Tuesday, April 13, 2004

Kerry - what does he think?

I have had a bet going for some months now that no one I speak to will give me a halfway decent reason to vote for Kerry. The terms are that if someone, without being prompted, tells me why I should vote for Kerry, without invoking "Bush" or "republicans" (ie, telling me why I should hate them) I will vote for Kerry, otherwise I vote for Bush. I have yet to hear a reason to vote for Kerry that was not something like "Bush will ruin the country" or "Bush is evil" or something like that.

I feel pretty confident that I will vote for Bush, but who knows. I speak to a lot of people about politics, and occasionally, when it comes up, I just tell people I am voting for the American Nazi Party. Then when I get that incredulous look, I say "I thought I would do the same thing you did. Assume that Bush was evil, and then vote for whichever other person on the ballot pops in to my head. The Nazi candidate popped in to my head, so I'll vote for him. How lucky for the world Kerry popped in to your head first."

Few people have any idea how to respond to that. To those who do, I remind them how they supported Clarke or Dean, and now they are supporting Kerry because he is the only one on the ballot they heard of who is not Bush.

Jews, they say, are traditionally democrat. But they are democrat because 1) they think that democrats are better for the US, and they think that democrats are better for the Jews. (Let's leave aside the first issue for now.) Bush, for the time being, unlike his father, has this image of not being bad for the Jews. He is a friend to Israel, and an enemy of fascist tyranny. All of these are things that Jews like.

Kerry is remarkably silent on all of this. I have no idea what Kerry thinks about anything. He was against Vietnam, and wishy-washy on the war on Saddam Hussein, so I have no idea what his views are on uprooting tyranny. Does he like Israel? I have no idea. Peace process, road map, getting rid of Arafat, Yassin, Nasrallah? We are completely in the dark. Is he waiting for polling results or what? Will he work with Israel? Can he deal with Sharon? Will he be like Clinton, and spend his last few days in office pretending he has a solution to all the problems in the middle east? Could he even pronounce "shalom chaver"? Does he have any concrete ideas that friends of Israel can take with them to the voting booths?

Bush does. He likes Sharon, and is willing to support the peace process. He hates terrorism, in all of its forms. He says the word "road map" aloud every other day. He wants it to happen. He eliminated one of Israel's worst threats, and a sponsor of (to the tune of $25,000 a head, literally) anti-Israel terrorism. Bush does not just repeat some mantra about dismantlement whenever he hears the word "Israel". That is something that Jews are taking to the voting booths.

Lots of people would vote for Kerry if he gave them a reason. Why isn't he?

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