by Rob Kall
More and more people are saying that they can't see a difference between Kerry and Bush. And frankly, my view of Kerry is getting fuzzy too. But it's not my eyesight. It's Kerry selling out his progressive, liberal base. I'm afraid to find out how far right Kerry will go.
Kerry has to take stands and face up to the wimps and sellouts in the Democratic party before he goes to Boston and comes back from the mountain with a democratic platform that's carved in stone. Kerry must find the stiff part of his spine and take positions that are not Bush look-alike. That means strong stands on Iraq, on the Israeli-Palestinian perpetual problem, the environment, electronic voting, voter roll lists and state level vote process and count corruption.
Now, as US soldiers are coming back from Iraq, reporting on t he horrors and the stupidity of this war, those new heroes for peace and American integrity are making the John Kerry of 2004 look pretty seedy, pretty disappointing compared to the young man who came back from Viet Nam with the courage to speak out against a bad war.
One might argue that it is understandable that Kerry is taking a tough, send in more troops approach to Iraq so he will be viewed as a tough, ready to fight leader.
The problem is, it takes more guts, more toughness to stand up and say that the Bush Iraq strategy is failed, stupid and hugely damaging. Now, who does it take more guts to say this to? Not the American public. Half of them already feel that way. How about the women in the 17 states where the election is really being fought? It's not too hard to tell them. They know that it's better and smarter to talk than fight. How about the high tech, high education men in the northwest? Do they need to see lots of guns and action to believe that the US is working smart to beat terrorism? I don't think so.
The problem Kerry faces is with his hawkish centrist, DLC-type advisors. These are the same guys who would have been happy to have a Lieberman campaign platform. These are the same political hacks who advised Al Gore. Yes, Gore won the popular vote. But it was very close and it didn 't have to be. Gore should have creamed that reptile from Crawford.
Kerry is a brave guy. He needs to stand up to these right wing democrats and take a stand that shows courage and vision, not bush-look-alike policies. He needs to show the courage he showed in Viet Nam, charging right directly into the faces of his right wing attackers, shooting back with tough criticism and strong, positive, visionary solutions.
His best bet is to ignore whatever Fox or the Limbaugh, Hannity dittohead lie machine spews out, allowing his proxies respond to those distractions. Kerry should be making himself stand out as clearly different than Bush. The main ways he can do that is by showing he is smart, honest and open, without keeping secrets, smart international diplomacy, pro-consumer and small business, pro-environment, pro-freedom within the US (choice, rights, speech, media diversity, health care) as compared to Bush's interest in faux freedom in distant countries.
I want to support Kerry as the Democratic candidate. But I want to be sure he's functioning as a Democrat. The last week has been disappointing.
Tomorrow, I'll vote in the PA primary for Dennis Kucinich. I can't think of a way to send a clearer message to Kerry. Thank goodness Dennis Kucinich is staying in the race, rallying the liberal, progressive troops to signify their influence in t he Democratic party, highlighting the progressive issues that are important to most Democrats, working to persuade the Greens to get behind the Democrats.
Hopefully, by the time the Boston convention is held, Kerry will get the message that he needs to show more guts than ever NOW, and that means taking real stands that differentiate him from the right wing. Kerry better listen, or the Greens will go third party nominee, a lot of disenchanted democrats won't vote at all and enough independents will vote for Bush because they can't see enough of a difference between the two candidates.
John F. Kerry, find your heart, your guts, your spine. You won't find them paying a lot of attention to centrist DNC pundits. If you find these key anatomical parts, your spirit will soar and your candidacy will blow George Bush completely out of the water. You have the potential. Now embrace it.When the November elections come around, I know I'll be voting for John Kerry. I just hope the Kerry I vote for is the man I hope he can be, not the one the DLC and Fox news want to see.
Rob Kall firstname.lastname@example.org is editor/founder of OpEdNews.com. This article is copyright Rob Kall and originally published by opednews.com but permission is granted for reprint in print, email, blog or web media so long as this credit paragraph is attached. Over 100 other articles by Rob Kall