It’s time for the Kerry campaign to cut to the heart of the matter, and to start speaking the plain truth: “Let me tell you how it truly is”, “Here’s the truth about Iraq / the deficit / medicare / jobs”. “The President is telling you that things are going well in Iraq. The truth is that they’re getting worse (specifics).” “The President is telling you that that the jobs picture is getting better. The truth is that it’s not (specifics).” “The President is telling you that my plans cost $2trillion. The truth is that the President’s plans cost $3trillion and they are hiding that from you.” “The truth is … and the President is telling you that / not telling you that / lying about my plan / hiding from debates …. I am John Kerry, and I tell the American people the truth”
The “consistency of message” of the republicans, which is immensely effective, is sadly missing from the democratic campaign, which every day feels more and more like Gore’s theme du jour. It’s ok to attack on multiple fronts. But what’s not ok is not to do it in a consistent way or without a unifying theme.
I am proposing a very simple and very powerful unifying theme: “The truth is …
and the President lies (in the most direct language possible). I am John Kerry, and I tell the American People the truth”.
Parenthetical note about language: “a distortion of my record” and “a distortion of my proposal” just don’t connect, specially with swing voters (way too intellectual!!!) . Use the active voice and man in the street verbs: My oponent “lies about” “twists what I say”, “cooks up” “dreams up”, “makes up” “invents” “contrives” “hides” “hatches”. With this you can be serious and critical, and you blunt Bush’s mockery. You can attack that too: My oponent “laughs” “makes fun” “doesn’t take seriously”. “Misleading” is bad, since it admits that the oponent leads.
John Kerry is a truly honest, courageous man. His opponent is a cowardly, deceiving man, and he and his campaign lie compulsively and non-chalantly, blatantly disrespecting the truth. If John Kerry does not emphasize this fundamental difference, he’ll be buried by the never-ending avalanche of lies (when you’re not limited by facts, you can make up an infinite number of falsehoods — haven’t we seen enough to be convinced of this?)
There’s no stronger character contrast between the candidates than their respect for Truth. The American people, overall, are not so cynical (yet) that they have given up on the truth. The truth has a way of being recognizable. Point the truth out, and it opens people’s eyes.
Mr. Kerry, while there’s still time, expose you oponent for the fraud that he is. The American People deserve no less.