The Airing of Grievances
Monday, October 11, 2004
Liberal Media Hackery
Before the week goes by and you have to pay for it, be sure to check out the piece on John Kerry in yesterday's New York Times' magazine. It presents what I think is probably the clearest picture of Kerry yet: a man with strong, thoughtful convictions who, at the same time, is an image-conscious politician willing to tailor his views to the prevailing environment. Moreover, it gives a good idea of how Kerry would prosecute the war on terror and how it starkly contrasts with the current approach. To wit:
''I think we can do a better job,'' Kerry said, ''of cutting off financing, of exposing groups, of working cooperatively across the globe, of improving our intelligence capabilities nationally and internationally, of training our military and deploying them differently, of specializing in special forces and special ops, of working with allies, and most importantly -- and I mean most importantly -- of restoring America's reputation as a country that listens, is sensitive, brings people to our side, is the seeker of peace, not war, and that uses our high moral ground and high-level values to augment us in the war on terror, not to diminish us.''Of course, it didn't take the right wing long to take this quote out of context and mistakenly equate Kerry's perception of the seriousness of terrorism with the seriousness of prostitution or gambling. This, from a group of people who support a President who publicly said that we would never truly win the war on terror.
When I asked Kerry what it would take for Americans to feel safe again, he displayed a much less apocalyptic worldview. ''We have to get back to the place we were, where terrorists are not the focus of our lives, but they're a nuisance,'' Kerry said. ''As a former law-enforcement person, I know we're never going to end prostitution. We're never going to end illegal gambling. But we're going to reduce it, organized crime, to a level where it isn't on the rise. It isn't threatening people's lives every day, and fundamentally, it's something that you continue to fight, but it's not threatening the fabric of your life.''