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DEMOCRACY: Government & Politics | January 29, 2005


An E-Mail to a DNC Member

My political involvement really began by supporting McGovern in '72; but as a young high-schooler, I wasn't aware of a lot of particular individuals in politics. As I recall, my biggest interest was in the particulars of the ABM Treaty and Nixon's criminal activities. By that time, most Americans, including Republicans, were calling for a pull-out from Vietnam (not unlike what we're hearing more and more about Iraq).
I really never heard of John Kerry until recent years, and then only as "the other Kerry", not to be confused with the Nebraska senator who ran for President (and everyone asked, which one had the extra "e"?). And judging by the polls last year (and from people I talked with), there was very little awareness of the details of John Kerry until the Convention: as the Republicans said, he authored very little legislation; about the only thing I remember his standing out about was threatening to filibuster the Alaska Wilderness drilling, and then only after making noises about running for President.
Kerry's been under the radar most of his political life, after, of course, his very public anti-war actions and statements during the early '70s, which I do applaud him for but which, ironically and disastrously, turned off a lot of veterans and others whom his military service and medals were supposed to impress...everyone in the Party seemed to jump on the Kerry bandwagon after the veterans in Iowa hugged him. There was nothing about his throwing away his medals during the primaries or caucuses that I remember...
This is one instance of what I mean about our needing to vet our candidates more fully. Like with Clinton: his infidelities and pot nonsmoking and draft "evasions" all came out during the primaries, and he dealt with each thing swiftly and if not fully at least decisively -- the Comeback Kid earned his reputation. So by the time the Republicans raised the issues, they were old news and didn't pack the punch they might have, like when the Swift Boat SOBs piled on Kerry...which sunk his presidential boat (forgive the metaphor).
The record number of us Democrats who turned out during the primaries -- including me -- were just too desperate for a winner and "bought" the first guy we thought could win outside our base, to which we're now withdrawing...which isn't necessarily a bad thing: I still think the best bet for us is to run someone who is as unapologetically liberal as Reagan was unapologetically conservative -- as long as we stand up for the "average working guy and gal", the majority of the voters, then we can pretty much do what we want for the other causes close to our heart...like what the GOP is now doing, from their perspective, God help us.

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