Readers Write: Frame Kerry! Edwards for VP!

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Cuteness Does Not a Platform Make
I am a faithful reader, and I usually really enjoy most of everything I read here, but I was unsettled by the Estrogen Factor article. I am a 37-year-old heterosexual Democrat, and I was raised by a feminist, single, hippie mom. I don't think that talking about cutesy Edwards is going to win the election, and I am afraid of women who would. I hardly think that George Bush is macho; he's weasely, stupid and weak. I don't think I have ever thought of him as swaggering and crotch-bulging. You may have made a few points here and there about Kerry, sure, but please ... keep the girlie talk to discussions about "Sex and the City." Yuck! That's all I have to say about that article. American women are strong, and thoughtful, and intelligent. They are not all girly-girls.
Sol Miles

The Man with Vision
I thought Chaudhry's article on why John Edwards would make a good running mate for Kerry was an outstanding piece of writing – at least it was funny and insightful and engaging. I am a single woman who has followed this political season quite closely because I am so damn scared that Bush might take another term. I plan on voting for the first time in a decade – yes, I know, shame on me. One of the most compelling personalities during the primaries was Edwards, for all the reasons that Chaudhry wrote of in her article. Kerry, although by all accounts a good and reasonable human being, plays it so close to the center that he doesn't articulate a vision. Edwards does.
F. Hillery

Capturing the Trial Lawyer Vote
My son, also a trial lawyer, heard John Edwards speak up in New Hampshire and told me Edwards was electric! Fantastic speaker. So you see it isn't just women, and it isn't just that my son is also a trial lawyer. Edwards has what Kerry lacks, charisma!
Carol J. Caramagno
Bowie, MD

No ERA for Edwards
I couldn't disagree more with the stance Chaudhry takes regarding Edwards. My organization and the several million women who are members of activist women's groups know something she apparently doesn't. Mr. Edwards was the only Democratic presidential candidate who does not endorse the Equal Rights Amendment. All of the other candidates who are in the Senate or House have their names on current legislation supporting this much-needed and long-overdue amendment. Al Sharpton put his endorsement of the ERA on his web page. Dean gave the ERA his support during a question-and-answer session on the campaign trail. Despite repeated attempts to get a response from Edward's campaign office, we were never able to get an answer. We took both his lack of co-sponsorship of ERA legislation and his refusal to indicate his support during the campaign to mean he does not support the ERA. We sent this information out to the ERA network and many women – especially in the unratified states – acted upon this information. So, to Chaudhry he might be cute, but to some women in the South, he's just another Bubba.
Idella Moore
4ERA, chair

Learning from the Master
REALLY liked the article, "The Frame," on the insights of George Lakoff. I read his book, Moral Politics, and found it one of the best books, information wise, I have ever read. It occurs to me that for those of us who want to write letters to editors, etc., it would be great to receive pointers by George Lakoff on how to frame progressive issues for our letters! Maybe even an email list for progressives?
D. D. King

Framing Trust
I appreciated your article on "framing," as studied and discussed by Prof. Lakoff of UC-Berkley.

Certainly, the frames that you describe are very important ones, but I would like for Democrats (especially Kerry) to put a lot of emphasis on another frame, as well: the value of "trust" or "trustworthiness" in our elected leaders. In the case of GW Bush, we are now well aware that he cannot be trusted. His word cannot be trusted. His decision-making processes cannot be trusted. His coterie of White House insiders cannot be trusted. Nothing about him can be trusted.

If we can successfully make the case to voters that Pres. Bush is not trustworthy, then perhaps a majority of voters will admit the truth to themselves and vote the man and his party out of office.

This frame is one that should speak to people of all persuasions. Let's use it!
Rebecca Wolfe, Ph.D.
Edmonds, WA

Staying on Message
I thoroughly agree with your assessments in "The Frame"; especially the part that "Kerry needs not to be out there all by himself, so they can take shots at him. He should be in the middle surrounded by many people saying the same message."

It is way beyond time for Kerry to establish a strong, cohesive and articulate advocacy of politicians and supporters around the nation as well as agreement from foreign countries that are not in agreement with the Bush policies.

If Kerry could only convince the unemployed; the military; the elderly; the minorities; the poor; those dissatisfied and disgruntled with Medicare, Social Security, energy, environment, and education; and every other group that has been alienated by Bush's policies, he would have enough votes to win the election.

There are so many Bush-haters in America but not enough Kerry-likers. You're correct in that Kerry and Bush seem to blend into one person on many issues. I think of them as fraternal twins instead of candidates of opposing political parties.

He has to expose every little thing that is wrong with Bush's foreign and domestic policies and show us how we can become better human beings who treat each other and the world with moderation again. He can do all of this from a position of strength when and if he learns to "frame" the message as you have written.

He needs to give us a vision of the 21st century that shows us evolution and advancement from the old ways that keep old traditions alive and keep people under the yoke of American capitalism.

Give us a vision in a frame that paints a broad stroke picture of a better world than Bush has created in under 4 years. We have to be able to see the vibrant colors of hope under Kerry, not the angry colors painted by Bush.

Thank you for the article and continue the good fight. Peace.
Jeff Morgan
Rochester, MN

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