Friday, July 30, 2004

Delivering Trust

I saw the headline on the print USA Today this morning: Kerry to Restore Trust in White House, or something similar. It made me wonder how he would intend to do that, when he is not widely trusted to hold to any one vision for any length of time. And what does he mean by trust? One might say trust the in the veracity of what the president says. If Bush is the current model of being untrughful in office, despite the fact that three reports have said that Bush was justified in his reading of the intelligence, then the only way for kerry to stay more "truthful" is to never reach any conclusion or to take a stand one way or the other.

To make the cynical position, he might continue his past record of saying both positions, wait for a resolution, neglect to mention the position that proved wrong, and then claim to have been speaking true all along.

A cinematic image comes to mind when I think about this: in Pirates of the Caribbean, the Governor, played by Jonathon Pryce, hid in a stateroom throughout the climactic fight scene. Once the good guys won, he stepped out and awkwardly joined into the "hurrahs".

Not to impugn Kerry's physical courage. I would rather be in a swift boat with Kerry than in a fighter squadron with Bush. What I am impugning is Kerry's political courage. I would challenge someone to show me a vote or a statement made by Kerry throughout his Senate career that would have endangered his office by bucking the popular opinion in his home state of Massachusettes.

With respect to President Bush, you might find his inclinations repugnant, but at least he has political courage enough so that you can trust that he will do what he says. Maybe that is why he has engendered so much ill will. While his physical courage was not tested under fire, Bush's political courage certainly has. The more that he refuses to even acknowledge that the opposition might have a point, the more vitriol he draws upon himself.

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