October 26, 2004

Election 2004: Go to the John

“Kerry will kill our nation while it sleeps…” –Not who you think

While compiling columns for my new online archive (forgive the plug: http://columnsonline.blogspot.com/) I noticed that I haven’t talked enough about the Nov. 2 election. After months of fair and balanced consideration, I’ve decided to endorse John Kerry for president.

Before I explain why, though, let’s weigh in on the more localized races. Because U.S. Senator John Breaux is retiring, we must select his successor. Chris John is that man; a moderate Democrat, John has the clout and experience that stands out in a talented field. Plus, he has the added benefit of not being David Vitter.

While the District 7 Representative race is as split as a pro-life liberal, Donald Cravins stands out. While he calls himself a conservative Democrat, his progressive stances on issues such as outsourcing, health care, education and women’s issues betray that description. His biggest opposition, Charles Boustany, has been making speeches about how he isn’t in the pocket of the Republicans, which shows just how much he’s in the pocket of the Republicans.

But back to Kerry. In the past, I’ve been accused of pushing the view that Kerry is the best candidate simply because he’s not Bush. Which is a good reason, really. Nader voters, I hear you; the two-party system has serious flaws that need to be addressed so that we don’t constantly get Britney Spears vs. Hilary Duff. I don’t even really blame Nader for Gore’s loss in 2000; the Supreme Court had much more to do with that robbery. With this election, however, the stakes are far too high to make this brand of statement.

How about this for a statement in 2004? “While Kerry is not our first choice, he is a better choice than the other guy who has a chance to win. Let’s unite for Kerry this time for the immediate good, and then strive toward change when things improve.”

Still, I understand that people want reasons to vote FOR Kerry. That can be satisfied by reading his platform at johnkerry.com. Kerry has qualities with which virtually anyone can identify.

If you are the worker type, know that Kerry intends to crack down on corporations that want to lay you off and send your job to another hemisphere. He has the support of the AFL-CIO, as well as the International Association of Fire Fighters, International Brotherhood of Police Officers, National Education Association, United Farm Workers and more than 100 other organizations representing diverse professions.

If religion’s your bag, then Kerry is your only choice. Yes, that’s what I said! A Kerry vote will preserve your denomination by getting the government out of it. If you are tired of seeing your sincere beliefs exploited to justify terrible acts, then vote for the man secure enough in his beliefs to not have to enforce them.

Finally, don’t forget that thing going on in Iraq. Kerry’s plan gradually reduces our involvement there and includes regaining the trust of the world’s leaders so that we can plan an exit strategy. He understands firsthand the tragedy of war, and sees the need for soldiers and veterans to get the benefits they deserve.

At least one well-known group does not endorse Kerry. They worry about his ability to conduct the war on terror: “Kerry will kill our nation while it sleeps…Because of this we desire [Bush] to be elected…who deals with matters by force rather than with wisdom.” Considering al-Qaida’s current clout in the world, I’d take those words to heart.

For the best course for this state, this nation and the world, vote straight John (and Don) this Tuesday.

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