Thanks to C-Span‘s video archive, I just sat back and watched Kerry’s speech to the 2004 Democratic National Convention. I must say, I’m more impressed than I thought I was going to be, not having been overly impressed by what little I’ve seen of Kerry in the past. A good, well-written speech, and he delivered it quite well.
A few choice quotes that especially impressed me:
We’re told that outsourcing jobs is good for America. We’re told that new jobs that pay \$9,000 less than the jobs that have been lost is the best we can do. They say this is the best economy we’ve ever had. And they say that anyone who thinks otherwise is a pessimist. Well, here is our answer: There is nothing more pessimistic than saying America can’t do better.
I am proud that after September 11th all our people rallied to President Bush’s call for unity to meet the danger. There were no Democrats. There were no Republicans. There were only Americans. How we wish it had stayed that way.
As president, I will ask hard questions and demand hard evidence. I will immediately reform the intelligence system, so policy is guided by facts, and facts are never distorted by politics. And as president, I will bring back this nation’s time-honored tradition: The United States of America never goes to war because we want to, we only go to war because we have to.
As president, I will wage this war with the lessons I learned in war. Before you go to battle, you have to be able to look a parent in the eye and truthfully say: “I tried everything possible to avoid sending your son or daughter into harm’s way. But we had no choice. We had to protect the American people, fundamental American values from a threat that was real and imminent.” So lesson one, this is the only justification for going to war.
For four years, we’ve heard a lot of talk about values. But values spoken without actions taken are just slogans. Values are not just words. They’re what we live by. They’re about the causes we champion and the people we fight for. And it is time for those who talk about family values to start valuing families.
I want to address these next words directly to President George W. Bush: In the weeks ahead, let’s be optimists, not just opponents. Let’s build unity in the American family, not angry division. Let’s honor this nation’s diversity; let’s respect one another; and let’s never misuse for political purposes the most precious document in American history, the Constitution of the United States.
I don’t want to claim that God is on our side. As Abraham Lincoln told us, I want to pray humbly that we are on God’s side.
Now, let’s get this man into office.
iTunes: “More” by Crystal Method, The from the album Plastic Compilation Vol. I (1997, 5:59).