[lit-ideas] Flagrantly Politicking (One More Try)

  • From: John McCreery <mccreery@xxxxxxx>
  • To: Anthro-L <ANTHRO-L@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>, lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Fri, 2 Jul 2004 16:46:55 +0900

What will John Kerry's election mean to Americans living in Japan?


The obvious answer is straightforward, a feeling of immense relief.=A0It=20=

will be simply and truly wonderful not having to cringe every time a=20
Japanese or European friend mentions the Bush administration and asks=20
about its arbitrarily walking away from international treaties, the=20
missing weapons of mass destruction, the missing link between Iraq and=20=

Al Qaeda, the pictures from Abu Ghraib, the memos from administration=20
lawyers claiming that the President may authorize torture and decide=20
arbitrarily who is or is not an "enemy combatant," or-from the business=20=

minded-the fiscal insanity that is putting the whole global economy at=20=


Along with that relief, there will also be a feeling of hope. John=20
Kerry is an internationalist and an advocate of free trade. He has also=20=

been a staunch defender of the natural environment and a vigorous=20
advocate for ending both US and global dependence on the world's=20
dwindling petroleum resources. Women will rest assured that this=20
President will be a staunch defender of reproductive rights and very=20
unlikely, indeed, to appoint Supreme Court or other Federal judges who=20=

would threaten those rights. Educators will know that this President=20
will not cynically support a program named "Leave No Child Behind,"=20
brag about it in his campaign speeches, then deliberately cut the=20
funding for it, leaving schools facing new demands without the=20
resources to meet them and forcing school districts to seek increases=20
in property taxes or cut other programs.

Military personnel will know that John Kerry won't wrap himself in the=20=

flag, waste taxpayers' money on carrier landing publicity stunts to=20
announce the end of an unended war, accuse his opponents of failing to=20=

support the troops-then turn around and slash veterans' benefits. They=20=

may recognize, too, that here is a genuine hero, who went deliberately=20=

in harm's way to save the life of a soldier for whom he felt=20
responsible, and a man with the good sense to recognize when a war has=20=

gone wrong and speak out against it. ("Treason!" shout his enemies.=20
"Tell it to Generals Clark, McPeak, Odom, and Zinni," say his friends.)

Members of the business community will also have reason for optimism.=20
Instead of an administration with ideological blindfolds and a=20
President Bush described by former Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill as=20
impervious to rational argument, even from members of his own party-the=20=

deaf leading the blind-they will, instead, be able to work with a=20
thoughtful pragmatist. President Kerry will know the difference between=20=

strong convictions tempered by awareness of changing realities and=20
blind faith in divine election.

We should not look for radical changes in trade or security policy=20
vis-_-vis Japan, say Washington insiders. What we should expect is more=20=

attention to economic and trade issues, a more engaged posture, and=20
tougher stance toward currency manipulations, an issue in dealing with=20=

China as well as Japan. There will also be greater willingness to=20
engage in bilateral negotiations with North Korea as well as continued=20=

participation in the current six-nation process.

Make no mistake about it: the problems that face the world=20
today-terrorism, ethnic conflict, genocide, epidemic disease,=20
environmental destruction, depleted resources, and the awful poverty=20
that affects more than half of humanity-will not go away on the day=20
that John Kerry is inaugurated as America's forty-fourth president. But=20=

Americans living in Japan will, like people everywhere, enjoy a=20
rekindled hope-the hope that America will, indeed, "be America again."


John L. McCreery

International Vice Chair

Democrats Abroad










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