Presidential candidate John Kerry and his chosen V.P. John Edwards will be my choice in the voting booth this November, but that is not why I am giving this book five stars. I am giving Our Plan for America: Stronger At Home, Respected in the World, the book that delineates the Kerry-Edwards plan for America, five big, bold patriotic stars because IT IS A BRILLIANT IDEA FOR KEEPING OUR LEADERS ACCOUNTABLE!
Imagine if the Bush team had thought to be so open with their promises and goals four years ago. Millions of us would have had a book like this with which to hold them accountable, rather than relying on our own shoddy memories and the forgetful media to remind us of broken promises and unfulfilled pledges. With an actual book that lays out the Kerry-Edwards plan, if they win, we now have a powerful tool for holding them to their promises. They can never backpedal, lie or say they never said it. We will have proof. We will have their own words.
This, my friends, is democracy in action.
Other than that profoundly important insight (Hey, Bush, are you going to write a book about your plan for America? I didn’t think so…), this book is a great collection of the speeches given by both Kerry and Edwards on the campaign trail, speeches to large and small gatherings about restoring jobs, dignity, economic security, civil rights, health care, and most importantly, a good future for our precious children (one that does not involve trying to survive on a brutalized planet thanks to years of ignoring pollution, climate change and the literal deforestation of third world nations). Inspiring, motivating, enlightening and educational, the reader can truly get a solid idea of what these two men stand for, and what they desire for the country should they win in November.
Also featured are great photographs of the two candidates and their families on the campaign road.
The essays and speeches develop into a fully detailed plan of action for improving jobs and public schools, providing affordable healthcare, ending the Iraq fiasco, maintaining security against terrorists, providing for our children and our veterans, protecting the environment, preserving what is left of Medicare and Social Security, protecting the rights of women and minorities, and keeping the Violence Against Women act intact, among many other equally critical issues.
Democrats will want this book to understand and clarify the direction of their chosen candidates. I strongly suggest Republicans also read it to also understand the desires of over half the country, to compare and contrast their own beliefs and desires, and to perhaps use as a tool to pressure their own leadership to write a book for those of us who seek to hold our leaders accountable to their promises. After all, many of the Bush promises were made to help Republicans have better lives, and those were broken as well.
No matter what you think of Kerry or Edwards, and after reading this book I found them to be far more likeable and compassionate and deserving of my vote (my heart still partially belongs to Howard Dean), you cannot argue that this is a great concept – producing a book that any public citizen can get hold of and use to keep our leadership on track and keep them from breaking even more promises than those we have seen broken over the last four years.
A citizenry holding its government leaders accountable? What a novel idea!