October 22, 2004

The Character of John Kerry

Tonight I rewatched Going Upriver: the Long War of John Kerry, having received the DVD copy I bought so I can share it with my on-the-fence friends. Once more I was struck by the power of this film. Watching the film, I was again struck with how appropriate it is that John Kerry is the candidate chosen to carry the fight for us and how incredible it is that the era of the late 60's and early 70's are still such a potent part of our politics today.

When I first watched this film at the theatre, I commented on a post of Jeanne of Body and Soul where she noted that one way to understand the character of a person it is sometimes good to look at their enemies. In Jeanne's post, she pointed out that Felix Rodriguez, a Cuban dissident, who had participated in covert actions that were very questionable, hates John Kerry and is dedicated to destroying him. As Jeanne shows, Mr Rodriguez is the type of person that most of us would find as quite reprehensible and if an enemy, a good enemy to have.

Watching Going Upriver today brought home even more how John Kerry's enemies have long been those who I thought as being those who I oppose. The film makes clear that the main enemy John Kerry had in the early 70s was Richard Nixon. John O'Neill was only a surrogate for the battle between the young John Kerry and the arch-politician Richard Nixon. John O'Neill was a young pipsqueak then and today has achieved nothing more to show for his life than that he was a footnote in John Kerry's life.

The more interesting enemy is Richard Nixon. Nixon was very worried about young John Kerry because he was such a credible spokeman against Nixon's status quo. If you watch the film, you will be struck with how eloquent Kerry was and what moral depths he tapped in these challenging times. Nixon worried about Kerry because of the powerful moral voice he brought to the table.

And I find it ironic that Nixon was very concerned that John Kerry could turn into the next Ralph Nader. As the Nixon tapes document, Chuck Colson told Nixon that he needed to deal with John Kerry.

Destroy the young demagogue before he becomes another Ralph Nader.

Don't you find it ironic that Ralph Nader is now trying to his best to destroy John Kerry (and the traitorous Democrats), not because he likes Bush and the Republicans, but because he hates the Democrats (and John Kerry?) more? Perhaps the problem for Nader is that he's jealous because Kerry has more credibility than he does now?

Posted by Mary at October 22, 2004 11:03 PM | Elections | Technorati links |