Monday, July 26, 2004
Zemblan patriot K.Z. forwards the roster of speakers who'll be pushing product at the Democratic convention this week (and we hope you have cable, because the networks are only doing an hour a night). Partial highlights:
- MONDAY: Two Clintons, one Gore, Terry McAuliffe
- TUESDAY (the night of Stars!): Daschle, Dean, Gephardt, Heinz Kerry, Mosely-Braun, Barack Obama, Ron Reagan
- WEDNESDAY: John Edwards, Bob Graham, Jennifer Granholm, Kucinich, Sharpton
- THURSDAY: Biden, Wes Clark, Max Cleland, John Kerry, Lieberman, Nancy Pelosi
I know what would make this a great convention for me. If, instead of hearing well- dressed, well-modulated politicians make their stock speeches, I could hear ordinary, ticked-off folks who aren't worried about looking unkempt, sounding polite or breaking a sweat, talk about how the issues affect them. Wal-Mart employees explaining how hard it is to live off Wal-Mart's meager salaries and benefits. Unemployed folks telling what it's like to have their benefits run out and still be out of work. Seniors who can't afford their medicine, even with President George W. Bush's prescription discount cards.
I want to hear from cancer patients who are legally barred from getting medical marijuana, from gays and lesbians who want to get married but can't, and from the parents of schoolchildren who've been left behind despite the president's promises. I'd also like to hear from women who can't buy emergency contraceptives over the counter, and from Iraq war veterans who suffered grievous injuries and want to know what it was for. Stories like theirs cast the parties' differences in sharp relief, and the people listening at home can identify with them. For that matter, why isn't Michael Moore, the schlumpy movie director who's managed to fire up more Americans than John Kerry has so far, giving a keynote speech, instead of being relegated to a sideshow? . . . .
Kerry doesn't need to hold back. He needs to show the same anger and resolve that he displayed as a young man speaking against the war in Vietnam. If he can do that, then this convention will be far from boring.