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Jewish World Review Oct. 21, 2004/ 6 Mar-Cheshvan, 5765

Larry Elder

Larry Elder
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Media gave Kerry a pass during the debates | The post-debate media "truth squad" took little time in taking Bush to task for denying he ever said he "wasn't that concerned" about Osama bin Laden. Please. Imagine Bush's poll numbers in the event the military captures or kills Osama bin Laden before the election. Believe me, Bush is trying.

John Kerry, however, said a number of things that received little comment. For example, Kerry said, "I don't know how you can govern in this country when you look at New York City and you see that 50 percent of the black males there are unemployed." Really?

Kerry apparently got his 50 percent figure from the Community Service Society of New York, an organization that purports to "lead the fight against poverty in New York City." Their February 2004 annual report states, "In 2003 barely one-half (51.8 percent) of New York black men were employed," citing data derived from "Current Population Surveys," "monthly estimates" and "statistical models."

The Department of Labor Statistics, however, says that in 2002 the unemployment rate for black males in New York City stood at 12.6 percent. And for the first six months of 2004 it calculated the unemployment rate for black men and women at 12.6 percent — just a tad lower than Kerry's 50 percent. By the way, the same Community Service Society study determined the city's black female employment rate at 57.1 percent, yet reported black unemployment at 12.9 percent! If a little more than half of black people are working, but less than 13 percent are unemployed, how do the rest of blacks occupy their time? Maybe Kerry meant 50 percent of all black males — newborns, toddlers, children, adolescents, teenagers and Golden Agers.

Kerry, also during the debates, hailed Ronald Reagan as a master of coalition building. Kerry, in criticizing Bush's failure to put together a broad-based coalition, said in the third debate, "I will do it in the way that Franklin Roosevelt and Ronald Reagan and John Kennedy and others did, where we build the strongest alliances, where the world joins together, where we have the best intelligence, and where we are able, ultimately, to be more safe and secure." In the second debate, Kerry said, "I'm going to run a foreign policy that actually does what President Reagan did, President Eisenhower did, and others. We're going to build alliances. We're not going to go unilaterally."

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Does Kerry suffer from memory loss? The Washington Post, on Nov. 8, 1984, said, " . . . Kerry attacked President Reagan's economic program, called for slashing the military budget, backed . . . a nuclear freeze and opposed intervention in Central America." In 1988, Kerry condemned the "moral darkness of the Reagan-Bush administration."

When, in October 1986, Reagan sent in the Marines and ousted the Cuban-allied communist military regime in Grenada, Kerry called the event a "bully's show of force." Reagan's unilateral military action and willingness to use force against a Marxist government that had just taken over the island nation in a bloody coup, threatening 1,000 American medical students, sent a clear message to Cuba, Nicaragua, the Soviet Union and others.

When Reagan, in 1986, retaliated against Libya for bombing a disco that killed an American, Kerry said, "It is obvious that our response was not proportional to the disco bombing. . . . There are numerous other actions we can take, in concert with our allies, to bring significant pressure to bear on countries supporting or harboring terrorists."

About Reagan's Cold War military buildup, Kerry, in 1983, said, "What we as citizens can tell our government is that President Reagan should reorder his priorities. We don't need expensive and exotic weapons systems." In February 1984, Kerry said Reagan "has mortgaged our future in order to pay for a bloated military budget." Later that year, Kerry said, "The defense expenditures of the Reagan administration are without any relevancy to the threat this nation is currently facing."

In "In the Cold War, Kerry Froze," American Enterprise Institute fellow Joshua Muravchik said, "Many leaders had a hand in Washington's Cold War triumph, but Ronald Reagan's contributions were pivotal, and Kerry opposed every one of them. Reagan's defense buildup disabused Soviet leaders of any hope that they could ultimately come out ahead of the United States. Kerry derided these military expenditures as 'bloated' and 'without any relevancy to the threat.' In particular, Reagan's plan to seek a missile defense system against Soviet ICBMs and NATO's decision to station new missiles in Europe to counteract the new Soviet deployment there rendered futile the Kremlin's vast investment in nuclear supremacy. Instead of these measures, Kerry advocated that we adopt a one-sided 'nuclear freeze.'"

What's next, a Kerry proposal to put Margaret Thatcher on Mount Rushmore?

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JWR contributor Larry Elder is the author of, most recently, "Showdown: Confronting Bias, Lies and the Special Interests That Divide America." (Proceeds from sales help fund JWR) Let him know what you think of his column by clicking here.

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