Radio commentator Rob Schilling performed a disservice to his listeners and to thoughtful conservatives everywhere with a vicious ad hominem attack on Brig. Gen. John Douglass, who is running for the 5th Congressional District, which includes Charlottesville.
Mr. Schilling characterized Gen. Douglass, who has a long and distinguished military career, as an “empty uniform,” “dupe,” and someone who stands for “absolutely nothing." The cause of Mr. Schilling’s angst was Gen. Douglass’s disinterest in appearing on Schilling’s radio show. Based on this and previous rants, it is pretty clear why Gen. Douglass declined the opportunity.
For the record, Gen. John Douglass has served our country for more than 35 years, under President Reagan and President Clinton, working his way up to the highest levels of our military, including his responsibilities for President Reagan’s Strategic Modernization Program and often briefing the president directly on key defense and national security programs.
Gen. Douglass’s personal story contrasts vividly with that of typical congressional aspirants who come from wealthy families and served as lawyers before seeking elective office. Orphaned as a child, he moved from foster family to foster family, at one time living in an automobile. He subsequently earned an undergraduate and two master’s degrees. He joined the Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps while attending the University of Florida and earned promotions to the highest levels of military service.
Perhaps Mr. Schilling would like to contrast Gen. Douglass’s military background to that of Robert Hurt, the current congressman from the 5th District, who has no military experience.
There is apparently an appetite for the kind of dialogue spouted daily by Mr. Schilling, but hopefully in a progressive, enlightened community like Charlottesville, the audience for this type of smear is small and getting smaller.