The three presidential debates have provided distinctive differences between the candidates. Throughout the debates, two clear messages have emerged. Presidential candidate John Kerry is clear, cool-headed and mindful of world opinion. Incumbent George W. Bush is devious, hot-headed and hegemonic in purpose.In each debate, Kerry has been consistent and on-message. Kerry consistently explains why he is against the Iraq war and why he voted for it in the first place – Bush presented Congress with evidence of weapons of mass destruction that have now been debunked. In comparison, Bush has been unable to explain many of his administration’s actions. When asked if he has made any mistakes, Bush could not admit to one. Even his own party members can at least admit that the reason for going to war in Iraq, weapons of mass destruction, does not actually exist.The second debate showed vast differences in their personalities.Consider Kerry’s approach. When asked about his views on abortion, he carefully and respectfully addressed it, saying he is personally against it but he would represent the public’s opinion. In contrast, Bush was to Kerry as demonic fury is to angelic concern. Bush could not keep his anger in check. He screamed at the audience, then turned and screamed at the moderator in order to get more time to scream at Kerry. Finally he spent the rest of the evening alternating between sulking and throwing temper tantrums like a 3-year-old.Finally, we turn to world affairs. Bush continues to press the needs of the United States without consideration for world opinion. In world affairs, there are two ways to go. One way is Bush’s don’t-give-a-damn mentality. The other is called diplomacy, where we get what we want with global cooperation.Kerry’s “global test” is a representative of the latter strategy. He is not saying we need global approval, but rather, that we must legitimize our actions. Bush is the personification of the worst American character traits – hotheaded, self-centered, obnoxious and without an understanding of the world. In contrast, Kerry is controlled, willing to represent the public, cool and understands the necessity of global cooperation.He can be reached at mhe@campustimes.org.



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