narrow thing is to do a disservice to millions of people whose work does not require them to wear uniforms, but does represent service to this country. By suggesting otherwise, Kelly is, whether he believes it or not, "looking down on," denigrating the work of millions of Americans who have the well-being and, yes, the safety of this country at the core of their lives.


Post a Comment

<< Home