Missing years by Thomas Sowell
July 31, 2004
We all know that Senator John Kerry was in the Vietnam war. He repeatedly reminds us of it at every opportunity. He also repeats the great things he will accomplish when he becomes President of the United States. What he says very little about is what he has actually accomplished in the three decades in between. That is very appropriate because he has accomplished very little in his 19 years in the Senate. Can you name a single piece of major legislation that has Senator Kerry's name on it? Don't be embarrassed if you can't because there is none.
What was John Kerry doing before he became a Senator? He tells us that he was a prosecutor. What he does not mention is that he was also lieutenant governor when Michael Dukakis was governor of Massachusetts.
This is the same Michael Dukakis who ran for President in 1988 while trying to run away from his liberal-left record, and who tried to cover up his typical liberal anti-military bias by being photographed in a tank. The picture looked so phony that it backfired.
This is the same Michael Dukakis who came out of the Democratic convention with a double-digit lead over the elder George Bush in the polls -- until his liberal track record became public knowledge, including his allowing violent criminals weekend furloughs from prison.
John Kerry's track record as the most liberal Senator from the country's most liberal state is likewise being covered up with images and rhetoric. Whether or not history will repeat itself on election day remains to be seen.
It is considered an "attack" or "negative advertising" to tell people the plain truth that John Kerry's voting record in the Senate was ranked more liberal than that of Ted Kennedy. It was not Republicans who made these rankings but a liberal organization as well as a non-partisan research group.
Like Dukakis back in 1988, the Kerry campaign is waving aside "labels" as irrelevant. But "irrelevant" is itself a label -- and one used to avoid confronting the question of whether the charge of being a liberal is true or false.
Liberals are not some new and exotic species. They have been around for a long time and their positions are well known on issues ranging from racial quotas to military policy. That is why so much effort has gone into camouflaging those positions at the Democratic convention and in the Kerry campaign.
What are those issues and what is the camouflage?
Foremost in this age of international terrorism is the issue of military defense and intelligence-gathering. Ever since the days of George McGovern back in 1972, liberal Democrats have been for cutting back spending on the military and on the intelligence agencies.
John Kerry has voted time and again to do both. Now he is among those loudly criticizing the inadequacies of the agencies he voted to weaken.
It is not just a question of cutting money to those agencies. Liberals have also voted to hamstring our intelligence agencies by limiting their scope at home and abroad.
Jamie Gorelick on the 9/11 Commission that is so critical of these agencies for not sharing information was a Justice Department official in the Clinton administration and it was she who forbad the FBI from sharing information with the CIA.
As for taking military action, liberals have been for outsourcing such decisions to the United Nations, where nothing decisive will ever be done, militarily or otherwise. That is what makes the UN so convenient for liberals.
How can such a record of weakness be covered up? By using the word "strong" -- again and again. The Democratic convention was dominated by banners saying "A Strong America." John Kerry used the word "strong" or "strength" a dozen times in his 50-minute speech.
Other speakers at the Democratic convention likewise keep loudly repeating the word "strong." They clench their fists again and again. Jimmy Carter did it. John Kerry did it. Even Senator Joe Lieberman did it. It is orchestrated disinformation.
The big question is: Will it work?
©2004 Creators Syndicate, Inc.
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