The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing -- Edmund Burke

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There But For The Grace Of God
Michael R. Bowen, MD

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Michael R. Bowen, MD

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"Some men change their party for the sake of their principles; others their principles for the sake of their party."
-- Sir Winston Churchill (1874-1965), British soldier, statesman, WWII leader, Prime Minister (1940-45, 1951-55), and author

October 26, 2004

Does anyone really know John Kerry's principles?  Can anyone lay out a clear outline of his approach to the issues of our day?

On the Iraq war, on our international relations, on homosexual marriage, on taxes, on healthcare: he comes down firmly on both sides, depending on the audience and the moment.  On Monday he's a soak-the-rich class-warfare Democrat, on Wednesday the staunchest friend of small business.  At the Democrat convention he declares in favor of a strong military and a strong American presence in the world.  Away from the cameras and microphones, he votes consistently for unilateral disarmament, and turns thumbs down on funding for every weapons system he sees.  He will do it all better than George Bush, but when put on the spot in debate he declares that he's in agreement with the president on security, Iraq, and marriage.

All his life he has done what he later condemns others for doing: fighting in a war and then declaring all his fellow soldiers war criminals.  Hobbling our intelligence, then condemning George Bush for failing to detect and prevent 9/11.  Slashing our military power, then accusing the Pentagon of deploying too few troops to Iraq.  Smearing the president as a tool of the robber barons, while paying half the tax rate, on ten times the income, that his opponent pays.  Waving shotguns on the campaign trail while being a steadfast friend of gun control in the Senate.  Decrying the "homophobia" of the Republicans, then gay-baiting in the debates.

It's not duplicity, though Kerry clearly has problems with the truth.  And, the "Flip-flop" label notwithstanding, it's not indecision or vacillation.  John Kerry really does have convictions.  He really has a clear policy.  It's just that the convictions and the policies all come down to two words: John Kerry.

The Iraq war may be a brutal folly, but when he's president he'll still pursue it.  It'll be okay though, 'cause John Kerry will be doing it.  France and Germany today have no intention of becoming involved, but after the election they'll come on board because John Kerry will be asking them.  Stem-cell research may be a generation or more away from producing a cure for anything as serious as hangnails, but with Kerry in office the lame will walk and the blind will see.

John Kerry doesn't have a better plan, or even any plan.  He doesn't believe that he understands foreign policy, the economy, and social issues better than George Bush.  John Kerry simply believes that he is a better man than George Bush.  His innate superiority will naturally shine through and win the day, even though he pursues the same policies as his predecessor.  His policy and guiding principle is himself.

George Bush, whatever you may think of him, clearly does not view himself as superior to his fellow man.  He believes his principles and his vision for America are the right ones because they are right, not because they are his.  But John Kerry is convinced that he is better than George Bush - and better than you and me.  He simply knows better than the rest of us.  And no tyranny has ever been as devastating as the tyranny of those who are doing it for your own good.

Winston Churchill had an expression for that kind of man.  Watching the insufferable socialist teetotaling prig Sir Stafford Cripps go by, he quipped, "There but for the Grace of God goes God."

 

Copyright Copyright 2020 by Michael R. Bowen, MD & America's Voices, Inc.  All rights reserved.
Dr. Michael Bowen, a former Naval officer, has a private medical practice in Wolfeboro, New Hampshire.  He writes the weekly column
"The Basics" and the occasional guest column "Mixed Reviews" for America's Voices, a conservative political opinion and educational web site.  His columns also appear in other popular Internet sites, including Opinionet.com and Enterstageright.com.  E-mail Dr. Bowen at mbowen@americasvoices.org.

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