The Third Way: So what does one do with Kerry? If one is vehemently anti-Bush, then your only choice is to vote for Kerry, as a vote for Nader is a vote for Bush.
Hell, even if you're vehemently anti-Kerry, how do you happily pull the lever for Bush? At this point, I'm not sure what anyone who originally voted Bush into office can find left of that candidate today.
Bush has spent more of our money than any liberal president ever did. If he didn't lie (as I maintain he did not), he put us in a war based on some of the most thoroughly flawed intelligence one could have hoped for - and possibly slanted to fit into the Administration's worldview (As an aside, I heard him give a recent stump speech, in which he acknowledged that we "haven't found stockpiles of wmd, but we still did the right thing" [talk about means justifying ends] - which is like saying Heidi Klum hasn't turned me down for a date yet - both technically true, both quite misleading). He's curiously inept at explaining himself, he has a VP who is uncomfortably good at explaining his thoughts, and yet neither can quite convince us that they have our best interests at heart. Last, if you're not utterly mortified down to the core of your shriveled little conservative heart (j/k!!) at his invasive tinkering with our social mores (marriage, religion, speech), then you must be Gary Bauer or in his church.
So we go to Kerry who, as everyone kindly notes, blows with the strongest wind, is not very charismatic, will also spend crazy money (just on different things), and in whom no one will entrust much confidence to lead us through whatever is left of Iraq come next January ("Hey, I know, let's put the French in charge!"). He is equally out-of-touch, and for all his years in the Senate, has remarkably few true leadership moments to show for it. How did we end up with they guy?
I suppose you could blame the primaries for this, but I go one level further down and blame the machine and Terry McAuliffe. The primaries gave us a bunch of stiffs (Gephardt and Graham), no-experience flim-flam artists (Dean, Braun and Clark), no-hope time-wasting charlatans (Kucinich and Sharpton), and then those who have glimmers of hope, yet are hopelessly "not Clinton" (Lieberman, Kerry and Edwards) -- and yes, many of these candidates could go in more than one of these categories. This is because no one showed any arm-twisting leadership to groom and then promote, a true leader from within the party.
Problem is that McAuliffe is only in existence to a) raise money, b) deny reality, and c) see (a). Remember when Ed Rendell was briefly the chairman, and how quickly he got canned when he said Gore should abide by the U.S. Supreme Court's decision, and just "concede" for the good of the nation? No one wants a free-thinker at that post. In fact, no one wants a thinker at all. Just bring in the bucks, use every opportunity to lose your credibility in "Meet the Press" debates, and then we'll get you a nice ambassadorship somewhere. Don't actually provide any leadership (this is, after all, how the GOP got Dole in 1996).
Most agree a third-party candidate is not the way to go, b/c then you face the possibility that the winner only has a minority of the country behind him or her, but I would suggest that given our last election fiasco, there's no guarantee the winner actually gets more than the loser anyway. However, even if you legitimately win 51% to 49%, is that exactly a mandate from The People?
Shouldn't we have a legitimate choice between these two buffoons? Don't we deserve better? Hmmm, come to think of it, maybe we don't.