“Boots on the Ground” — A Close-up on Campaign Rhetoric

Today I posted a short blog at Huffington Post. Democrat or Republican, the next time I hear a presidential candidate talk about putting “boots on the ground” I might spit. Where are the journalists who should be asking exactly what that means? And I don’t just mean sending troops. I’m talking about when they return home too.

It’s one of those euphemisms that allows the user to seem tough. In reality, more often than not, its purpose is to make the person who isn’t going to be in those boots and whose child is not likely to be in them either appear patriotic. In that sense, it’s cheap. It should be dropped from the lexicon of campaign rhetoric, drummed out as meaningless drivel.

Decisions to send men and women to war are complex and should not be reduced to four words. Making oneself appear eligible to be commander-in-chief by employing those words should render one ineligible.

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One Response to “Boots on the Ground” — A Close-up on Campaign Rhetoric

  1. Susan says:


    I confess to watching the whole ordeal last night. I felt like a NASCAR fan — just waiting for a crash.

    If CNN and other news outlets are going to chase ratings and advertisers and shamelessly put every one of these things on television, they owe it to us to at least provide a “fact check” crawl at the bottom of the screen, correcting the factual errors in the candidates’ pronouncements. Example: when Trump claimed that illegal immigration was costing us $2 billion a year (presumably for guarding the border?), it should have been mentioned that these undocumented workers they feed an estimated $137 billion into the economy.

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