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|Home » Discuss » DU Groups » Democrats » John Kerry Group|
|WildEyedLiberal (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore||Mon Jan-03-05 03:53 AM
|Here is an essay I wrote on election day; you Kerrycrats might like it|
Edited on Mon Jan-03-05 03:55 AM by WildEyedLiberal
I thought you all might like to read an essay I wrote for my Livejournal on November 2. I was just trying to coalesce all my thoughts, and this is what resulted. Enjoy:
"Well, this is it. D-Day. The day of reckoning.
I don't know if my words can do justice to the gravity of this day. Simply put, this is one of the most important days in recent history. Today, this nation will decide whether to remain with a president and administration that has run roughshod over the principles and liberties of the Constitution, destroyed our reputation in the world, committed our soldiers to an unnecessary and tragic war, wreaked havoc on the economy, and widened the gap between rich and poor; or whether it will choose instead a new leadership and elect a man who has spent his life serving America and fighting for the ideals that this nation was founded upon. The difference could not be more stark, and the choice could not be more clear.
There has been much emphasis on the actions of both candidates during the Vietnam War, to the chagrin of many pundits and talking heads who insist that we should be worrying about the issues of 2004. To some extent, they are correct. But Vietnam was the baby boomer generation's trial by fire, as it were; their generational coming of age. How each man reacted to those events is relevant today because of the light it sheds on his character. John Kerry was a Yale graduate and the son of a wealthy New England family. Doubtless he could have moved abroad to further his studies, or finagled a cushy spot in the Massachusetts National Guard and spent the war relaxing with friends in Boston. But he chose not to take the easy route. He volunteered for the Navy and, beyond that, explicitly requested duty in Vietnam. It is said that war makes men out of boys, and while patrolling the dangerous canals and inlets of the Mekong Delta, John Kerry became a man. He witnessed the horror of war firsthand - the carnage, the chaos, the dubious morality and the shades of grey. He learned that those in command are not always wise, or right, or just, and that soldiers had only each other to rely upon, a tight-knit band of brothers. He learned that war is not glorious or glamorous, but that being forced to take human life in order to save the lives of your brothers is a chilling but necessary decision forced by the reality of combat. War shatters all romantic illusions about battle, and thus John Kerry came home, a decorated war hero who had seen and done things that haunted him - haunted him, but not broken him. He was angry at the betrayal of his government that had sent him and many of his friends into a war that was neither necessary, nor planned, nor winnable. Several of his close friends did not return from Vietnam, and their names are inscribed on the memorial Wall. Armed with this righteous anger, John Kerry took a brave and unpopular stand against the war, speaking truth to power in his powerful testimony to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Protesting the war was not a politically popular move; it continues to haunt him to this day, in the form of the Swift Boat Veterans for Bush and various other smear campaigns which seek to accuse him of treason and cowardice for his actions. John Kerry's experiences in Vietnam and afterwards taught him that the government does not always tell the truth, nor does it always act in the interests of the people it purports to serve. He learned that if government is to be held accountable for its actions, it falls to those who are willing to speak the truth no matter the cost, no matter the sacrifice.
The Bush campaign and many pundits would have America believe that John Kerry accomplished nothing of value during his tenure in the Senate, that he has little to show for 20 years of representation. This is deceptive at best and blatantly false at worst. Though it is true that Senator Kerry has not passed a major piece of legislation bearing his name, his investigative accomplishments are grossly overlooked and underrated. As a freshman senator barely a few months into his first term, John Kerry, who had requested a position on the Foreign Relations Committee, dove into the hot-button issue of Nicaragua and the Reagan Administration's support of the Contra rebels against the communist Sandanista regime. Leading a subcommittee, Kerry probed the connections of the Reagan-funded Contras to drug trafficking, despite strong opposition from the Justice Department, the CIA, ranking Republicans, and even many members of his own party. Undeterred, Kerry released a report that linked the Contras, Panamanian dictator Manuel Noriega, and other corrupt regimes that were directly supported by Reagan foreign policy to international drug trafficking, and thus was a key player in exposing the Iran-Contra scandal. After his investigation into the Contras, Kerry decided to follow up on Noriega's drug trafficking and corruption. His probing led him to the Bank of Credit and Commerce International (BCCI), a huge international bank run by a wealthy Pakistani with numerous ties to terrorism. BCCI was essentially a criminal enterprise, engaged in money laundering to such unsavory characters as Noriega and Osama bin Laden. Investigating BCCI was, if possible, even more unpopular than investigating Iran-Contra. Several wealthy Democratic party donors and statesmen had ties to BCCI, and Kerry's investigation was stymied from both sides of the aisle. Refusing to surrender, he presented his evidence to a DA in New York state, whose indictments of several key BCCI players led to the dissolution of the bank. Again, Kerry faced opposition from Republicans and Democrats, the Justice Department, and the CIA, all of whom he condemned in his report on the BCCI affair in an emphatic denunciation of Washington cronyism. The liquidation of BCCI's assets was a major blow to international terrorism; in fact, those who suggest that John Kerry is somehow "weak" on national security need only be reminded that he has done much more than many others to combat terrorism through his spearheading of the BCCI investigation.
