I’ve been away from this page for six weeks—it takes that long these days for me to move and Misha and I have moved from the low mountains west of Liberec, in the Czech Republic, to the higher ones to the east. Not that they’re all that high—a little over two thousand feet, which makes them more Adirondack than Rockies. But mountains they are, bordering Poland and Germany in what was once the Sudetenland. They’re beautiful and peaceful. Peace always comes back, sometimes taking its own sweet time but always making the rounds.
Six weeks ago I looked forward to what I supposed would be an energetic and hard-fought runup to the election. There were certainly issues, more than I have seen in six decades of voting for presidents and there appeared to be interest, if the newspaper editorials and street demonstrators in New York are any measure. But the country has gone back to sleep since the conventions and it’s discouraging to find bickering back and forth between Republicans and Democrats over Swift Boats and the President’s thirty year old service record. We’ve come to the point where gossip has replaced any serious discussion of issues.
To say that John Kerry has failed his duty may be unfair, but only just a little. If ever there was an administration that was vulnerable on the facts of their actions against their promises, it is this one. Yet Kerry has allowed himself to be tied down by trivia while the President looks his country directly in the eye and asks their confidence in another four years. And he’s going to get it. America likes to be looked in the eye and somehow Kerry hasn’t been able to do that and stay on message. The message is pretty simple, John—it’s the time that has all but run out.
Tomorrow I’ll stop at our little local post office and mail off my request for an absentee ballot, beginning once again my participation in the miracle that is America.