Friday :: May 21, 2004

John Kerry's Message

by Mary

Republicans have a strong "brand" awareness for Americans. What Democrats stand for is not nearly so clear and much of the aggressive marketing the right wing has done in the past 30 years has been to paint Democrats in the most negative way possible.

So it is a relief to see that Democrats are starting to work on their messaging and rejecting the efforts of the right wing's propaganda about who is an American and who is not. Granche Franke-Ruka posted about how John Kerry's message (Let America Be America) is being picked up and amplified by other Democrats at the NDN conference.

Also in Salon this week Adrianna Huffington has a great article about John Kerry's message that I really recommend. If you don't have a subscription, you can still read it by getting a day pass which you obtain by viewing an ad. Here's an excerpt.

Kerry has already fueled his campaign with similar aspirations. "America is more than a piece of geography," he said in a speech earlier this month, "more than the name of a country. It is the most powerful idea in human history: freedom and equal opportunity for all ... I am running for president to renew that idea and spirit again."

And not a minute too soon. You know the idea and spirit of America are in desperate need of renewal when the most stirring rallying cry we can muster these days is, "At least we don't behead people!"

It should go without saying that we're better than that. Better than an imperial, unilateral foreign policy. Better than domestic policies driven by selfishness and greed. Better than Abu Ghraib. Better than 43 million uninsured. Better than 12 million children living in poverty. Better than millions of school kids left behind.

The 2004 election is our chance to prove to ourselves and to the world what America really stands for. This election is a referendum on our future: Are we a nation based on hope and promise, or a nation based on fear?

"People are selfish," Kennedy told speechwriter Richard Goodwin as he agonized over whether to seek the presidency, "but they can also be compassionate and generous, and they care about the country. But not when they feel threatened. That's why this is such a crucial time. We can go in either direction. But if we don't make a choice soon, it will be too late to turn things around. I think people are willing to make the right choice. But they need leadership. They're hungry for leadership."

In 2004, we're downright starving for it. Real leadership. From leaders who don't tell people what their pollsters tell them the people want to hear. Leaders who capture our imagination and challenge us. Leaders who can transform our country through hope instead of demeaning it through fear and division.

Yes, we do need real leadership for a change.

Mary :: 8:31 AM :: Comments (9) :: Digg It!