John Kerry Endorsed by Progressives

Unity of the Democratic Party means continuing to speak out

| July 2004

BOSTON -- Yesterday I went to a progressive convention in Boston attended by presidential candidates Howard Dean and Dennis Kucinich, Tom Hayden (one of the Chicago eight and a masterful journalist), Medea Benjamin (founder of Code Pink), Granny D (who walked across the country at a ripe old age talking sensibly to people), congresswoman Barbara Lee, and others. Afterwards I made my way to the Fleet Center to watch balloons fall from the ceiling after Kerry gave his speech.

I was impressed with certain aspects of Kerry's speech. He made a few jokes. He acted like a rock star, pointing at the crowd and throwing big thumbs up to everyone. In the made-for-TV star-studded gala that is a National Convention, John Kerry played his role well.

I lost some of the wind fom my sails when he said, 'I will build a stronger military. We will add 40,000 active duty troops...'

For some crazy reason the passionate, excited speeches of Kucinich and Dean, earlier in the day, had convinced me that Kerry might take a stand for peace. Then the biographical video of John Kerry, shown half an hour before the speech, said: 'The [Vietnam] war was a mistake. John was the one who had the courage to say it.'

Yes! I thought. He is going to have the courage to say that the Iraq war was a mistake, that he made a mistake in voting for the war, and that he would promise an exit strategy.

During the progressive convention certain pacifist heroes of mine threw their weight behind Kerry. As Kucinich said, 'We are going to make John Kerry the next President of the United States.'