John Kerry’s smart—but handicapped by narcissism, nuance and nostalgia. Kerry’s an egotistical fop, expert in "relentless, obvious self-promotion to the point of indignity." Hence the haughty persona.
Kerry’s nuance prompted “his career-long pattern of equivocation and calculation -- trying whenever possible to have it both ways, always maneuvering to leave himself an out.” Thus the well-documented and frequent flip-flops on Iraq, Vietnam Vets, troop levels in Europe/Korea, the Patriot Act, the death penalty, and welfare reform.
Kerry yearns for the "place we were." But his nostalgia is both phony (a specious Christmas in Cambodia) and perilous (a disregard of terrorism during the 90s). Kerry’s still a September 10th Senator, peddling a "global test" proctored in a toothless talking forum. We’ve seen this movie before: it's called appeasement, and it bombed under Clinton, Carter and Neville Chamberlain.
President Bush is wise—and free from false memories. September 11th was horrific, but Bush responded swiftly and justly. Today, Afghans are free from brutal Taliban rule, and Iraqis aren’t being planted in mass graves. There's been no second strike in the U.S., in part because Bush understands that diplomacy complements, but not does not substitute for, strength.
Kerry may have a secret plan; the President has a secret weapon--himself. He's a normal, decent guy who speaks our language. And "the economy, stupid" is roaring.
America's not perfect; injustice endures. But, as James Lileks says, “we can argue about the future of Western Civilization after we've ensured Western Civilization will survive.” The President knows retreating from terrorism in the Islamic world encourages Islamic terrorism here. In contrast, says Mark Steyn, “if clueless, complacent Kerry won, more Americans -- and Britons and Canadians and Australians and Europeans -- will die in terrorist 'nuisances.'”
That's enough for my vote.