Sunday, October 31, 2004

Not enough to be right

Nick's essay on politicians' lies brings to mind a conversation with my brother and an op ed piece I saw recently in the Washington Post.

My brother spends his days with guys who drive pickup trucks, as he does. He says most of them plan to vote for Bush. They don't like Bush or his policies. Though he frightens them, they say, Kerry frightens them even more.

The op ed piece says that the Bush campaign is pushing one theme, security, and, despite the administration's huge array of failures, this theme is convincing half the electorate that they should vote for him. Kerry's campaign has failed to produce a theme with anywhere near the same persuasive power.

Lately, Kerry has been saying that Bush does not make us safe. The author of the op ed piece says he needs to do more:

...he also needs to flesh out what he would do -- not just in Iraq, but with his presidency. Already, the contours of what his legacy could be are becoming clear: He will be the adult who cleaned up the mess the careless and reckless Bush has made. This is a natural fit for Kerry's biography and personality. As Kerry has said.., "It is never easy to discuss what has gone wrong while our troops are in constant danger. . . . I know this dilemma firsthand. After serving in war, I returned home to offer my own personal voice of dissent. I did so because I believed strongly that we owed it [to] those risking their lives to speak truth to power. We still do." This truth-telling was also a hallmark of Kerry's Senate career, one highlighted by investigations that took on both Republicans and Democrats.

If still available, the piece can be read at the WP web site: Senator, You Need To Fill In The Blank (By Kenneth S. Baer
Sunday, September 26, 2004; Page B03)

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