Tuesday, November 2, 2004

Kerry Fever

It's hard not to catch the Kerry fever, isn't it? I'm still not voting for him, but gosh-darnit, he had better win! I find myself getting all excited about the next four years if Kerry is elected president, but then I remember it's only because Bush won't be. Because what, really, will President John Kerry give the nation?

No invasions and no hyper-conservative judges.

It is sad that these two things even have to be debated in this country. It is sad that the election is between one person who will send the nation even deeper into the dark pit of Hell it has been thrown into, and one person who will just keep us on the craggy outcropping we've presently landed on. It's sad that an election has to be not a vote on the merits of the candidates, but a referendum on the incumbent's performance. Because here's what we won't get from President John Kerry.

  • A shift away from militarization. He's still going to "strengthen" America's military . . . you know, that sad, weak military that has a budget larger than the budgets of almost every other national military combined? Because the best way to solve problems is to shoot them.
  • A living minimum wage. We'll get an increase in the minimum wage from $5.15 to $7.00 by 2007. So don't worry, urban single mother, you'll only need two jobs under Kerry instead of the three you need under Bush.
  • Universal health care. You'll save money on your premiums! That's all you need, because you don't have a right to health anyway, just a right to toss a few bucks into a crapshoot of services offered by various companies for whom profit is the most important factor. You don't want to have that horrible, failing Commie healthcare like they have in Europe or Canada, eh?
  • Universal higher education. The $4,000 of tax credit the Kerry team proposes is going to make it possible for you, two $7.00 an hour job mom, to send your child to the exemplary institution known as community college. Be happy!
  • Equality. Come on, Adam and Steve, you know that whole "marriage" thing only applies if you put those in women, right? A civil union is almost a marriage, except of course you don't get the enormous psychological benefit of calling it one.

Kerry will also, as far as I can tell, maintain the status quo in the "war" on drugs, our involvement with NAFTA and the WTO, the ridiculous fiction of corporate personhood, media concentration, and other issues of interest to progressives. To be fair, I think John Kerry is largely a good person, and I think he really is about as good a candidate as could be expected in our two-party, winner-takes-all "democracy." I would even venture a guess that Kerry would support many of the ideas mentioned above, if he knew they were important to people. The Democratic Party as a whole, like any other major political group, goes where the votes are.

We need to tell them that these issues are important to us. Write your senator or representative. If you're not in a swing state, vote for Nader or Cobb. There is a real progressive movement out there, it's just apathetic and lazy. Stop that!

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