Tuesday, June 29, 2004

Kerry has Plans (and they make sense)
It happens every election cycle. The press covers only negativity and polls, we the people eat it up, and then "undecided" voters and the press together complain that the challenger's campaign is all about negativity and offers no positive vision or plan. Personally, I am more compelled by how awful the Bush administration is than how promising a Kerry Presidency would be. But, apparently many voters (the bizarre swing votes) don't think that way, or don't admit that they think that way. I can hear them now, in October they'll be saying "..but when is Kerry going to tell us what he would do, and not just criticize the President." And the media will nod their collective head.

So I'm worried that all the daily Bush-bashing (which of course I love, engage in, and think is fully deserved) would leave said voters to think that Kerry doesn't have plans or a positive vision. I read Kerry's speech today to the Rainbow/PUSH coalition with that in mind. The man does indeed have priorities and detailed plans, though you'd have to search the news, or read the speech yourself, to find out about it. Today's focus was on education, science and the "new economy." He has plans to make college more affordable for people who need it the most, to provide more incentive for graduation, and to encourage pursuit of degrees in science and math-related disciplines:
When the Soviet Union launched the Sputnik satellite, America invested in a new generation of scientists and engineers, whose innovation paved the way for the information economy. But in the last 30 years, the US has fallen from third in the world to fifteenth in the number of new scientists and engineers in our workforce. And women and minorities, in particular, are choosing other careers. Women make up only 10 percent of engineers -- and only fifteen blacks and eight Hispanic Americans received PhDs in computer science a year. That’s a brain drain we can’t afford in this global era. But it’s one we can fix.
I like where he's going. Higher education and lifelong learning are going to be more and more essential going forward, and an invigorated scientific community may be even more so. Tying that lack to the need for improved employment opportunities among minorities strikes me as brilliant. The speech is here. Even more details are here. Is there any way to get the positive Kerry vision through the din of negative media obssession? New York Times coverage is here, but will anyone read it or hear about it? How hard will we have to look to find coverage of this speech tomorrow in local print and tv news?

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