Archive for April, 2004

> Herospeak: Nostalgia Spin for the Presidential Campaign

Friday, April 23rd, 2004


AP and Opinion Journal reporting on a visit by Sen. John Kerry (MA), Democratic presidential candidate-in-waiting, during a visit to St. Bernard, LA:

Standing at the bow of a 25-foot power craft called “Fishing Magician” inspecting coastal erosion in southern Louisiana reminded Kerry of his days as commander of a Navy “swift” boat 35 years ago.

“I looked out at the shoreline and I commented that parts of it looked a lot like the rivers and coastline that I went through in Vietnam,” the Massachusetts senator said.

He told about 100 supporters sweltering in the heat on the banks of the Mississippi that he had spent a lot of time “in a habitat that looked a little like this” as a young Naval officer. He said the 50-foot gunboat he commanded was built “right here in Louisiana.”

The possibilities for nostalgic herospeak in the campaign are almost boundless. Some potential examples:

On entering a particularly evil-smelling greasy-spoon in Los Angeles: “This really takes me back to the way we used to eat when I nobly served my country in the jungles of Viet Nam.”

Stopping by a noisome vagrant sitting in a cardboard box on a littered sidewalk in Chicago: “I remember when I was serving my country in Viet Nam seeing homeless Vietnamese like this after American Marines, I am told, drove them from their villages and cut off the ears of their children.”

Visiting prosperous farmers in Iowa: “This brings back memories to me of when I was courageously serving my country in Viet Nam where I earned many, many medals and we would see peace-loving farmers like you planting in the rice paddies before drug-crazed U.S. draftees strafed them from gun ships.”

Meeting with grade school students in Florida: “Seeing you floods me with sad memories of just after I was awarded my first medals in Viet Nam and we would pass out our last chocolate vanilla creams to Viet Namese kids your age looking for their sisters who, according to reports, had been raped by future NASCAR drivers.”