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BS: The speech that defined Kerry

31 Jul 04 - 02:37 PM (#1237932)
Subject: BS: The speech that defined Kerry
From: michaelr

Yesterday on Democracy Now! (wich now airs daily on Link TV [DirecTV channel 375, Dish Network channel 9410]), Amy Goodman reached back into the Pacifica archives to contrast Kerry's acceptance speech with one he gave in 1971 before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee regarding the Vietnam war. The contrast was striking.

This was the speech that defined John Kerry and began his political career. It's fascinating to see the anti-war roots of the candidate, and to witness how well-spoken and clear-thinking he was as a most impressive young man. A partial transcript can be found here, and I urge everyone to read it.

That speech from 1971 can be seen as a measure of how corrupted he has become since then, or it can provide hope that perhaps he still has some of his old integrity left. What do you think?

Cheers,
Michael


31 Jul 04 - 03:06 PM (#1237945)
Subject: RE: BS: The speech that defined Kerry
From: Jack the Sailor

Corrupted?

That's funny, It anything he was more political and more rash then. He's admitted to regretting many of the things he said in that speech.


31 Jul 04 - 03:20 PM (#1237950)
Subject: RE: BS: The speech that defined Kerry
From: Amos

"We could come back to this country and we could be quiet. We could hold our silence. We could not tell what went on in Vietnam. But we feel because of what threatens this country, the fact that the crimes threaten it, not reds, not red coats, but the crimes which we are committing are what threaten it, and we have to speak out. I would like to talk to you a little bit about what the result is of the feelings these men carry with them after coming back from Vietnam. The country doesn't know it yet, but it's created a monster. A monster in the form of millions of men who have been taught to deal and to trade in violence and who are given the chance to die for the biggest nothing in history. Men who have returned with a sense of anger and a sense of betrayal which no one has yet grasped. As a veteran and one who feels this anger, I would like it talk about it. We are angry because we feel we have been used in the worst fashion by the administration of this country."

I see nothing there to be regretted, nor that I think he would regret. It was a helluva speech, but it was given in 1971. This is 2004, and we are in a different moment of time, and if he speaks more moderately now than then, why is it surprising? If he's trying to be effective, he has to be a rallying point for the center.

A


31 Jul 04 - 03:35 PM (#1237959)
Subject: RE: BS: The speech that defined Kerry
From: artbrooks

In 1971 I was 25 years old and in Vietnam. I am not the same person I was than, and my opinion on many things has changed. This is the result of many factors in addition to (I hope) greater maturity. These include living in different parts of the county, a long marriage and two children, and a career in health care administration. I would seriously question Mr. Kerry's grasp upon reality if his opinions hadn't changed with the passage of 33 years, at least as many life experiences as I have had, and the evolution of the world we all live in.


31 Jul 04 - 04:29 PM (#1238008)
Subject: RE: BS: The speech that defined Kerry
From: GUEST

See michael, there are a lot of Republicrats for Middle Class Values folks here. Sadly, folk music doesn't attract the leftist radicals it once did.

BTW, I listen to Democracy Now every day at noon. It helps keep me sane.


31 Jul 04 - 05:00 PM (#1238030)
Subject: RE: BS: The speech that defined Kerry
From: michaelr

What I'm wondering is, Does Kerry still believe in the ideals he held then (even though he may feel he has to tone down the rhetoric), or has he indeed become the hawk we heard at the Convention?


31 Jul 04 - 05:05 PM (#1238033)
Subject: RE: BS: The speech that defined Kerry
From: GUEST

My opinion is the latter, although I'd love to believe it is the former. But on stuff like free trade, the Israeli/Palestine war, his lack of support for human rights, his lackluster record on women's and children's issues (education especially), I believe he has done what most every politician I know has done once elected--which is to become increasingly conservative with every year, and especially at re-election time.


31 Jul 04 - 05:06 PM (#1238034)
Subject: RE: BS: The speech that defined Kerry
From: GUEST

Think about it. How did Kerry respond to the prisoner torture scandal at Abu Ghraib? That ought to tell you where he is at as a political candidate right there.


31 Jul 04 - 05:18 PM (#1238043)
Subject: RE: BS: The speech that defined Kerry
From: michaelr

Missed that. How did he respond?


01 Aug 04 - 12:25 PM (#1238325)
Subject: RE: BS: The speech that defined Kerry
From: GUEST

He didn't, really. He evaded it, just like he does any discussion of atrocities and human rights abuses committed by US forces in Vietnam.


01 Aug 04 - 12:48 PM (#1238336)
Subject: RE: BS: The speech that defined Kerry
From: Amos

Guest:

He practically wrote out the list of atrocities American soldiers committed   in Vietnam, in his 1971 protest speech. Or don't you read such material? Evasion, my tushie.

A


01 Aug 04 - 01:01 PM (#1238346)
Subject: RE: BS: The speech that defined Kerry
From: CapriUni

1971: . . .As a veteran and one who feels this anger, I would like it talk about it. We are angry because we feel we have been used in the worst fashion by the administration of this country.

2004: . . . so policy is guided by facts, and facts are never distorted by politics. And as President, I will bring back this nation's time-honored tradition: the United States of America never goes to war because we want to, we only go to war because we have to.

Sounds like the same guy to me...


01 Aug 04 - 01:44 PM (#1238373)
Subject: RE: BS: The speech that defined Kerry
From: DougR

Yeah, I agree. He's the same guy.

DougR


01 Aug 04 - 01:56 PM (#1238381)
Subject: RE: BS: The speech that defined Kerry
From: PoppaGator

Another nice phrase from Kerry's speech -- I think it was a quote he attributed to Lincoln -- that I would hope indicates where he's erally coming from. I'll have to paraphrase, but I think this is pretty close:

"We shouldn't worry about whether God is on our side, but rather whether we are on God's side."


