Kerry the Redeemer

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Kerry the Redeemer is shorthand for the symbolic value Kerry's election would present to our national psyche, a way to finally close the Vietnam chapter of our history, the unhealed wound, the ongoing culture war, in the wake of the second-time-as-farce* reenactment of quagmire.

When called to serve, Kerry did his duty (Kerry Served), despite the privileges of his upbringing and the ample opportunities for wealthy (Bush) and smart (Clinton) folks to avoid service overseas.

Kerry was acknowleged to be a good leader by his men, decisive and forceful when it counted. (Even today, in his political campaigns, he is known as a good closer, who wins when it counts, and who, according to one of his aides "always knows when his homework is due.")

Kerry served despite his doubts about the war. Up close he saw his worst fears about the war's righteousness and its effect on the young men sent to execute it up close and on his return he helped lead the Vietnam Vets against the War group that lent legitimacy to an anti-war movement that was viewed as cowardly by the WWII vets running the administration and the "establishment" at the time.

Reverse judo backflip re Kerry Flip-Flops: The Republicans say Kerry sees both sides of issues, that he has even been known to *change his positions!* I say do not duck this as a "bug" but tout it as a feature.

Kerry learns.

Kerry can admit error.

Kerry changes his mind when the facts disprove his assumptions.

Kerry is a leader (not a pope).

Who beter to close the divide created by George "I'm a uniter not a divider" Bush than the man who's seen both sides?

[*] ...unfortunately, this leads to the one point of backspin I'd as soon avoid:

Iraq is proof ...

...that Vietnam revisionists (the "problem was we didn't fight to win," "the media and the hippies stabbed us in the back", "the Democrats are no longer credible on foreign policy") got it wrong, and still somehow managed to walk moderate Democrats through another Gulf of Tonkin Resolution and Kerry went along [OK, just as he served in Vietnam... It's true that in the primaries his evolving views more closely matched the electorate than Dean's somewhat scolding smartest-kid-in-the-class mien]...)

... and that the '90s Powell of the Powell Doctrine (as opposed to the '00s Powell, "the beard",; and Kerry, and the people who reported on the war and protested it or refused to flight (and fled the country or went to jail) were right.

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