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To my Friends on the Left: Choose Kerry

August 13, 2004
by Mark Sullivan

As we all know, we are faced with a very important decision in November, an election which many are calling the most important election of our lives. I especially cannot disagree with this statement, being a 19 year old college student anxiously looking forward to his first major election.

The prospect of four more years of George W. Bush is indeed a terrifying one. Personally, I've never been more scared in my life. You see, I didn't come of age in a world where Germany was our enemy. My only experience with the Cold War is the latest special on the History Channel. I didn't grow up with Vietnam or the turmoil of the 60s. I barely knew Reagan.

For me, George W. Bush is the worst thing to ever happen to our country. Another four years of him would be absolutely unbearable, or as Theresa Heinz-Kerry so eloquently put it, "four more years of hell."

I don't believe anyone who spends time on Democratic Underground to be a stupid person. Sometimes we may be underinformed, irrational, or just plain crazy as a result of all this bullshit that we've had to endure for the last four years.

But that's understandable when we have a media that almost never truthfully reports the news and an administration that is sticking their proverbial fingers in their proverbial ears and shouting at the top of their proverbial lungs. With a situation like this, it's hard for the truth to get out, and I thank [insert deity of choice] everyday for the astounding amount of information I find everyday on this website.

I first came to know John Kerry through an article in Rolling Stone back in April of 2002. He's "ready for his close-up" the article exclaimed. Upon finishing it, I was thoroughly impressed, and looking forward to the prospect of a Kerry for President campaign.

But then a few things happened. John Kerry was not standing up to the lies and deceit of the Bush Administration the way he should have. John Kerry voted yea on the Iraq War Resolution. In short, John Kerry lost my support and my respect.

But life goes on and before I knew it, I was one of the millions caught up in Dean Fever. I loved the guy, for no other reason than the fact that he simply was not afraid to tell the truth. How refreshing it was to hear someone with that much media coverage say exactly what I'd been thinking since January of 2001. Dean was a breath of fresh air, and with it he brought hope for the future.

Then, somewhere along the way to the polls, Dean fell apart. All of a sudden, Kerry emerged as the front runner, and eventually, as our nominee. I was thoroughly disappointed, but decided to follow the advice of the bumper sticker on my car: "Anyone But Bush."

The Anyone But Bush attitude is one that can be found in droves on Democratic Underground. We are all angry, ready to throw this crook out of office. But once Kerry emerged as the eventual nominee, a new attitude started to show itself: Anyone But Bush or Kerry.

At first I would defend those who staunchly held that belief, not being a big fan of him myself. But since then, I find myself changing my views.

By no means am I a moderate on the political litmus test. The fact of the matter is, I am what many of our friends on the far-right would call a "godless pinko commie liberal." Though I could not vote, I strongly supported Ralph Nader's campaign in 2000 and still do not blame him for Gore's "loss" in that election. But the more I see John Kerry up on the podium, and the more I see the Bush camp desperately using any tactic they can against him, the more my vote is turning from a vote against Bush into a vote for Kerry.

I am a very idealistic person. I believe that the government can fix many problems in our society if we can take back control of the media and elect the right people into office. But the last four years have provided me with enough slaps to the face that I've found it necessary to inject myself with a dose of realism.

Whether we like it or not, the truth of the matter is that there is only one man who can beat George W. Bush in the 2004 election. That man is Senator John Forbes Kerry of Massachusetts. John Kerry is the only 100%, fail-safe, guaranteed chance we have at getting rid of Bush. Yet many of you still say you won't vote for him.

Why?

Like you, I am sick and tired of these liars. Like you, I am sick and tired of the Hannitys and the O'Reillys and the Limbaughs of the world screeching their hateful rhetoric day after day, only to find millions of loyal fans eating up every word.

Like you, I am sick and tired of reading about our soldiers dying in Iraq. Like you, I am sick and tired of being called un-American, a traitor, a friend of Osama simply because I don't believe that our President is being faithful to the office or the people that he is supposed to represent.

But mostly I am sick and tired of being afraid; afraid not of terrorists, but instead of the path down which our country is tumbling. Like you, I am a patriotic American, one who believes in our Constitution and the principle that we, as citizens of this great nation have not only a right but a duty to question our government when something doesn't sit right.

Basically, I'm writing this to say wake up. It is time to drop the idealism for one election, and think rationally, logically, and realistically. Would a Kerry presidency be so bad, that you'd be willing to allow four more years of Bush by not voting for him? Because that's what it's come down to.

For this election, I really believe that a vote for anyone but Kerry is a vote for Bush. We only have one chance, and one vote, to get this country back on the right path. Let's get that one vote right, and make it a vote for John Kerry.

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