Verbum Ultimum: The Dartmouth Endorses John Kerry for President

by THE DARTMOUTH EDITORIAL BOARD | 10/22/04 5:00am

When Sen. John Kerry visited Dartmouth's Hinman Forum in January 2003 -- just a month after announcing his intention to run for president -- the country he hoped to lead was an entirely different place than the one we live in today. Twenty-two months ago, we were a nation at peace, a nation with allies and a nation prepared to defend ourselves against terror, at home and abroad. Kerry argued then to a standing room-only crowd that before launching into a preemptive war against Saddam Hussein's Iraq, it was incumbent upon the president to work with the world community and to ensure that every peaceable solution had been exhausted. "I think I bring a capacity to stand up to the president," he argued. "And I'm not going to allow the president to bamboozle people on that issue." Twenty-two months, $150 billion and 1,103 American lives later, President Bush continues to bamboozle the people, but in 11 days we have the opportunity to set America back on course and elect Kerry president of the United States.

Though it is tempting to cite Bush's flawed leadership as the main justification for supporting his opponent, it ought to be said that Kerry is presidential material in his own right. A skilled legislator, a worldly diplomat and a principled policy-maker, Kerry has spent his life fighting to preserve the environment, protect a woman's right to choose and make quality healthcare accessible to all. As president, Kerry will achieve energy independence not by drilling but by conserving; he will jumpstart the economy not by doling out tax breaks to the wealthy, but by investing in the middle class; he will demonstrate compassion not by writing discrimination into the Constitution, but by embracing domestic partnership rights. Now more than ever, we need a president who will stand up for what he believes in, who will protect our country and ensure our safety and who will show the world that we are deserving of the respect we once enjoyed.

With the Supreme Court hanging in the balance and the threat of a military draft becoming more real with each passing day, this is not an election to watch from the sidelines. New Hampshire could very well make the difference in this election and Dartmouth could very well make the difference in which column the Granite State's four electoral votes will fall. If you have not yet registered to vote, do so today and avoid the lines on Election Day. Don't let Bush bamboozle you any longer. Vote John Kerry for president.