Louisiana’s 2019 gubernatorial campaign, so often nasty and dispiriting, has reached a new low with candidate Eddie Rispone’s snipe at the revered military academy at West Point and incumbent Gov. John Bel Edwards’ years of service as a soldier serving his country.
During a radio interview, Rispone expressed disappointment at Edwards’ military record, which included studies as a West Point cadet and service as an infantry officer, during which he completed the grueling Ranger course.
“Yeah, you know I'm disappointed in that, if I have to be candid," Rispone said. "I think he's hurt the reputation of West Point. I don't think West Point wants to turn out a bunch of trial lawyers that will say or do anything to stay in power."
Edwards and Rispone, vying in a Nov. 16 runoff election for the state’s highest office, have different ideas for leading Louisiana, and those differences are worthy of debate as voters decide who will be Louisiana’s next governor.
But diminishing someone’s willingness to defend America in uniform is a disservice to voters who deserve a campaign based on issues, not insults of the armed forces.
Rispone owes all veterans who served with honor an apology. Regardless of our deeply partisan times — or perhaps because of them — we should find common ground in the idea that military service is a good thing. If we can’t agree on even that simple point, then America is in even more trouble than we thought.