October 21, 2004
A Tale of Two Speeches | Bush in NJ, Kerry in FL
A BUZZFLASH READER CONTRIBUTION
Update: This article was originally posted by nostamj on DemocraticUnderground.com and forwarded to us by a BuzzFlash reader.
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It was the best of crowds, it was the worst of crowds, it was a message of aspirations, it was a message of fears, it was an occasion of light, it was an occasion of darkness...
I was able to watch most of the two major speeches today.
GWB in New Jersey gave what was billed as a 'major policy address' on the "War On Terror." It was the ugliest political event I've ever seen. Of course, no new ideas on fighting 'terror' were expressed. It was the same stump speech we've heard dozens of times before. A message of relentless fear and promises of further aggression. Revenge. The specter of 9/11 was exploited relentlessly. The message was clear: Fear Kerry. Trust me.
The cameras, once again, did not show the audience. Bush has changed his tactics in one major way. He no longer delivers lines expected to bring derisive laughter from him loyalty oath crowds. Now, he goes for boos. And frighteningly Nazi-esque chants and cheers. The anger was palpable. Bush was pleased and empowered by the virulent hatred he drew from the crowd.
It seems, to me, that Bush no longer believes that enough people will vote FOR him. He message now is to demonize Kerry so that enough will vote AGAINST him. "You're either with me, or you're against fighting terror. You're either with me or you want another 9/11 attack.
The message was clear: Fear Kerry. Trust me. But, most important, Fear Kerry.
In the Florida sun, John Kerry gave a speech filled with hope and specifics. Certainly, he criticized the policies of the Bush administration and the performance of the President. But the responses he received were warm and hopeful. Bush was never booed. And, unlike Bush, when Kerry had a criticism, he also had a new policy. A new plan. A forward-looking message. He let the spotlight pass over the failures of the Bush administration, but never lingered there.
While Bush desperately clung to the imagery and horror of 9/11, Kerry looked forward and told his audience where he wanted to take the country.
While Bush snarled and shouted through an all-too familiar litany of lies and distortion with only a new level of mean-spiritedness, Kerry laid out a vision for a new direction for everything from real health care to a real strategy for fighting terrorism.
Bush, blinded by arrogance (and ignorance?) exhorted his hand-picked crowd (assuming it wasn't just a 'hate track') to allow him to continue with more of the same failed policies. (As if another 1,000 US deaths or another 10,000 Iraqi deaths will finally avenge 9/11 to his satisfaction.)
Kerry brings hope to a troubled land while Bush just offers a troubled land.
Kerry said: Enough.
A BUZZFLASH READER CONTRIBUTION
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