The fact that he later said he felt “guilty” for not going, and has since tried to make up for it, doesn’t matter I suppose.
But that was not my point. After initially being in favor of that war myself, and having as my 2nd choice out of pilot training to be a forward air controller (flying low and slow over the jungle canopy, directing air strikes, with a 1:3 chance of not making it back home still breathing), I’ve long since changed my position on ‘Nam. My issue is not with whether someone served or not. The man’s got a message I often resonate with, yet a delivery that is downright crude or even disgusting. I find his method of avoiding the draft disturbing, and the fact that he maintained student deferments while touring as much as 300 days a year to be measures of his integrity. Those that went to Canada and gave up a lot, and those that actually went to jail (without doing serious violence themselves) were at least people with integrity. Nugent appeals to the basest instincts in people – I’d prefer to have a true gentleman that CAN pack a knockout punch, but reserves it until absolutely needed (or a female equivalent of same) in the Oval Office. I liked the old Strategic Air Command motto: “Peace is Our Profession.”