TCU Daily Skiff Friday, February 27, 2004
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Kerry steps up on issues

Brian Andrew is a freshman economics and history major from Tomball.

For those of you who don’t know, John Kerry is the front-runner in the Democratic primaries. At this point, he is almost guaranteed the Democratic nomination for president. During the last presidential election, the candidates, George W. Bush and Al Gore, had many of the same platforms and the two hardly ever made a solid stance on any issue.
Kerry’s leading competition is John Edwards. If Edwards receives the Democratic nomination, I fear this election will prove to be much the same as the last. As a Republican, I hope that Kerry receives the Democratic nomination.

First off, Edwards appeals more to conservatives and independents, and might actually steal some votes that would have gone Bush’s way if Kerry were the opposition. Edward’s strong showing in Wisconsin was led by the Republican and Independent voters voting for him.

Secondly, since the last election, there have been many polarizing issues that have arisen in politics. If American voters have carbon-copy candidates like Bush and Gore again, I am concerned that these important issues that need to be addressed, might never be brought up.

When two candidates are much the same, neither will risk going out on a limb and taking a stance. When neither candidate takes a stance, you never know where your candidate stands on important issues; and if a candidate does take a stance on an important issue, it will only be a compromise, leaving the issues to be re-addressed later. I fear that if Edwards receives the Democratic nomination, we will again be forced to sit through another election of mediocrity, in which no real platforms or issues will be discussed.
One of the most important of these issues is national security. Already, Edwards is shying away from this sensitive subject, while Kerry is stepping up and facing the problem head on. Though I disagree with his stance, I applaud him for taking on the tough issues and coming up with solutions.

Kerry’s main credentials are that he is a Vietnam War veteran with several decorations. From his experience he “knows the responsibilities of commander in chief.” Kerry believes the best way to deal with foreign policy is to be thoughtful and uplifting, something he claims the Bush administration doesn’t do.

While Kerry focuses on the volatile national security issue, Edwards chooses instead to make his platform as bland as they come. He is focusing on jobs and the economy. His choice of key issues highlights exactly what I have been saying about him. Edwards is basing his campaign around issues that all politicians talk about, ones which are easy to energize crowds with. If you have ever heard a political speech dealing with jobs and the economy, then you have heard them all.

I, for one, am rooting for Kerry to be the next Democratic presidential candidate. Not only will his nomination lead to the addressing of important issues, it will hopefully lead to an election where you can distinguish the candidates by their platforms, not solely by their names or party.
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