Clareified

Where does the good go

And, I, Sir, accept your acceptance

And, I, Sir, accept your acceptance
 
I’ve never been a fan of the using the word “service” to describe holding political office.
I spent two semesters “serving” my classmates in the Yale dining hall. What Presidents, Senators and congresspeople do, doesn’t even come close.
I want my elected officials to work: work for me, my city, my state and my country.
Last night, as I watched John Kerry wipe the sweat from his brow mid-way through the best acceptance speech given in my lifetime, I knew that he would be a President who worked. And, (go chiastic) he worked as President.
The tone for me was set when Lt. Jim Rassman said “nobody asked me to join this campaign…I volunteered.” The look of anger and hurt in his eyes, framed by the resolve of his face and stoic stance, made my eyes well up to think that people would attack him to try to gain a political advantage over a candidate. (For the record, I am certain that Kerry’s rivals to the Democratic nomination engaged in it, so this isn’t a Republican critique. That will come later.) The line of men standing behind him on the stage, Senator Cleland’s moving tale of how he lay, struggling to get up from the street in front of the White House — it all made me appreciate that John Kerry’s service in Vietnam isn’t just a punchline or a photo op; it matters.
Certainly, it’s not the most important thing or the winning argument. If my family in the military or my friends who have recently enlisted are shot in Afghanistan or taken hostage in Iraq, I can’t imagine that I would ask to see their wounds or the calculate length of their capture to measure the worth of their sacrifice. Snide remarks about “scratches” and cracks about “four-months” are unconscionable. Jessica Lynch spent less than a month in Iraq and when she encountered enemy fire, spent most of the battle on her knees crying and praying. But I challenge anyone to belittle her contribution, mock her service. 
In that moment when John Kerry stepped up to the podium and said he was reporting for duty, the contrast between him and his opponent was pointedly clear. And Kerry didn’t miss a step for the next 46 minutes.
Not once did I look a my watch, not once did I wince or cover my ears begging him to stop talking. And when he was done I couldn’t remember Clinton’s speech or Obama or even Edwards. Indeed, I couldn’t imagine any one else standing on that stage ready to face Bush in November.
Kerry is not a compromise candidate, the guy who’ll do — he’s the best of the Democratic party and (fingers crossed) America will see that he’s the best our country’s got.
Kerry’s a man that knows that “warfare” isn’t rolling back tax cuts on the wealthiest 2 percent in order to pay for armor for our soldiers or for benefits for seniors and the poor. He knows “warfare,” with all due respect Mary Matalin, is young people holding weapons in foreign lands as they march through uncertain dangers — not ending corporate welfare for companies that pay their CEOs 7 figures, while shipping jobs overseas to save a buck or two an hour in wages for the people who do the real work.
Contrast the image of Bush chopping up trees, with Kerry’s “cathedrals of nature.” Bush’s bible-thumping “God is on our side,” with Kerry’s humble prayer that he may be on God’s side. Kerry’s bold “what if” vision of using the Federal Government’s spending power and the bully pulpit of the Presidency to find cures for autoimmune diseases that are killing Americans in the millions, with Bush’s use of the White House to inject discrimination into the Constitution and increase government controls on civil liberties.
I can’t recall ever rooting for Kerry before, but last night he became the obvious choice for President.  His speech was that good (Although, his line about us all being American “red, white and blue,” did prompt a reflexive “Why it gotta be white!”).
This morning I watched the pundits interview Republicans and their rebuttals were flimsy.
“But…but, he’s made himself over” and ”where are the specifics?” Putting aside the humor of the the party of vague warnings and redacted documents, now clamoring for details and specifics, I thought Kerry did a great job of laying out his plans: cutting waste, fighting a smarter, more effective war and re-engaging in diplomacy.  I love that John Kerry understands that law and order, starts with law. His vision doesn’t include cutting and pasting the protections of the Constitution as he sees fit; it’s too important a cornerstone to our democracy.
That Kerry was the “most liberal member of the Senate for 20 years,” ummm, ok Paul Wellstone and/or Russ Feingold may have a thing or two to say about that (ok, Wellstone, not so much), but hey, I’m ok with that. As Kerry said in his speech, he also worked with the most conservative member of the Senate, John McCain and that tells me, he can possibly bring this country together again.
I realized why Kerry seemed so stilted during the primaries. He is not made for spewing catchphrases and slogans; the worst part of last night was the “Hope is on the way” chanting. He is a leader, a major player, not — a cheerleader. Many say that George Bush found his voice on the rubble of the Twin Towers; there his presidency was born.  I disagree, I simply saw a man who knows a thing or two about shouting through a megaphone.  
Last night, I saw a President.
Kerry may not beat Bush, but hopefully he’ll run again in 2008. I think he was born for (and in, I guess) the West Wing. I’ll be working to help him acheive that.
I don’t know, somewhere in the process of falling in line, I fell in love. 

13 Responses to “And, I, Sir, accept your acceptance”

  1. Ivan Lenin Says:

    Wow Dawn,
    If last night’s theatrical production got you sold, then I say Kerry is a lock. He is indeed a major player. This reminds me mother Russia: the most sincere people go for the cheesiest con artists.

  2. Karol Says:

    WOW from me too. Were you smoking something at the time?

  3. Dawn Summers Says:

    Just the scent of hope from the pipe of peace. :)

  4. asphnxma Says:

    Really, Karol, can’t you come up with anything more substantive than that? Many of your comments I read on this blog (usually in response to Dawn or Rick) stoop to the level of “humorous” insult.

    I’m not suggesting the comment section of Dawn’s blog is the right place for a blow-by-blow analysis of the issues, and I know you and Dawn have been friends for a long time, but I’d expect something more than a childish “You must be crazy if that guy has convinced you to support him!” from someone seemingly as intelligent and eloquent as you.

  5. Dawn Summers Says:

    Actually, I prefer the humorous insults because it means she’s got nothing else!

  6. Karol Says:

    Asphnxma,

    What I comment on here is .1% of what Dawn and I talk about each day. Did you have to live through her wishing Kerry would take more vacations? Were you there when she angrily retorted that Dennis Kucinich was in the race, thank you very much. Did you get to listen to the ‘please don’t tell me he said/did that, please don’t tell me he said/did that, please don’t tell me he said/did that, please don’t tell me he said/did that, please don’t tell me he said/did that, please don’t tell me he said/did that’ 600 times in your ear referring to the guy that she now writes gushing prose to? Cause I did. So, ‘wow’ was about as much as I could muster. She has not only drank the Kool-Aid. She lived on it and nothing else for a week.*

    *Just a note that I’m not just writing all this because smart money is still on Dawn pulling the lever for Nader in November.

  7. asphnxma Says:

    Why not challenge the steadfastedness of her new convictions in the way that you just did instead of simply “humorously” implying that she’s either crazy or on drugs?

    That’s not really my point, though. If it were just Dawn, I wouldn’t have said anything because I -know- you two are close. It’s just that I’ve noticed that you have a tendency to act in a similar manner with Rick, in particular, and other liberal commenters, too. It may be “easier” to be dismissively insulting to people whose views aren’t on the same page as yours (and who you can never hope to persuade), but it’s certainly not persuasive to the rest of us.

    Anyway, I’ve said too much about this already, so I’ll shut up now. See you tonight…?

  8. mandy Says:

    “I simply saw a man who knows a thing or two about shouting through a megaphone.”

    That is hysterical Dawn. You should write for the Kerry campaign.

  9. PAUL Says:

    Nice writing.

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  12. Hi there Says:

    Are you there?

    As always a good post :) .

  13. Hi there Says:

    Are you there?

    Well … again a nice post .

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