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Kerry out-of-sync with mainstream America
By Carol Devine-Molin
Presidential politics have always been rough and tumble, but this election year is gearing up to be worse than usual given the vitriol that abounds in both partisan camps. Senator John Kerry is apparently poised to become the Democratic presidential nominee as he continues to rack up those victories in his party's primaries and caucuses. However, what do we really know about him? Increasingly negative press has been hurled Kerry's way, with some conservative pundits readily dubbing him botox boy, and others even less delicately describing him as a gigolo and gold-digger who replaced one fabulously rich wife with another to ensure his ongoing meal ticket in life. As to the former, Kerry has every right to improve his rather craggy facial appearance in today's superficial world of media and politics, and as to the latter, Kerry is a New England Brahmin, albeit a less-wealthy one, who was always part of the upper-crust and naturally socialized with heiresses. This all makes for interesting gossip, but it's media prattle that's basically irrelevant to Kerry's presidential bid and will have little impact on the all-important independent voters.
That begs the question, what's really pertinent to evaluating Kerry as candidate for this nation's highest office? Certainly, it's necessary to examine his voting record in the Senate, and the manner in which he's conducted himself in public life over the course of years. Moreover, it may boil down to the answer to one vital question in these crisis times: Can we depend upon John Kerry to properly protect this nation during this war on terror? In light of his overall background, the answer is clearly no. And I believe that the majority of swing voters will come to the same conclusion once all is aired for their consideration. That said, the GOP plans to exploit Kerry's voting history and background to the fullest extent with myriad documentation at their disposal.
Essentially, Kerry is a Leftist who has exhibited a pattern of anti-defense and anti-intelligence votes in the Senate, despite his rhetorical attempts to be on all sides of issues. In large measure America's national security is predicated upon our well-trained and high-tech equipped Armed Forces and intelligence services, which require sufficient funding and congressional support. Unfortunately, it would be fair to say that Kerry's political leanings are not conducive to our national security interests, and Kerry's overall character is questionable. He was part of the pro-Hanoi Jane Fonda crowd of the early 1970's, which viciously maligned American soldiers during the Vietnam era. Simply put, when Kerry spoke before the Senate after his Vietnam experience, he not only trashed the military as an institution, but the soldiers who put their lives on the line. Many who have served in the military, and their families as well, perceive Kerry's public disparagement of our troops as unforgivable acts bordering on treason. Veterans groups against Kerry are reportedly sprouting up all over the nation in response to his presidential bid, calling him Hanoi John.
In fact, Vietnam Veterans Against John Kerry has announced a national coalition with Vietnamese-Americans for Human Rights in Vietnam and Vietnamese-Americans Against John Kerry. Their recent press release indicated, "We represent hundreds of thousand of American veterans who do not want to see John Kerry anywhere near the Oval Office, said Ted Sampley, founder of V.V.A.J.K, and a U.S. Army Green Beret and veteran of two combat tours in Vietnam". Dan Tran, speaking as a member of Vietnamese-Americans Against John Kerry, espoused: "On behalf of tens of thousands of Vietnamese-Americans, we are determined to demonstrate against Senator Kerry all across this nation…John Kerry aided and abetted the communist government in Hanoi and has hindered any human rights progress in Vietnam". The Coalition plans nationwide demonstrations against John Kerry beginning with the New York and Massachusetts primaries. Interestingly, at the website of Vietnam Veterans Against John Kerry, it avers that Kerry received his Silver Star for administering a coup de grace to a wounded Viet Cong. If that's accurate, then a formal investigation into this incident is definitely warranted.
In a recent Washington Times piece, reporter Joseph Curl noted that during "a speech at the winter meeting of the Republican National Committee, Mr. Mehlman (Bush campaign manager) laid out how Mr. Kerry's own voting record has compromised U.S. security. Even after the first World Trade Center bombing, Senator Kerry voted to gut intelligence spending by $1.5 billion for the five years prior to 2001. In 1996, he voted to slash defense spending by $6.5 billion. Both bills were so reckless that neither had any co-sponsors willing to endorse his plans." Another top Republican appalled by Kerry's egregious behaviors stated: "He (Kerry) not only has never tried to help our intelligence community or our Armed Forces, he has vehemently fought us every step of the way when we try to protect the American people from threats. He is the last one who should ever criticize this president."
According to an informative two-part series on Senator Kerry by John Pike of Insight magazine, it stated that: "Often he (Kerry) is ambivalent or obfuscates to try to satisfy those on both sides of antithetical issues. Many editorial writers and commentators have dismissed him as a transparent self-promoter, a phony and an opportunist". Senator Kerry, who ostensibly supports environmental causes and alternative energy resources, is waffling on a proposal for windmills (to generate electricity) near Nantucket Island – Why? Because the super-rich residents can't tolerate any obstruction of their view. That's blatant hypocrisy on the part of these Massachusetts liberals including Kerry. And Pike further related that, "The rating services of both the Left and the Right report that he (Kerry) votes with Senator Edward Kennedy of Massachusetts about 96% of the time in support of a strong tax-raising and government-knows-best platform". Americans, by and large, are not going to react well to all that's being unearthed about Senator Kerry simply because we're a Center-Right nation, not a Far-Left nation. The liberals, who have never been pro-military, are foolish to think their war hero Kerry will trump Bush -- The truth is that Kerry is not going to be warmly received outside the realm of Left-leaning Democrats. I would venture to say that most of the South and the West will be decidedly turned-off by this haughty New England Leftist.
Moreover, John Pike of Insight magazine cited Kerry's amazing testimony before the Senate as an anti-war activist: "Kerry's first national media attention and the first in which the epithet 'phony' was directed against him came on April 22, 1971, when he testified before the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations as part of a carefully orchestrated buildup to an antiwar protest in Washington…Kerry slipped away from the manuscript to add rhetorical bombs of his own design, saying he had heard U.S. soldiers relate how they had personally raped, cut off ears, cut off heads, taped wires from portable telephones to human genitals and turned up the power, cut off limbs, blown up bodies, randomly shot at civilians, razed villages in a fashion reminiscent of Genghis Khan, shot cattle and dogs for fun, poisoned food stocks and generally ravaged the countryside of South Vietnam in addition to the normal ravages of war. Kerry also was quoted during this period as saying war crimes in Vietnam are the rule, not the exception. He spoke on television of crimes committed on a day-to-day basis, with the full awareness of officers at all levels of command." In essence, Kerry was accusing his fellow GIs of systemic war crimes.
I'm of the opinion that Kerry's comments as anti-war activist were: a) substantially hogwash, b) notably biased against members of the military, c) very damaging for anyone aspiring to be President and Commander-in-Chief, and, d) unworthy of any American, as the clear intent was to comprehensively besmirch the Armed Forces and its members. Kerry might try to chalk up his remarks to youthful indiscretion. However, the fact that Kerry has consistently voted in the Senate to eviscerate military and intelligence spending only reinforces the notion that his radical views persist and are not in step with mainstream America, which is especially troubling since our nation is currently under siege. Make no mistake; Kerry's overarching political philosophy has changed little throughout the years. He's a Massachusetts Leftist who appears to be even more extreme than Ted Kennedy.
Carol Devine-Molin is a regular contributor to several online magazines.
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