Kidd Millennium: Doubly Negative / Ad Nauseum
By Ron Callari
You don’t have to be a rocket scientist or an advertising executive for that matter, to decipher the differences. When you match up Bush’s dental records to Kerry’s three Purple Hearts, Bronze and Silver Stars, the negative ad controversy seems to be no contest.
Whether it’s Bush’s oral hygiene versus shrapnel up Kerry’s buttock, most would have to agree the latter took the greater literal and figurative hit. Whether it is Bush avoiding the draft by signing up with the National Guard or Kerry volunteering for duty in Vietnam, it appears the latter displayed a wee bit more courage.
In 1969, President Nixon flew the young Bush to the White House for a date with daughter Tricia. That same year, Kerry took command of a new Swift boat, completing 18 missions over 48 days in the land called Apocalypse Now.
The National Guard relieved Bush from his military commitment eight months early so he could enter the hallowed ivy league halls of Harvard, while Kerry testified before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee: "How do you ask a man to be the last man to die for a mistake?" Again hands down, one would have to say John Kerry had the right to protest “his” war, since he officially served while President Bush ostensibly swerved.
But enough is enough. We are talking about ancient history. Thirty-five years of rice paddies have washed through the Mekong Delta. Why are we continuing to fight old wars while a new one rages on? If the War on Terror is like no other fight, how can Vietnam or Alabama be considered the learning ground for taking control of our future?
Both parties have waged their own war aimed first and foremost at winning a referendum from the American voting populace. They are fighting this war at conventions, on the streets of Podunk, Idaho and yes on the daily news channels, 24/7, ad nauseum.
On the one hand, the Bush campaign knows perfectly well that if they want to beat Kerry they will have to render him untrustworthy, and the only way to do that is to take away those medals. On the other, Kerry is fighting the fight of his life for the one theme he based his entire Democratic convention, his service in the military.
Using the threat of an external enemy to rally the troops is a tired old horse, which politicians have ridden into power for centuries. Unfortunately the importance of the U.S elections has deteriorated into a personality contest, as to who can ride that horse harder and faster.
The squabble that has ensued is who can do a better job in overseeing the empire, and John Kerry believes in the idea of empire as fervently as George Bush does.
So, it's no surprise that in this election you have two Yale University graduates, both members of same secret society, Skull and Bones, both millionaires, both playing at soldier and arguing one up-man-ship, and then childishly debating over who can run what TV ads.
The president, heading into his own convention, is reduced to playing word games on whether he will condemn the ad campaign he says he played no part. Kerry on the other hand wants him to put up or shut up.
The "Swift Boats" design was adapted from an all-metal crew boat, used to support the offshore oil drilling rigs in the Gulf of Mexico. Coincidentally, one Texan family’s dynasty was predicated on oil. Curious to know whether Bush Junior ever tooled around in a Swift boat all his own, at some point in his youth? Now that’s something John Kerry could certainly use in his next counter-counter ad campaign!
Ron Callari is a freelance journalist and editorial cartoonist who resides in Jersey City, New Jersey. He and co-creator Jack Pittman produce kidd millennium cartoons weekly and are the authors of Uncle Dubya’s Jihad Jamboree.