WWW Opinion Times

Friday, September 24, 2004

Kerry and Political Discourse

Proving once again that John Kerry never saw a flip-flop he couldn't resist, the Massachusetts Senator asserted on CNN's Crossfire in 1997 that the United States reserved the right to unilaterally attack Saddam Hussein's Iraq in the national interest.

In the
Washington Times today, Kerry is reported as saying then when he appeared with Cong. Peter King, "We know we can't count on the French. We know we can't count on the Russians. We know that Iraq is a danger to the United States, and we reserve the right to take pre-emptive action whenever we feel it's in our national interest."

What a difference seven years and a Republican Presidential opponent can make!

One of the major reasons Mr. Kerry is failing in the polls at present is that his position on issues changes in a manner analogous to those prescription glasses which darken gradually when exposed to the sun. And he hasn't mitigated this problem with a positive, practical agenda.

At first, this seemed to be for Mr. Kerry just a few examples of typical political-speak. As more of these shifts in position are revealed, we find him lampooning himself. The shades of grey revealed shift back and forth making Kerry seem like the Mood Ring of American politics.

No matter how hard he tries, John Kerry will not win this race unless the American people believe he will make a positive difference for the country. Attack Dog politics will only move the polls so far. There is a
Laffer Curve in politics which proportionally maximizes or negates voter support for a candidate based on net accumulation of negative campaign inputs (I'll call it the Pfaff Curve for the purposes of this article :) ). John Kerry reached his peak on that curve around May of this year. As he loses more voters over time without providing a counterbalanced positive agenda, he complains about Swift Boat Veterans and an opponent ignorant of our place in the world in his estimation rather than providing a clear contrast a challenger needs to gain electoral success. Voters receive perspective from negative attacks, but ultimately cannot attach to them.

I believe that American politics benefits from negative attack (which I differentiate from personal attacks). Our election process has greatly benefited from it throughout our history. The American people reject politicians who cannot bring a light on truth. They seek answers and solutions, and cannot countenance mere diatribe. They want the truth because, as was so eloquently stated by George C. Scott playing Patton in the biographical portrait of that great general, "losing is hateful to Americans." Losing implies poor planning and neglect of facts. Americans judge their politicians based on their ability to see reality and implement workable solutions. Kerry does neither.

We wonder at those who complain about the tenor of political campaigns these days. When they do so, are they making a serious comment on the process, or are we only observing a defensive attempt to shield incompetence. I believe in the case of Mr. Kerry and the majority of the Democrat Party, we are observing the latter.

Edward R. Murrow once said, "When the politicians complain that TV turns the proceedings into a circus, it should be made clear that the circus was already there, and that TV has merely demonstrated that not all the performers are well trained."

The Washington Times: Inside the Beltway - September 24, 2004