1 August 2004

What was said, Part 3

Ron Reagan's and Kerry's speeches.

Ron Reagan

Transcript on DNC site

His short speech consisted entirely of an explanation of and an argument for government funded stem cell research. His speech was simple, but he is very articulate.

But it does not follow that the theology of a few should be allowed to forestall the health and well-being of the many. And how can we affirm life if we abandon those whose own lives are so desperately at risk?

He suggests that our society and its fears will be viewed as we view societies of 100 and 200 years ago:

And, should we fail, how will we feel if, a few years from now, a more enlightened generation should fulfill the promise of embryonic stem cell therapy? Imagine what they would say of us who lacked the will.

That was the most vividly effective explanation of the decision that I've read.

John Kerry

Transcript at CNN

He opened with some personal history, and then touched on themes that ran through others' speeches and will run through his.

The folly of this war:

I will be a commander in chief who will never mislead us into war. I will have a vice president who will not conduct secret meetings with polluters to rewrite our environmental laws. I will have a Secretary of Defense who will listen to the best advice of our military leaders. And I will appoint an Attorney General who actually upholds the Constitution of the United States.

The ignorant mishandling of American and world unity:

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.

Now I know there are those who criticize me for seeing complexities -- and I do -- because some issues just aren't all that simple. Saying there are weapons of mass destruction in Iraq doesn't make it so. Saying we can fight a war on the cheap doesn't make it so. And proclaiming mission accomplished, certainly doesn't make it so.

And he backs it up with precise promises of add[ing] 40,000 active duty troops and end[ing] the backdoor draft of National Guard and reservists. Republicans blithely bashed Clinton's military avoidance but then declare special treatment for the rich Bush as a not uncommon non-issue. Well, here's someone who has the credentials and the conscience.

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. ... We believe that what matters most is not narrow appeals masquerading as values, but the shared values that show the true face of America. Not narrow appeals that divide us, but shared values that unite us.

He also provided some details on his economic plans:

  1. New incentives to revitalize manufacturing,
  2. Investment in technology and innovation,
  3. Close the tax loopholes that reward companies for shipping our jobs overseas

We won't raise taxes on the middle class. You've heard a lot of false charges about this in recent months. So let me say straight out what I will do as president: I will cut middle-class taxes. I will reduce the tax burden on small business. And I will roll back the tax cuts for the wealthiest individuals who make over $200,000 a year [my emphasis], so we can invest in job creation, health care and education.

There. He said it. Those tax cuts were a mistake, and everyone should know it.

He says this about faith:

And let me say it plainly: In that cause, and in this campaign, we welcome people of faith. America is not us and them. I think of what Ron Reagan said of his father a few weeks ago, and I want to say this to you tonight: I don't wear my own faith on my sleeve. But faith has given me values and hope to live by, from Vietnam to this day, from Sunday to Sunday. 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.

Which reflects his position on gay marriage: he disagrees with it, but doesn't try to impose his dogma on others. And (my favorite): What if we have a president who believes in science?

Damn, fucking straight.

[ posted by sstrader on 1 August 2004 at 10:11:31 PM in Politics ]