An Open Letter to Senator John Kerry

Senator Kerry,

When you first announced your campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination, I was eager to support your candidacy. I knew of your principled voting record, and your opposition to the Vietnam War. I was telling friends and family that they ought to consider supporting you too, and was planning on joining your online campaign efforts with the coming of spring.

You have a great voting record on progressive issues, and I very much appreciate your service in the Senate. If, somehow, you win the nomination, you've got my vote.

However, I cannot support your campaign for the Democratic nomination. A few months ago, it looked as if you were developing a backbone, with a sensible policy on Bush's rush to war. Unfortunately, I have watched that developing backbone fall apart. I have waited, with checkbook in hand, for you to construct an anti-war policy that makes sense. You have waffled, first seeming to oppose Bush's war, then seeming to support it, then moving back towards opposition again.

The Democratic Party cannot be led by fence sitters. We need strong voices to counter the bully pulpit that George W. Bush occupies. Your voice has not been strong. It has been calculated, seeking a muddled position on Iraq that will offend the least number of people possible. With George W. Bush occupying the White House, now is not the time for Democrats to confuse the urge to please everybody with leadership.

The overwhelming majority of the Democratic Party is not sitting on the fence. We are against Bush's thoughtless lust for war.

Good luck finding your voice. Perhaps in another four to eight years it will come together. In the meantime, I will be giving my support in the form of funds, volunteer time and votes to Dennis Kucinich, who has been a strong and consistent voice for reason in a time dominated by Bush's demagoguery and weakness in Congressional Democratic leadership.

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