Why should I be staying with Kerry? Don't I realize that he "can't win". That he "speaks poorly" as I have been told. That he is "indecisive".
Because these are all lies and smears.
Because Senator John Kerry got it right in Vietnam. He gets it right on the Environment. And he gets it right on Iraq long before everyone else got it. He understands what real family values are. He respects the dignity of every American and can distinguish between Science and Religious dogma.
We are living in the Orwellian world of doublespeak. We are told lies and made to believe that truth must be incorrect.
It was therefore refreshing to turn to the Huffington Post this afternoon and read the wise words of Dave Johnson and James Boyce
They write about Senator Obama and ask:
"With complete respect to Senator Obama, where are the long-time Democratic leaders who have dedicated their lives to the service of our country? Where are the other possible Presidential contenders? What about Bill Clinton, Al Gore and John Kerry? Where are Hillary Clinton, Nancy Pelosi or Harry Reid? Are they not leaders that deserve at the very least to have decent favorability ratings?
Why is Barack Obama "favorable" and not any of the better-known Democratic leaders? And why - of all people is Rudy Guiliani at the top of the list as the Number One leader in our country? The answer is simple, and dramatic.
This favorability poll proves the power of the Right Wing's ongoing and successful strategy of "SELL and SMEAR."
Of course, pundits and commentators fell over themselves to see who could be the first or the wittiest in their ridiculing of John Kerry for his place finish. They pondered Guiliani's victory and Senator Obama's high rating. But they missed the point.
With concentrated and coordinated efforts between the conservative movement organizations, political leaders and the press, we have been SOLD the myth of Rudy Guiliani as a strong leader just as they've SMEARED John Kerry to the point where he is, sadly, damaged goods contemplating the potential end of a thirty-plus year career of service.
Three Democratic leaders on the poll have faced the full wrath of the smear machine, two as the Democratic Presidential Nominee, the third as co-target of the attacks on President Clinton. And where are Al Gore, John Kerry and Hillary Clinton? All are near the bottom of the rankings with favorability of under 50%. That is the power of the smear machine. This is what the machine does to our leaders - the leaders of the party of the people. It smears and attacks and destroys them."
They create a hypothetical and suggest you go to a dinner party and state:
"John Kerry is an authentic American war hero."
Watch the reaction. At best, people will acknowledge that he served. At worst, they will laugh at you. But he is. If anyone can claim to be an authentic American war hero it's John Kerry. He volunteered for the Navy out of Yale. He volunteered for Vietnam. He volunteered for Swift Boat duty. He was wounded three times and received three Purple Hearts, a Silver Star and a Bronze Star with Combat V.
Wait a minute. We know what you're thinking. But call anyone you know who has served in combat with the Navy, in World War II, in Vietnam or since. And ask them: does the Navy just hand out Purple Hearts like jelly beans? They'll laugh at you and tell you 'Of course not. There are procedures and paperwork.' No one gave those medals to John Kerry - he earned them. He is a war hero. But people "just don't like him."
But the American public has been lead like sheep to slaughter. We have given up our leaders as we become convinced that they are no longer "electable". Get a "Red State Governor" is the common call. How could a Senator ever get elected? Especially from Massachusetts!
"Now we are seeing the same pattern repeated with another 2008 hopeful, Senator Hillary Clinton. Every single American should have a favorable impression of Senator Clinton, regardless of whether or not they are supporting her as a potential candidate.
Hillary Clinton is the first woman in our nation's history, the very first, to have a legitimate shot at becoming President. She is an inspiration. She has the chance to make history. And yet, we repeat the Right Wing talking points about her. We say that she is "polarizing." And we say that she is "hated in her own party." And then there's that omnipresent, "I don't know, I just don't like her."
What about the image of the Democratic Party itself?
Have you ever wondered how exactly it is that the Democrats are perceived as "weak on defense" when Nixon was the one who surrendered in Vietnam, and Roosevelt, Truman and Kennedy were Democrats? When so many of the leadership and candidates of the Democratic Party are veterans while so few of the Republicans are?
Did you know that George McGovern was a World War II bomber pilot? And remember, in the debate on Iraq, we have John Kerry, Jack Murtha, Max Cleland, Joe Sestak, Chris Carney, Patrick Murphy, Richard Holbrooke, Wesley Clark, and more - all veterans. Our party collects war heroes as leaders. Their leaders collect deferments. And yet? They're perceived as the party of National Security. Why? Because they have spent billions telling us that it is so.
Look at any stock market or economic historic growth charts. The second half of the 1990s, under the leadership of Bill Clinton and brilliant business minds like Bob Rubin and Erskine Bowles, gave us a time of incredible growth. And historically Democratic Presidencies have higher economic and stock market growth. And Democrats reduce budget deficits while Republican increase them. Yet people perceive that Democrats are bad for the economy? Why? Because they've spent billions telling us that it is so."
Because they tell us that it is so!
Oh I know, we haven't been struck again
since 9/11 have we? We are told by the media that Republicans are good for defense. But it was a Republican President who failed to act when warned about Osama bin Laden. It was a Republican Administration that failed to catch Osama at Tora Bora when he was in the caves. We sent our surrogates in after him!
As for Senator Kerry:
"Imagine if John Kerry had been President the last two years. The Iraq Study Group's proposals contain many of the elements of John Kerry's 2004 Iraq plan he championed during the campaign. Would we be further along the road to a resolution in Iraq?
"Finally, back to Senator Barack Obama. Or is that "Balak HUSSEIN Osama" - as some Right Wing commentators are saying it already? What will happen when he faces the wrath of the Right's machine? Will we still love him then?
Will our fellow Americans start saying, "I don't know, I just don't like him." Will we let him be smeared? Will we let Senator Clinton and Vice President Gore be smeared again? Will we let John Kerry's legacy be destroyed?
The answer has to be a resounding no. The Right's $mear machine is one of the most powerful, destructive and pervasive forces of our time. It has to be understood for what it is, fought back against, exposed and destroyed. Not just for Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, Al Gore, John Kerry, and everyone else who will or has faced its wrath. But for us, our children, our future and most importantly, our democracy."
This is a battle for the survival of our nation. For true Democracy that includes real votes with the ability to do recounts. True Democracy that punishes those who strip citizens of their right to vote by removing them from the voter rolls.
Is Senator Kerry damaged goods? It will take more than a smear to stop this Senator. But he cannot do it alone! We must elect our most-qualified leader as President. It is John Kerry who has the Vietnam experience to know it is time to stop sending Americans to die for a mistake! It is John Kerry who understands the importance of dealing with our allies, protecting our environment, and supporting women's issues.
Keep on Coming John! We have got your back!