What are George Bush’s weakest points? You’ll notice that that’s precisely where he’s trying to discredit his opponent.
1. Military service: Both Bush and his Vice President avoided going to Vietnam. Bush’s military record is not very pretty. It’s obvious that Kerry has a lot of superior firing power in that department. He didn’t have to go, but he chose to go to Vietnam. He was awarded medals, which those who closest to him there say he deserved, as do the natives who witnessed the action.
So, Bush and his supporters have worked to try to discredit Kerry militarily. They haven’t succeeded, but they’ve done enough to distract from the real issues and cast doubt about Kerry in the minds of those who are susceptible to being influenced by innuendo and accusation.
And, why is Kerry’s military record important? Well, they say it’s because it reveals his character, inferring that it’s not really so good as it seems. The logical question would be, I’d think, what does Bush’s military record say about his character? Bush supporters want to dismiss his military actions, and lack thereof, saying, it’s old news, and has been discredited long ago. Sort of a “the past is important for my opponent, but not for me.”
If the past is important in determining character, then what about the more distant past of both men? Bush’s past doesn’t stack up well at all against Kerry’s, not at any point, and cumulatively it’s night and day contrast.
2. Bravery and leadership: September 11 didn’t reveal a particularly brave or leaderly President. So, Kerry is accused of faking his wounds in Vietnam and of not actually doing what he claimed he did. But, his swift boat crew and the observing natives said he did do the brave things he got the medals for.
3. Safety for American citizens: Neither Bush nor Kerry can keep Americans safe. But, we have evidence of a lack of competence in Bush’s performance so far, as in, getting us into an unnecessary Iraq war that was ill prepared for and he was advised against by his military advisors, not sending enough troops, not guarding the country’s assets after invasion, alienating its citizenry, and not securing its borders. This has not made me feel safer.
Could Kerry do better? I’m counting on that being easy to do. Can he succeed in making us safe? No, but he can help. He knows what isn’t being done, and he has a good chance of defusing some of the animosity Bush has created for us in Iraq and around the world. Kerry has a record of competency in government, and he’s more experienced in international relations.
Look for more examples, you’ll find them, attempts to use offense as the best defense against Bush’s shortcomings.