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Dan Rackley

Dan Rackley is a US Naval veteran living in Philadelphia and a contributor to "Will They Ever Trust Us Again?"

May 30th, 2011 12:44 PM

Memorial Day Should Not Be For Campaigning

On Memorial Day, making stops in Mount Vernon and Gettysburg Pennsylvania; Sarah Palin kicked off the start of what she is calling her “One Nation” tour.  For the untrained eye, she is using Memorial Day events in those areas to test the waters on what she hopes will amount to an eventual nomination as the GOP candidate in 2012.  She was not the only potential GOP contender that has announced stops on Memorial Day.  Michele Bachman, the Congresswoman from Minnesota had also announced stops in New Hampshire.  In the winning of heart and minds of the American voter, they may see this as a nice gesture.  In the hearts and minds of the American Veteran, they should take this as a personal insult.

Sarah Palin and Michele Bachman, as it has been proven time and time again; cannot say anything during a speech that doesn’t involve how they would be a better President than Barack Obama.  Now they have essentially begun campaign scouting tours on one of our nation’s most sacred of days.  It’s downright sickening.  To use a day like Memorial Day to go out and clamor for potential voters is petty and cheap.  Take a look at Barack Obama’s remarks at Arlington National Cemetery.  Here is a man that has at the absolute minimum right now three or four people vying for his job.  He stood at the podium as he was making his speech and did the absolute right thing.  He honored the men and women that stood up when called upon, gave their lives so we could be free to do what we wanted with our lives.  So men and women could go out and say that they might be a better candidate for president than he is.  But one of the great truths about our freedoms; sometimes there are consequences. It may take time, but eventually Sarah Palin and Michele Bachman will suffer the consequences of exercising their freedoms that so many died to preserve.

To kick off a campaign bus tour on Memorial Day under the guise of honoring fallen veterans makes me ill.  Not once during the president’s speech did he say anything that could be remotely construed as “vote for me.”  Everything that comes out of Sarah Palin’s mouth screams “vote for me.”  Memorial Day is a day where all the political posturing, all the bus tours and stump speeches should stop.  There should be no cans passed out for campaign contributions.  There should be no politically motivated talk.  If someone even tried to hand Sarah Palin or Michele Bachman a campaign contribution check, they should look the person right in the eyes and tell them to hold onto the check until Tuesday.  The fact that Sarah Palin is using Gettysburg as a defacto campaign stop sickens me even more.  More men died on those grounds in defense of our country in such a short period than at any other time in our history.  She is using a cemetery to raise funds for a presidential bid.  That’s not right.  That’s not someone I would vote for.

The potential repercussions of starting a campaign tour on Memorial Day will come back to haunt Sarah Palin and Michele Bachman.  They have taken a day that all political grandstanding and bickering should stop and perversed it.  They turned it into a campaign rally for themselves.  As a veteran myself, I praise Mitt Romney; who simply released a statement honoring our country’s veterans.  Politically, that will help him out in the long run.  He didn’t go out looking for votes.  He simply made a nice gesture.  Voters notice things like that.  In the winning of hearts and minds, Sarah Palin has gotten it all wrong.  If she wanted to properly honor all veterans, she would just walk off of her “One Nation” tour bus, lay a wreath at Gettysburg and not say one word.  Sometimes, a simple gesture like what Mitt Romney made will work out for you better than the grand gestures Sarah Palin likes to engage in.

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