Friday, July 30, 2004

(Half)Baked Beans: Part III
Hmmm.  Let's see.  If the first post was "half baked" and then there was another post that was "half baked," it would be fully baked, right?  And now a third post...  I guess we almost have refried beans!

Okay, I jetted home from the movie theater last night from viewing Spiderman 2 (Very cool!) and only missed the first few minutes of John Kerry's speech.  Here is my commentary.  Overall, I thought it was a very strong, well-crafted, and well-executed speech.  That is not agreement with content, folks.  However, as I watched Mr. Kerry, I couldn't help but think of the oft-studied Nixon-Kennedy debate when Nixon looked dark and tired, an impression, I guess, that remained with voters.  Kerry, though he perked up in a few places, looked tired and half dead.  I think it is something about his eyes and the bone structure of his face.  Just my impression.

Now to some of the specific things Kerry mentioned.  I will offer quotes where I am able, but I warn readers that I may have the exact words slightly off even where I use quotation marks.  Here's a moment I loved: Kerry speaking about being in Scouts.  "...that Den Mother taught me to see trees as the cathedrals of nature...blah, blah...and so we can and must march to the day of full equality for all women."  I have no problem with equality for women, but the comment seemed like a political force or sleight of hand.  One moment he was speaking about nature lessons in Scouts and the next he pulled out some awkward reference to equality.  I failed to see the connection.  Given the way the sentence began, I expected a comment on environmental policy.  I was left scratching my head in confusion instead.

Kerry, and several convention speakers, mentioned restoring trust and credibility to the White House.  Uh, excuse me, folks, that's what W had to do following your last party official.  Perhaps I am out to lunch, but I don't get the sense that the White House's current occupant is lacking in the trust and credibility department.  I think the use of that slogan by democrats is a red herring.

Feeding us some optimism, Kerry said we can do great things "but only if we stick to our ideals, and that begins by telling the truth to the American people."  What?  Does that mean someone is lying?  And if so, lying about what?  Fill me in, Senator, please.  Or could Kerry have been referring to Ron Reagan's lies about what embryonic stem cell research really entails?  In that case, I get the remark and, yes, I would like the truth.  Another truth moment would be telling us just how much money the rollback of the tax cut for the wealthy is going to provide.  Because as I listened to the platform, full of many great ideas, I hear lots more dollars and cents required than the tax cut rollback will provide.  Also, could we get the truth about the humanity and the distinct life of the unborn?  That would be nice.  Because the last time I checked, Senator Kerry, you weren't surprised when your wife gave birth to a human being instead of a puppy.  Yet you still support the government sanctioned availability of abortion.

Kerry said, "I will appoint an Attorney General who upholds the Constitution."  What is he talking about?  How has Ashcroft not done that?  And if he really hasn't upheld the Constitution, do any of us really believe he would still occupy his position?  Give me a break!

He claimed that this is "the most important election of our lifetime."  Was he using the royal "we" there?  Maybe this is the most important election of HIS lifetime, for obvious reasons, but I really don't believe that 2004's is the most important election of our lifetime.  That's a slogan that really means nothing.

Another moment that left me laughing was this, "On my first day in office I will send a message to every man and woman in the service telling them, 'You will never be asked to fight a war again without a plan to keep the peace'."  Now, I think sending a message of support is a great idea, but that?  Is that supposed to make them feel better?  I mean, if I am in Iraq, sucking down sand, brushing off flies and sand fleas, eating nasty, already prepared meals, sleeping in tents and fox holes, and hoping I make it through THIS war, the last thing on my mind is the NEXT war!  Support them in THIS war, Senator, don't use their position as a political tool to talk about the possible future war-time policy of a Kerry Administration.

Kerry called for an America where "everyone has an equal shot at living up to their God-given potential."  Okay, let me get this straight.  Suddenly, someone's potential is protected and God-given when it refers to health and education, but not when it refers to life itself.  Where is the respect for "potential" when the discussion turns to abortion?  See, because the last time I checked, the Democratic platform rejects "potential" arguments in that arena, and certainly doesn't recognize that potential as "God-given," only "man-given" if we "want" it (the baby) to realize its potential.

Towards the conclusion of the speech, Kerry said, "Faith has given me values..."  As it should.  But as far as I know (and I give credit to a dear college seminary friend for this statement) the faith that God desires from us does not require abortion in any of the three trimesters.  So, Senator, when you speak of God's will, what does that ultimately mean?  He went on, "I want to pray humbly that we are on GOD'S side."  Senator, I don't presume to be the Eternal Judge or to know what the outcome of your particular judgment will be, however I can judge public, visible actions in this world.  With that said, it can be stated quite accurately and fairly, that some of your public actions, positions, and statements on the quite serious matter of innocent human life are taking you down a path that, if not changed, will not bode well on Judgment Day.  You may have wonderful ideas, programs, and plans, which seem to promote a basic equality for all people, but if all of that is dependent on whether or not someone gets out of the womb, whether or not someone is "wanted", then your proposed equality is no equality at all.  Rather, it will be another example of privilege for the few.  As for praying humbly that we are on God's side: Better get praying, because I can tell you now in all certainty that abortion-on-demand has absolutely nothing to do with God.

And finally, as a U2 fan, the last insult was "Beautiful Day" cranked up in the convention hall when Kerry finished his speech!

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