After wading through endless e-mails yesterday, I decided to reward myself with some brainless activity. I prepped a tray with minis, a hobby knife, and Zap-a-Gap, then flipped on the tube. I hadn’t planned on it, but I ended up watching the Democratic National Convention for a couple of hours while gluing together very small tanks. I hadn’t seen any of the previous speeches and whatnot for two reasons. First, I’ve known that I’d be casting my vote against Bush since November, 2000, so it’s not like I needed to be convinced. Second, Nik and I were on the road Monday to Wednesday, and political speeches were not what we had in mind when we checked into roadside motels after a full day’s driving.
As it happened, my timing was impeccable. I caught the lead in to Kerry’s big speech and then the whole speech itself. I found myself thinking, “This is it, Johnny boy. This speech is going to make you or break you, so make it count.” I was relieved to hear him saying all the right things. Not everything I would have liked him to have said, mind you, but the right things to get him elected. I watched the dog and pony show with a keen sense of appreciation. The strategists behind the event put the science in political science. Bringing out Kerry’s old shipmates from ‘Nam and continually referencing them as his “Band of Brothers”; hammering Kerry’s war hero status and contrasting that with W’s Vietnam-era shenanigans; slamming tax cuts for the rich and corporate welfare; restoring America’s integrity at home and on the world stage—that was all the right stuff to say. No doubt legions of super-patriot morons will still vote for Bush come November, but all we need is enough of the undecided voters to realize how they’ve been screwed for the past four years and we can get that monkey out of office.
I can’t say that I’m a bona fide Kerry supporter, as I have long-standing problems with the Democratic Party. As I’ve said though, I’d vote for a monkey in a fez to get Bush out of office. In the current environment, Kerry is good enough. I could take issue with a lot of points in his speech, especially the feel-good rhetoric about the good old days. It’s not like America using its superpower status to bully and manipulate other nations is anything new, more that the Bush administration did it so blatantly and egregiously. But hey, if some simplistic rhetoric is what it takes to more people to realize what the last four years has cost us all, I can’t complain.