Kerry, Edwards, Strength, and Haircuts

So John Kerry has chosen John Edwards to be his running mate. I didn’t see video of the announcement, but the photos I saw struck me in a singular way: as he stood on the pulpit, there were signs saying “A Stronger America.” What does this mean?

As I wrote a few days ago, I have seen nothing resembling strength, integrity, authenticity, courage, or inspirational leadership from Kerry, or indeed any of the major Democratic candidates (excepting Dennis Kucinich, and to a lesser extent Howard Dean).

Surely Kerry’s firsthand memory of war in Southeast Asia, provided those memories aren’t buried too deeply underneath the crushing weight of 30 years in the corporate/political machine in Washington, would preclude him from believing that A Stronger America can be achieved through military action. The United States already has the strongest military in the world, yet it is shorthanded for the activities it is engaging in. This tells me that the US military is trying to be too strong.

I’ve heard nothing from Kerry apart from playing-it-safe in his speeches, so as to offend as few people as possible. He’s saying the same things politicians in America have been saying for decades. I want to believe, but all I hear are hollow platitudes driven by polls, by how people will react, by a desperate fear of controversy of any sort.

Is this strength?

I think not. Strength comes from a place of authenticity, which I do not see in Kerry. I have no idea what Kerry believes, all I hear are the poll-driven, calculated statements of his speech writers.

Strength would be speaking his truth from his heart, not reading the prefabricated words of others.

Strength would be taking the Bushites to task for their warmongering, and taking himself to task for voting to allow it in the first place.

Strength would be listening to the increasingly populous Progressive movement, embodied in the Democratic party by Dennis Kucinich.

And finally, strength would be getting a different haircut than Bill Clinton. This also goes for John Edwards’ haircut being different from Al Gore’s. It’s like a time machine; if you don’t wear your glasses and look at Kerry/Edwards, it looks remarkably like Clinton/Gore from a decade ago. Get a new hairstylist, guys…

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