Two Views: John Forbes Kerry: One sweet dude

I mean, come on. What else can you say about the guy? He drops F-bombs in Rolling Stone magazine, he snowboards, he chills with Teddy Kennedy and he wears leather and rides a sick Harley onto the set of The Tonight Show. He’s one sah-weet dude!

Well, other than the fact that most of that (he really does chill with my boy Teddy) is just a carefully organized strategy to make JFK – that’s what I like to call him – seem more hip than the 60-year-old Massachusetts Liberal he really is. And hey, I’m fine with that. If that’s all it takes to get the apathetic – and really, let’s face it, just pathetic – American voting public to go to the polls, so be it. The people who care will still get their Massachusetts Liberal, thank you very much.

For some reason, “liberal” has become a dirty word. You actually believe everyone deserves a fair shake?! Shame on you!

Lately, Kerry has been shuffling to the middle on issues like gay marriage and outsourcing (I hate to tell you, but almost everyone is in favor of somewhat free trade, ya silly nationalists). In all likeliness, he’ll probably shift a little back to the left if he’s elected. Hey, Dubya abandoned the center as soon as he took office, too, and he wasn’t even elected! But still, it’s encouraging that a lifelong liberal can make concessions to the center in order to be elected; it shows that he’s willing to compromise, something to which it seems the Bush Regime is less amenable.

A lot has been made of Bush’s National Guard service, and in response, the Republicans have attacked Kerry for his post-service anti-war activities.

At first glance, this seems like nothing more than a despicable display of smear politics. However, it’s not about whether Bush dodged the draft using political influence or whether Kerry associated with Communist sympathizers; it’s about who we can trust. Who is more apt to be a hands-on President?

Even if it turns out Bush fulfilled his National Guard service, it doesn’t matter. Clearly, he did not embrace a leadership position. He had no passion about the Vietnam War, regardless of where he was serving. It didn’t affect him. He was Senator George H.W. Bush’s son. He didn’t have to worry about a thing because he wasn’t a regular Texan, and he was damn proud of it.

Kerry, on the other hand, went to war. He saved lives. He was a commanding officer. When he got back, he made sure everyone knew what a terrible mistake the Vietnam War was. He was a passionate leader. And that’s exactly what we need in these trying times.

We don’t need a guy who hoodwinks the American public into confusing Saddam Hussein with Osama bin-Laden.

More is at stake in this election than whether you think a black kid stole your spot at Harvard or whether you’re hoping that someday you, too, can be part of the elite top one percent so you can get a tax cut that won’t even matter to you. We need our leader to be someone who is passionate, who knows how to compromise and, most importantly, whom we can trust. John Forbes Kerry is that man.

Patrick Gibbons can be contacted at