I'm going to see Fahrenheit 9/11 tomorrow, and over the weekend I had a big chat with some people about politics (particularly French politics, which I know far too little about).
But as usual when talking about politics in France, we got around to talking about Bush, and November's elections. And I have started to form a pretty unpopular opinion...
I think Bush will win the election.
Note that I don't *want* Bush to win the election. But I fear that the Democrats are going about things the whole wrong way. This election campaign brings back memories of the 1972 presidential campaign (2 years before I was born - I have a good memory).
I read "Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail" a few years back, and re-read it again about 6 months ago, and the parallels between the Nixon cabal and Bush's cronies are pretty scary.
One of the similarities between 2004 and 1972 that comes across is that in 1972 the Democrats selected McGovern because he was the man who could beat Nixon (at least, after Muskie bombed out). And now, Kerry has been nominated and is being hailed for the same reason - he can beat Bush.
This is not the stuff of passion, and it is not the kind of campaign slogan that will win over the hearts of an electorate. "Kerry - he's better than Bush" just will not cut it.
OK - so Kerry's running partner has't (to our knowledge) had electro-shock treatment in a psychiatric hospital, but he really isn't presenting a new vision of things.
I want to see a political candidate not just say what's wrong with the other guy, I want to see him get passionate about his way of seeing things. The republicans kind of have a lower standard expected of them. We expect them to be duplicitous, but we know what we get with them. And the reassurance of the devil you know may be too much for Kerry to overcome, unless he starts pushing a comprehensive list of reasons why people should vote *for* him, and not *against* Bush.