01 Aug 04 - 02:00 PM (#1238384)
Subject: RE: BS: The speech that defined Kerry
From: GUEST

NEWSFLASH!!!

John Kerry isn't on god's side either.


01 Aug 04 - 05:40 PM (#1238521)
Subject: RE: BS: The speech that defined Kerry
From: Deda

Kerry was paraphrasing Abraham Lincoln. He said he wasn't going to assert that God was on his side, but rather to humbly pray that he was on God's side -- and he credited Lincoln. He had just finished saying that he doesn't wear his religion on his sleeve -- all of which won points with me. I've long been weary of the Religious Right.

Guest, of course, is obviously the only person who ever tunes in to Mudcat who has any idea of what God's real side is, and who has the definitive inside scoop on who's good (Guest) and who's bad (all the rest of us and 99.9% of the rest of humanity).


02 Aug 04 - 05:46 AM (#1238782)
Subject: RE: BS: The speech that defined Kerry
From: Ellenpoly

"He's admitted to regretting many of the things he said in that speech."

If that's true, it's a shame. After hearing that speech on Democracy Now,I was beginning to like him again. It was most powerful and courageous.

Has the man changed too much in these 30 years? Probably.


Sigh..xx..e


02 Aug 04 - 11:03 AM (#1238926)
Subject: RE: BS: The speech that defined Kerry
From: GUEST,Larry K

His acceptance speech at the recent convention only contained 26 seconds on his accomplishments during the past 20 years in the Senate.   That is about 1 second per year.   I think that has defined the Kerry of today.


02 Aug 04 - 11:19 AM (#1238942)
Subject: RE: BS: The speech that defined Kerry
From: GUEST

I read somewhere last week that the only mention of Kerry's anti-war activities of his ambitious youth at the convention last week was in the bowels of the Fleet Center, in an obscure Kerry exhibit.

Te "Vietnam healing" strategy of the DLC: hey! let's be gung ho for a war on innocent people from the Middle East this time!!!

According to Democrats quoted in the New York Times (July 25th 2004), this year's DNC was designed so that you "think you're looking at a Republican Convention." Kerry is reaching out to the same base that Bush is, so this election year there is hardly even the pretense of progressive values coming from the Democratic elites on the podium.

Let's see now, the Republicrat strategy this year is different from 2000 because, uh, umm...


02 Aug 04 - 02:44 PM (#1239066)
Subject: RE: BS: The speech that defined Kerry
From: open mike

here is where you can hear the 2004 acceptance speech..
from the Democratic nat'l convention
his speech is about an hour into the video\stream
online at www.cspan.org. Go to "Recent Programs" on the home page and select Democratic National Convention: Day 4, Part 3


02 Aug 04 - 07:35 PM (#1239256)
Subject: RE: BS: The speech that defined Kerry
From: DougR

Open Mike: Jeeze, why would one want to subject him/herself to listening to it again? ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ.

DougR


03 Aug 04 - 03:04 PM (#1239634)
Subject: RE: BS: The speech that defined Kerry
From: CapriUni

um... I actually liked the speech... okay, so it wasn't as rousing as Al Sharpton's, but Kerry is not he.

There were two lines in particular that warmed the cockles of my wee little heart, and made me go squee! -- one toward the beginning of his speech, and one near the very end:

Now I know there are those who criticize me for seeing complexities -- and I do -- because some issues just aren't all that simple.

Finally! Someone in the public arena who admits that being smart and thoughtful is actually a good thing.

and this line:

What if we have a president who believes in science . . .

... Is it just me, or is this a dig at the Evangelical Right? Taken with his earlier line about not not wearing his faith on his sleeve, I think it just might be. If so, this is not a stance that he had to make, politically, to energize his base, or even win the election (in fact, it may alienate some in that moderate center that the pundits are telling us are so crucial). And as such, I think it was a brave thing to say, and a sign of his sincerity.

And as for not talking much about his record in the senate, the PBS commentators Shields and Brooks addressed that issue. As they pointed out, no senate carreer translates well into rallying points. Unlike the achievements of a governor, a senator works by debate and consensus -- it's hard to point exactly to where one person's accomplishments end and another's begin. They also pointed out that he started his campaign in the primaries talking about his senate carreer, and the audiences zoned out. Do you really think going into detail about various Senate resolutions that he had sponsered would have made his acceptance speech any better?


03 Aug 04 - 04:15 PM (#1239706)
Subject: RE: BS: The speech that defined Kerry
From: DougR

Capri-Uni: the first phrase in the speech that caught your fancy was, I believe, an attempt to explain why he has a tendancy to hop on both sides of an issue as effortlessly as a Gazelle. Some, me included, would call it indecisive.

I think your suggestion as to why he included the second phrase you point out is what you suspect. It's a jab at those who are opposed to abortion which puts them in the camp with those who oppose the research Ron Reagan chided Bush about in his speech.

I wouldn't take very seriously anything Kerry said in the speech myself (except that he DID serve in Viet Nam for four months ...I think the got that point across). Whatever position he takes one moment can change to the exact opposite position within thirty seconds or so.

DougR


03 Aug 04 - 09:04 PM (#1239885)
Subject: RE: BS: The speech that defined Kerry
From: CapriUni

Doug --

I am glad that we can agree to disagree...


03 Aug 04 - 09:22 PM (#1239897)
Subject: RE: BS: The speech that defined Kerry
From: Amos

Doug R:

No, it is not a virtue to be decisive if it means charging down a wrong path in spite of all warnings, protests, advices or efforts to explain. That is just bull-headedness.

Intelligence includes being able to see new information and revisit old decisions in their light.

Not everyone is capable of it, though.

A