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Allen Roland: Kerry Vs Bush / Round Two


By Allen L Roland, Ph.D.

Tonight George Bush recovered from the pounding he took in Round One and held his own in Round Two ~ by relentlessly preaching to his base with his same shop worn message of fear and patriotism.

According to a DNC press release, respondents to ABC News' "insta-poll" declared Kerry the winner by a slim margin:

Kerry: 44%

Bush: 41%

Kerry was on message all night and Bush acted like he was on message but as they say in Texas ~ He was all hat and no cattle . For example his answer to the question about who he would select for the Supreme Court was indicative of most of his answers . David Talbot , Salon, sarcastically sums it up ;

" Did he really answer the question about his criteria for picking a future Supreme Court justice, after stumbling around aimlessly for awhile, by suddenly latching onto the 1857 Dred Scott decision, that reaffirmed the institution of slavery, as an example of something he’s against? This will come as an enormous relief to all runaway slaves currently on the loose in America – although he might have risked alienating the Trent Lott wing of the party with his bold stand. "

I was somewhat disappointed by the many opportunities Kerry had to score major debating blows but allowed himself to get defensive instead of staying on message ~ like Edwards did with Cheney. A good example would be Bush's challenge That you can run but you can't hide referring to Kerry's liberal stance on many issues. A perfect Kerry rejoiner would have been Mr President , you can run but you can't hide from the damage you have inflicted on the American people and our credibility throughout the world .

In other words, I was waiting for a Kerry knockout punch and instead I saw more spirited sparring ~ and kerry winning on points.

But there was something else that became very obvious as the debate rolled on ~ and it was the distinct difference in personalities and character of these two men.

Kerry shows the character development of being tested under fire on the battleground and for championing unpopular political issues ~ he's a serious diplomat . There's a deep sense of humbleness that graces his certainty and it makes him quite human and appealing as a candidate. It's how I might have seen Lincoln ~ who was also a trial lawyer fighting for unpopular issues.

Bush, on the other hand, appeared arrogant and self righteous ~ particularly when, against the rules, he shouted down the commentator to make his point.

This is a very entitled man who is used to getting his way . He has failed at every business that was given to him, through his connections, and is now failing at his court appointed presidency.

He is incapable of self reflection or genuine sincerity , rules mean nothing to him ~ and he still refuses to take accountability for his obvious mistakes in judgement.

Bush's continual self-satisfied smirking and winking at his audience after answering a question , usually with a vacuous answer, was disconcerting.

It is also a disturbing and obvious sign that his whole personna is built on perception ~ not on substance.

Bush's world is black and white and there is no room for constructive dissent, nuance or gray. He is a loose cannon in a complex world that desperately needs diplomacy ~ not obstinacy .

Bush has never gone to the deep inner well , that Kerry has visited under fire, and is incapable of getting beyond his own self absorption and hubris.

And that is precisely the man who illegally and brazenly invaded Iraq, against the established rules of the United Nations ~ because he wanted to take out the man who tried to kill his father and, in the process, one up his Dad and make a financial killing for his corporate buddies .

As Williams River Pitt said " We have institutionalized revenge and made it the basis of our policy and war with Iraq . "

That brief moment during the debate gave myself and millions of Americans a glimpse of the real George Bush ~ an entitled man of limited intelligence and massive certainty without a shred of humbleness and compassion.

Bush's smug self righteousness in contrast with kerry's openness and engagement was shockingly obvious and revealing as to who would make the better leader of the free world.

It's time for a change .

Allen L Roland


Allen Roland is a practicing psychotherapist who also shares a daily political and social commentary on his weblog and website


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