Opinion column: My jellyfish

Illustration Illustration

Illustration Illustration

By Adam Zmick

John Kerry voted for the Patriot Act. Now he attacks it in his campaign speeches. John Kerry voted to

authorize the invasion of Iraq. Less than a year and a half later, he was calling himself an anti-war candidate. After that, however, Kerry said he would have invaded Iraq himself. On every issue, from tax cuts to the embargo against Cuba, John Kerry has flip-flopped. His record shows that he’s nothing but a spineless, poll-riding jellyfish.

George W. Bush, on the other hand, is a man who keeps his promises. During the 2000 election, Bush said he would be “a uniter, not a divider.” He kept his promise. He has united America and the world as never before – against him. John Kerry may be nothing but a spineless, poll-riding jellyfish, but he’s not George W. Bush. That makes him my spineless, poll-riding jellyfish.

In the 2000 election, I was one of more than 2.8 million people who voted for Ralph Nader. I was convinced there was no difference between Bush and Vice President Al Gore. They were two heads of the same dirty, corporate, double-edged sword.

Many of my friends agreed with Nader on the need for change, but they voted for Gore anyway. They knew Nader had no chance, and they believed holding their noses and voting for Gore would keep Bush out of the White House.

As it turns out, we were both wrong. Voting for Gore didn’t stop Bush. A few voter “irregularities” in Florida, and Gore’s half-million vote majority evaporated. I was wrong too. After watching Bush screw up the country for three and a half years, even I’d be glad to return to the Clinton-Gore same-old, same-old.

It’s rather difficult to win an issues-based debate with a presidential candidate who can’t decide what his stance is, so Bush and his puppet masters have resorted to mudslinging.

Two campaign workers have already resigned for their involvement with Swift Boat Veterans for Truth. At first, the Bush campaign denied any involvement with SBVT, but the connection was obvious even before the resignations. The ads were full of lies, and the organization responsible for the ads had the words “for Truth” in their name. It seems pretty obvious to me the ads came from the people who brought us No Child Left Behind, the Healthy Forests Initiative and the USA PATRIOT Act.

Honestly, I don’t think the Republicans want to make Vietnam a central issue of the 2004 campaign. While Kerry was looking for Charlie on a swift boat on the Mekong Delta, Bush was looking for Charlie back stateside – but with a rolled-up hundred-dollar bill in his hand. The Republicans really don’t want to make an issue out of what Kerry did while he was in Vietnam. What they want to do is point out what he did in opposition to the war after he came home. They hope to paint him as Hanoi John, the same way they now criticize those who oppose the Iraq war as unpatriotic.

I, for one, wish John Kerry had the courage to do now what he did back in the 70s – oppose an unjust war. Seriously, doesn’t the phrase, “applying electrodes to prisoners’ genitals” ring a bell?

Bush recently admitted the war on terrorism could not be won. Wars against abstract nouns can be that way, and occupations of third-world nations without a good reason are pretty similar. Iraq is nothing but a sandy Vietnam that just happens to be on top of the world’s second largest supply of oil. John Kerry needs to see this and recognize it’s time to get out – again.

Sixty-one days from now, I will vote for my jellyfish, but really, I wish he were a vertebrate.

Adam Zmick is a senior in engineering. His column runs Thursdays. He can be reached at [email protected]