I’m told we used to have something called “conventional wisdom” in this country. How this concept conflates with “common sense” I know not, except to say that among my rich powerful influential liberal friends in Hollywood (not), this election, like Al Gore’s in 2000, is John Kerry’s to lose. Common sense asks a thoughtful and intelligent person to check out the facts of the George W. Bush presidency. Conventional wisdom suggests we forget about who did what where when thirty years ago and get a load of the record:

1075 dead American soldiers, no weapons of mass destruction (except for the flip-flop ka-ching of assault weapons, coming soon to a street corner near you)...the torture, rape and murder of prisoners at Abu Ghraib prison...the outing of a deep-cover CIA officer for political revenge...neocon ally and once-upon-a-time American puppet in Iraq Ahmad Chalabi caught spying for Iran...the still-breaking Israeli spy scandal in the Pentagon...the untold thousands of dead civilians in the Fertile Crescent, Afghanistan, not to mention lower Manhattan...the abject failure of the Bush intelligence apparatus leading to 9/11...the abyss that is the American economy...the utter absence of anything like universal American health care...the abandonment of the nation’s elderly...the plundering of the environment world-wide...the bill for criminal tax breaks to the wealthiest two percent of Americans that will be inherited by multiple generations of lower and middle-class taxpayers yet to be born...not to mention the deficit that grows apace in a most alarming fashion…

Common sense says STOP THIS INSANITY! Yet conventional wisdom (I’m told) seems to dictate to a thoroughly clueless X per cent of the electorate that we shouldn’t change horsemen in the middle of the apocalypse.

I’ve been on the street a lot this past week, as W’s convention “bubble” begins to burst, melt, drip and dribble away, and I must say—that portion of the electorate that doesn’t know what to think can blame it on a supremely well-organized War Party machine that keeps the real issues off the table and out of the media, and a clueless company of shell-shocked Democratic strategists and spin doctors who’ve allowed themselves to dignify every specious argument the GOP, out of desperation, can come up with.


Since saying what you’d do if elected—speaking simply and to the point—seems to be beyond their candidate (a notoriously deep and convoluted thinker) and the Democratic marketeers charged with the task of creating sound bytes so people can remember what the hell’s at stake here, I thought it might be helpful, as a kind of mnemonic, to list the

Top 10 Reasons to Elect John Kerry

Just in case you were wondering.

  1. The National Education Trust Fund. This will guarantee that any promises made by Congress about funding for education (can you say “no child left behind?”) MUST be fulfilled. Empty promises and NO MONEY are not part of the program.

  2. New Era of National Service. In order to make a dent in the need for bodies (sic) in this unholy war he’s inherited, John Kerry would provide FULL college tuition to those students who enter into two years of national service. They would teach, help with homeland security, build houses and infrastructure, help seniors, keep public areas clean. This worked for the New Deal, and it goes a long way towards involving young people in government.

  3. End the “Era of Ashcroft.” Return Civil Liberties to the people of the United States, keeping only those provisions of the hastily-considered PATRIOT Act that help “the war on terror” (which should probably be renamed). Improve intelligence sharing among government agencies.

  4. Repeal the Assault on the Environment/Make American Energy Independent. Roll back Bush’s war on clean air and water and work to strengthen environmental laws. Work to make the United States oil-independent over the next ten years.

  5. Rejoin the Community of Nations. Rebuild shattered alliances across the globe while continuing to fight “the war on terror” (if not renaming it). Put a special emphasis on making sure that the United States tells the whole truth.

  6. Affordable Health Care. Kerry’s first planned proposal to Congress, offering the same health plan available to Congressmen’s families to all Americans. ALL children are covered.

  7. Reward Creation of Jobs. Help those companies that are creating jobs with health care costs, a federal tax credit, and assistance for small businesses. Levy penalties against those companies that outsource jobs offshore and apply criminal penalties to those companies that defraud their customers and workers.

  8. Create a Middle Class Economy/End the Privileged Class Economy. Fight George Bush’s egregious tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans in order to invest in education and health care. Maintain middle class cuts such as the child tax credit and elimination of the marriage penalty.

  9. Cut the Deficit in Half Over Four Years. Propose a budget to restore fiscal sanity and eliminate corporate welfare, making sure to secure the promises made to seniors regarding Medicare and Social Security.

  10. End Influence Peddling and Secret Deals. Reinstate the five-year ban on lobbying so officials cannot cash in on their influence and require every meeting with special interest groups or deals inserted into bills be made public.

Notice there’s nothing in there about who did what when where, only some pretty good thoughts. Conventional wisdom. Common Sense.

In case you’d forgotten all about stuff like this while watching TV and building your 21st century bomb shelter, safe house, retirement plan or desperate excuse to your grandchildren.

In case anybody asks on the way to the polls. Or the poorhouse.

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