So far most of the analysis of the presidential race has focused on the record of President George W. Bush, but what of this other fellow, John Kerry? Even if one is inclined to dislike our President, one must measure him against the alternatives. Looking at Kerry as a person reveals him to be an almost laughably shallow man whose single-minded ambition for high political office has overridden every other consideration in his life.
Consider his very name. His grandfather changed it from Kuhn to Kerry after emigrating from Austria. Senator Kerry allowed the voters of Massachusetts to believe he was Irish, because of the name, for over two decades. This is a small but important indicator of his willingness to reshape his personal beliefs and characteristics, sometimes at breakneck speed, to improve his electoral chances.
Next, look at the women he has married: two fabulously wealthy heiresses who ensured he would never have to earn a living. Granted, many men hope to marry money, but with Kerry the reason went beyond mere personal comfort. The idea that he would ever have to draw earnings from a company that made a profit seems to have horrified Kerry. Why, that would imply he was no better than men like President Bush and Vice President Cheney, who worked for corporations engaged in the dirty, immoral business of making money. To a Democrat, that means they are ineluctably bound up with the selfish "interests" of those corporations, in perpetuity. Unwilling to risk even the whiff of such charges, Kerry simply avoided private industry altogether, even though that twice constrained his preferred choice of spouse.
Kerry holds up his service in the Vietnam War as a reason to vote for him. Fighting for his country was a noble thing to do, no question. However, what he did afterwards was not. After returning from the war Kerry fell in with a lot of anti-war, communist-affiliated fringe groups. These groups fabricated atrocities allegedly committed by U.S. soldiers in Vietnam. Gunther Lewy and other researchers have since debunked these stories, but Kerry has repeated them in speeches and before Congress, even though he probably knew from his own experience that they were lies. That did not matter to him, because the anti-war side was the place to be for an aspiring Democrat, and extreme charges were the ticket to media coverage for the young Kerry.
If Kerry thought the war was so immoral, he should never have volunteered to fight in it. If he did not feel that way, he should not have slandered his former comrades and given comfort to an enemy of the United States that was mistreating American POWs by mouthing their lies. What Kerry did reveal was a shocking inconsistency of conscience, all for the instrumental purpose of positioning himself properly for political ambition.
A similar lack of sincerity is present in his religious views today. While claiming to be a Catholic and to oppose abortion, Kerry has worked his whole career to ensure that this scourge remains legal and as convenient as possible. The Church is seeking to censure Kerry for this intransigence, but he is probably going to continue claiming to be of a religious faith to which he is unfaithful. John Kennedy said in 1960 that if a conflict arose between his conscience and his duty, he would resign. Kerry simply ignores his conscience for the sake of his "duty" of winning elections as a Democrat.
Kerry has subverted his ethnic identity, religious faith, attitudes towards war and peace, even his married life, all for his obsession with becoming president. This should make liberals think twice about throwing their lot in with such an inconsistent person. If they have real convictions about issues like Iraq and the economy, perhaps they should vote for Ralph Nader. During the 1980s, Kerry voted loudly against all the weapons systems proving so vital today in the conflict in Iraq. Now, he claims he supported them. Nobody can ever tell what Kerry believes, so if they care about particular beliefs, they should be wary of supporting him. This also means conservatives may have less to fear from a Kerry win than they might think, but fortunately we have someone of strong conscience and strong beliefs to represent us in the 2004 race, and while he may make decisions of which we disapprove, we know he is on our side.