While I sat near the Rock and waited for Sen. John Kerry to enter, I was hoping to hear him tell me what makes him the better choice for President. By the time Kerry left, I had been convinced only of the fact that he isn’t President Bush.
Even before Kerry became the Democratic frontrunner, the core of the party had established itself on one major foundation: “We aren’t Bush.” What became evident to me is that the Democrats were looking for a cog to place in their anti-Bush machine, and it just so happened to be Kerry. This may be a valid platform to some, but I’m skeptical about the ramifications of electing a President who apparently stands for little.
Kerry couldn’t wait longer than thirty seconds into his speech before mentioning something wrong with President Bush. I kept count throughout of how many times he mentioned what he stands for and how many times he criticized Bush. In total, Kerry brought up his plans for office seven times, while talking about the Bush administration’s current policy twenty times.
It seems as if Kerry has changed who he is to fit into the machine the Democratic Party has created. As a result, Kerry appeared very wishy-washy in most of what he said, and on many occasions came close to being downright hypocritical.
He criticized Bush for the massive job loss due to free trade, yet failed to mention that his wife’s corporation, Heinz Inc., outsources almost 80 percent of its jobs. He claimed that Bush isn’t for the common American, yet Kerry personally depends on the wealth of the two mega-millionaire women he has married in his life. He said he would lower taxes, yet failed to mention that in his career as a senator, he has voted for a tax increase on average once every three weeks spanning an 18-year career.
The climax of Kerry’s speech surrounded his statement that this election is the most important one in our lives. He immediately followed that statement not with what he stands for that makes it so important, but with a list of the problems with the Republican Party being in office.
I spoke with Sen. Kerry after the rally and asked him why he came to UM. His response; “To get young people involved and educated of what I’m about.” Well, Mr. Kerry, you did no such thing on Sunday. When you start talking more about what you stand for, and less about President Bush’s administration, you will be taking the right steps toward accomplishing that goal.
Kerry had a chance to show South Florida what he’s all about, but instead of seizing that opportunity, he failed. If he doesn’t develop an identity of his own, come November he will realize that not being Bush isn’t good enough for the average voter.
Don Donelson can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.