I saw John Kerry's acceptance speech at the Democratic National Convention last night. It wasn't bad. I thought that he hit some interesting points. It was frankly refreshing to hear some talk about issues near and dear to a Democrat such as myself... especially after a Republican President and Republican-dominated Congress has largely set the national policy agenda for the last two years.
Yet, I don't know the man any better after the speech than I did before it. Mrs. Geek asked me if I would vote for him because of something I liked about him, instead of the fact that he is a Democrat and not "the Dubya". Political speeches are so full of artifice and platitude these days, that it's hard to know exactly who John Kerry the man, really is. The only way to really get to know John Kerry is to let him be President for 2-3 years, and see what he does. After all, that's the way anyone outside of Texas ever really got to know the Dubya... and probably the way a few people inside Texas got to know him too.
All that said, I think there are a few things about John Kerry that I can infer from his past that speak well of him. He has a lifetime of public and political service behind him... from time in Vietnam, to time in the Vietman anti-war movement, to nearly two decades in the Senate. He also understands the complexity of both sides of an issue. I know that some people see this as a character flaw because it often means that John Kerry can ramble a bit and seem to come down on both side of an issue. I often do that myself, and I can say that it is no flaw. In fact, I'd rather have this than someone who just reflexively says "ok, just bomb them into the stone age."
Still, I'm not yet toasting the Kerry Presidency. Mrs. Geek pointed me at an address that former Texas Governor Anne Richards gave to the Wisconsin Delegation this week. She pointed out that white men haven't voted in a majority for the Democratic candidate in a Presidential election for something like 70 years. No, this election is likely to be decided by someone who is probably a single mom of any race with one to two children in Ohio, who won't even decide if she's going to vote until about a week before election day. I just hope and pray that this person, whoever she is, recognizes that she's more likely to get money for Head Start and After School programs for her kids with a Democrat in the White House.
on 2004-07-30 at 1:04 p.m.
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