It had been a pleasant way to kill a couple of hours on a Saturday, but I knew that California could hold a thousand pleasant political rock concerts in the next two months and they would have no more effect, one way or another, on the presidential election or the war in Iraq than a squeaky outdoor speech by a perennial fringe candidate.
So if Californians can't influence the election with votes, could they at least make the new, nuanced John Kerry mad enough to speak like the old, truth-to-power John Kerry? I don't know, but let's try this:
In Golden Gate Park this weekend, thousands of young, idealistic, politically active people gathered to demand that their government end an untenable war, much as John Kerry did 30 years ago. On this weekend, though, one booth was selling a T-shirt on which was silk-screened a depiction of U.S. Sen. John Kerry, grinning foolishly. The text on the shirt touted a vote for:
The Lesser Evil
We'll Go Backward Less Fast
The shirts seemed to be selling.
"The situation in Iraq is a disaster that can't be fixed by American soldiers, and I'll bring the troops home a lot faster than the guy who sent them there."