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Archive for September, 2004

Dear Senator,

During the course of your campaign for the presidency I have come to believe that you are in fact what you purport to be: the right man to lead America through the next four years. Despite the mud-slinging and smoke-blowing of Republicans and Democrats alike, as well as several supposedly independent groups, I believe that your vision of the coming years is infinitely preferable to that of the current president.

There is, however, one major problem with your efforts, and I should like to offer some words of advice, if I may be so bold.

Let us use professional sports as a metaphor. You are currently playing football against the Dallas Cowboys, on their home turf. This is not your preferred arena nor even your chosen sport, and despite any brilliant plays on your part, the spectators are more interested in the home team and the cheerleaders. What you must do is drag your opponents, kicking and screaming, onto the field at Fenway Park. There, you can play your own game in front of your own crowd. If you are to win this election, you need to do this soon, and do it quickly, such that your opponents are still trying to figure out what’s going on when you step up to the plate for your grand slam.

Senator, the World Series is tied at three games apiece. It’s 4-4 in the seventh game, and here’s the ninth inning. You are the designated hitter. America is watching breathlessly for your swing. America is a young fan in the bleachers whose father just bought him his first Red Sox cap. America is a traveling businessman keeping up with the game on the Internet from his hotel room. America is a librarian, a construction worker, a high school valedictorian, a cashier, a CEO, a mother, all stopped in their tracks, wanting to know – needing to know – whether you can make the hit that really counts. We need to know that you can swing that bat as though the fate of the world rested upon it – because it may. Today, we stand closer to a third episode of global warfare than we have at any time since the Cuban missile crisis of ’62, but with fewer prospective allies.

You’ve showed us glimpses of where you stand and what you stand for, a little piece at a time. Unfortunately, a group in Iowa and a group in Florida will hear different things. A group of executives and a group of steel workers will see a different man addressing them. Most of the electorate does not know John Kerry. There is no “big picture” in the nation’s eyes, nowhere to fit the small things we have heard. As such, you address different groups on different subjects, and it becomes easy for your opponents to label you a waffler and a flip-flopper, because you have not showed us a broader reason to believe otherwise.

Every American who stands before you, tunes in at the right time, is concerned with fundamental things. His or her health, safety and financial security. That of their families. Education for their children, and their children’s children. The comfortable knowledge that Americans will not be drafted into a war not of their making or design. The feeling that apple pie, baseball, life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness will always be available.

We need a John Kerry who can assure us of these things. Not all Americans have read your website, not everyone knows whether you can provide this reassurance. Many Americans will be considering voting for you because you are “not George W. Bush”, but how many are truly voting for you because you are “John Kerry”?

Senator Kerry, America needs to know who you are. Before it’s too late.

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