W. Stovall Witte III

Democrats seeking nomination for the 2008 Presidential election must think the American people are pretty gullible. How else can one explain the location and the format they've chosen for their next national debate?

You see, on Monday, July 23rd, the South Carolina Democratic Party is hosting all the candidates at the Citadel. They arranged this knowing that an audience of uniformed cadets would attend, so as to offer the national television audience a tacit military endorsement for their leftist, anti-military positions.

What's worse is my fellow students at the Citadel won't even be allowed to ask questions of the candidates. They are to be seen but not heard, as all questions for the debate must be submitted in advance through the internet site YouTube. CNN is televising the debate and will have the prerogative to ignore tough questions, such as the candidates' views on the military.

Liberals have a long history of undercutting our military recruiting efforts and scuttling every piece of legislation that gives our armed forces the necessary tools to defend America. They do not seem to understand that, regardless how one feels about the current war itself, complete support for the members of our armed forces AND their mission is needed so as not to dishonor anyone in the military. Or, if they do, debating at The Citadel seems distastefully ironic.

Citadel Cadets deserve to hear these candidates answer the questions that concern us, particularly since they are exploiting our school and our distinguished heritage of selfless national service for their own personal political gain.

These candidates all declare to "support the troops," but we need to examine what they have done to see if these oft-heard words ring true.

While dodging the call to serve during Vietnam, Bill Clinton wrote that he "loathed" the military. Have any of these candidates, particularly Hillary, ever publicly condemned Bill's statement or his draft-dodging actions?

What about the words of John Kerry, who has stated our armed forces are in the business of "terrorizing kids and children"?

In my opinion, these candidates must publicly condemn the words of their party's last presidential contender and last president if they expect anyone to buy their supposed "support." But, beyond their words, what have these candidates actually done to improve our nation's defenses?

When was the last time they voted to fund modernizing battlefield equipment and increasing the availability of combat replacement parts and supplies?

When was the last time they voted to offer improved military pay and benefits or to reduce, or even eliminate, the taxes paid by members of the armed forces?

W. Stovall Witte III

W. Stovall Witte III is a junior class cadet at The Citadel: The Military College of South Carolina. Witte is active in Young America's Foundation's programs and a student leader on campus.

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