Monday, April 24, 2006

Dotty Lynch: The Real John Kerry Finally Stands Up

CBS's Dotty Lynch writes about John Kerry's "Dissent" speech, in her Political Points column today, "Kerry has the opportunity to lead a movement once again... by rallying a very angry public to force a change in policy. Richard Nixon worried about Kerry's potential as a leader back in the 70s; maybe the new Kerry will finally prove him right."

John Kerry greets his brother, Cameron Kerry, before addressing the crowd at Faneuil Hall in Boston, April 22, 2006. (AP)
John Kerry came to national attention not because he was a war hero but because he was a dissenter. In 1971, he appeared on "The Dick Cavett Show," testified before Congress, and electrified anti-war rallies with his message that the war was wrong. His phrase, "How do you ask a man to be the last man to die for a mistake?" was used for years to define his commitment and eloquence.
On Saturday in Boston's historic Faneuil Hall, Kerry stood tall and proud and came to terms with what seemed so right in the 1970s and so wrong in 2004. He gave a speech about the American tradition of dissent and his own and others' disagreement with Bush administration policies on both Vietnam and Iraq.

Thirty-five years to the day that he testified before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, he was introduced by the widow of a Swift Boat buddy, Don Droz, who emotionally recounted how her late husband told her how he and Kerry were planning to come home after Vietnam and "tell the truth about what was going on." Judith Droz Keyes, who spoke out in her husband's name in the seventies, described Kerry as a man who "has once again become the voice of moral opposition."


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