Think - And Make Kerry
John Kerry gave an excellent speech last night. He hailed the highs, lamented the lows, paraded the past, and founded a future. He showed vision, wisdom, courage, kindness, restraint, and diplomacy.
His introduction - "I'm John Kerry and I'm reporting for duty" - was a nice touch, reminding us that being President is exactly that - a duty that is performed, not a grant of nobility that is bestowed - or assumed.
But Kerry also showed where and how to attack him - and you know that Karl picked up on it. His Boy George already knows what to do.
John Kerry was saying things that made people want to cheer - then walked all over those cheers with his next statement. As his speech went on, the cheers grew noticeably less-enthusiastic, shorter, and quieter. Obviously, those in the audience quickly learned that their cheers weren't a part of Kerry's plans that evening - at least not while he was speaking. This Lion would have to wait to Roar.
Karl saw this.
What this shows is an impetuousness, an impatience, that could lead to taking an action, without taking a moment, to reflect upon the range of opinion and possible outcomes. It shows that he isn't listening to the very people he's addressing. It shows that the Voice of the Common is not within his awareness, and that is going to be a problem. It also shows a kind of imperiousness and works against the very image that party leaders spent all night creating, and that is going to be a problem. Lastly, it weakens the unity that took so long to construct, and that is going to be a problem.
Karl is already on them.
The testimony about rescuing his daughters' hamsters and then performing CPR on them made the evening as far as I am concerned. It showed that 'Lurch' had a softer and more human side, that he could put down the Armor of Persona and be Daddy. Kids can't be fooled by persona, so if John Kerry was as fake as his detractors like to shout, then his daughter couldn't have told that tale about the hamsters, and couldn't have made it be the effective statement, achieving the goal of humanizing her father in the minds of the convention and the world.
One can make excuses for Kerry's actions last night - he must have been watching the clock (finishing 4 minutes early by one account) in order to keep network coverage from blipping out in mid-sentence. One wouldn't want to irk the Titans of Television by forcing them to change their scheduling plans!
Karl knows not to do this.
John F. Kerry also could be forgiven for being caught up in the Big Moment. Accepting your party's nomination and sounding the call to your followers has to be one of the biggest emotional experiences one can have in life.
But as President, there will be times when the adrenaline is going to flow. A day like 9/11 requires that it flow, and thus the measure of how one handles the Lion Roaring is an important indicator of one's character in a time of crisis.
Karl is ready, willing, and able to exploit this.
There is certainly time for the party moguls to work with Kerry on this. He has to become more aware of his inner self when presenting his outer one. Image IS All in Medialand, and that is how he is going to address at least 67% of the people of America. They won't be reading his words and reflecting upon them. They won't be hearing even half of what he says. But they will be hearing HOW he says things and seeing HOW he presents them, and their impressions will be formed on those bases. After that, The Wrong-Wing Whirlitzer takes over, and all control of the message is lost.
Karl is preparing to start its engines.
Vying For The 67%
One thing we can count on at the GOP convention will be the cheers will be allowed to sound, and that Lion will be allowed to Roar! George The CheerLeedur will be prompted, prepared (and pharmaceuticaled, if necessary), and presented to the Lion to inspire it to ROAR! Demonstrating such control and influence over such a primed and willing political Beast will be a powerful image that will be read by the 67% as they are intended. The Lion will be prompted - no - prodded to Roar, for otherwise the GOP 'message' is null - void, and without form. Without the command from Karl to 'Let The Lion ROAR!!', nothing much could happen that will have any impression upon the minds of the 67%. Image IS All in Medialand.
Karl already knows this.
The swing voters that both parties are after are heavily represented by the 67%, so getting their attention and gaining their support is vital to victory. There is much at stake for both parties, as defeat leads to disastrous consequences for that party (and in the case of the GOP, for the nation and the world).
With a level of endeavor and efficiency that should bring WWII propaganda programs to mind, each party will be exerting every effort to reach and retain the 67% in their camp. Scoring one victorious battle isn't going to win the war, for the 67% is fickle and easily swayed. Thus repeated and continuous campaigns are now underway to amass the masses.
Karl has been planning for months now.
Our liberal and left-moderate voices have now been heard until the election in November. The conservative and ultra-conservative voices are waiting their turn in New York. The right-moderate voice is now the area of contention. As the GOP convention ends, we will have become merely pawns in the Great American Political Advertising Game.
The last thing John F. Kerry wants to do is to make us realize that we are merely pawns. His victory depends upon his leadership of us mere pawns - and our future depends upon his leadership.
Kerry has risen to the challenge before - it is time for him to rise again.
Karl has. And will.