To those people who insist that John Kerry would not make a good president, I only ask that you - objectively - read about his life and his accomplishments. The media stereotypes simply are not true, and they paint an incomplete and inaccurate picture. All his life, John Kerry has stood for and fought for the ideals that make this nation great - duty, honor, courage, truth, service, and liberty. I believe that America realizes this, and will not pass up this opportunity to elect such an estimable man to the most honored office in the land. The contrast between John Kerry and George Bush could not be more clear. I have outlined Bush's failures, lies, deceptions, and outright fascist ambitions many times, and that is why I will refrain from doing so now. While Bush's record is beyond appalling, it is not fair to a man of such strong character as John Kerry to simply say that he is "better than Bush." Yes, he is. But then again, just about anyone is better than Bush. Not only is John Kerry better than Bush, but he is a good and decent man in his own right, a man who has served America for 35 years, and who deserves the chance to lead this nation back to the principles it holds dear.
That, really, is the crux of the issue. While this election is a contest between George Bush and John Kerry, it is also much, much bigger than that. It is a battle between radical ideology and rational sensibility; between authoritarian fascism and liberal democracy; between the ideas of nationalistic fervor and true patriotic devotion. America is not simply a sovereign nation, with borders, and a population. America is more than a set of demographics or the strength of our military or the size of our bombs. America is an idea; a dream, born of the notion that all people are created equal and endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights; among these, life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. This election is a battle for the very soul of America. The very ideals which have formed our national identity are at stake, threatened by the megalomaniacal cabal in Washington who seek to solidify their own power at the expense of the principles which form the foundation of our country. The decision on November 2nd is far more than a partisan contest, far more than Democrat versus Republican or liberal versus conservative. It is a battle between those who respect what America truly stands for, and those who would destroy the heart of America for political gain. This is a critical election because the fate of the nation hangs in the balance.
America has come to a fork in the road. When you cast your ballot today, bear in mind that you are voting not only for a candidate, or a party, but for the very future of this country. Your vote will determine the path this country will follow - the path of liberty and freedom, of light and hope, or the path of darkness and fear, of despair and deceit. I for one am sick and tired of living under the pall of fear. I am tired of the manipulations and the lies, of the deceptions and the treachery, the aspiring dictators and their obedient whores. I am tired of watching my America lose its respect in the world; I am tired of seeing my countrymen die for a lie; I am tired of hearing my president refuse to admit that he has been wrong, deadly wrong; I am tired of the fearmongering, the greed, the callous indifference, and the dogmatic goosestepping and suppression of dissent.
It is time for a change. It is time to return to the ideals we cherish as a nation - hope, charity, duty, service, honor, truth, justice. It is time to reclaim our country. As Bruce Springsteen said in Madison, Wisconsin: "The country we carry in our hearts is waiting." The time is now. This is our moment, our chance to take history into our hands and change the world. Let's do this - for ourselves, for the future, for the world. It's time to speak truth to power. We will write our own destiny into the firmament, and tell the world that we have not forgotten what it is to be an American. History will judge us by the decision we make today. The time for words is done; now is the time for action. Vote."
Here's the link to my LJ: http://www.livejournal.com/users/wildeyedliberal
Same username. I'm thinking about getting a real blog for my rantings and my essays, as opposed to just my LJ - what do you all think? Based on my writing above, and my posts here - should I get a blog? Would you read it?
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