John Kerry Ducks our Questions
Some have suggested the Pro-Youth Pages is too rough in its criticism of presidential candidate John Kerry. So we decided to give Kerry a chance to show his good side. Sure, he supports exploiting child labor. But where does he stand on other issues related to youth?
We sent John Kerry a questionnaire in hopes of getting a fuller picture of the man. Here were the questions we sent him:
1) Do you support or oppose age-restrictions on abortion (parental consent restrictions, etc.)?
2) Do you support or oppose laws that would punish those who assist a teenager in crossing state lines to obtain an abortion?
3) Do you support or oppose "abstinence only" sex ed classes?
4) Do you support or oppose age-restrictions on the sale of video games or CD's?
5) Do you support or oppose executing prisoners who were younger than 18 when they committed their crime?
6) Do you support or oppose reinstating the draft? If you support, whom would you subject to the draft (in terms of gender, age, etc.)?
7) What other information would you like to share regarding your record and plans impacting the lives of youth?
Thank you for writing to John Kerry on this important subject.
John Kerry has never equivocated on issue of choice [sic]. He believes abortion should be safe, legal, and rare. In 1985, Kerry’s first Senate statement defended the right to choose as "a fundamental right." He has voted against the Republican assault on choice time and again.
Even as he runs for President, John Kerry makes every effort to cast his vote whenever the margins are close. On March 13, 2003, he flew back to Washington to secure a successful Senate vote affirming the original Roe v. Wade decision.
The truth is, one of the reasons John Kerry is running for President is that only by replacing George Bush in the White House will the right to choose remain secure.
In regards to your question about John Kerry’s position on capital punishment, he addressed that in his interview on Meet the Press in December, 2002.
The specific answer on that question follows:
"SEN. KERRY: I think, Tim, as people get to know me in the course of this, they’ll know the things that I have fought for and the things I stand for. I was a prosecutor. I’ve sent people to jail for the rest of their life. I’m opposed to the death penalty in the criminal justice system because I think it’s applied unfairly, as even Republican governors have determined, and because I’m for a worse punishment. I think it is worse to take somebody and put them in a small cell for the rest of their life, deprived of their freedom, never to be paroled. Now, I think that’s tougher. Let me just finish.
MR. RUSSERT: But, Senator, why shouldn’t Timothy McVeigh, who blew up the Oklahoma building, or if John Muhammad is convicted of being a sniper here in Washington—why shouldn’t they receive the death penalty?
SEN. KERRY: Tim, I think that, as I said, you know, different people have different opinions about what's worse. I've seen people die and I know what it's like to almost die. I don't think that—you know, dying is scary for a while, but in the end, the punishment is gone. When you're alive and you're deprived of your freedom each day and you're in tough circumstances—and I'm talking about tough circumstances. I'm not talking about some cushy situation where they live off the fat of the land in prison.. I'm talking about tough. But if you're deprived of that freedom for the rest of your living days until God decides to take you, you know, that is tough, my friend, and I think that plenty of people think that.
Now, I don't think it is right to have a criminal justice system that kills innocent people. Over 100 people have been released from death row in America in the last year with DNA evidence and other evidence showing they didn't commit the crime for which they had been committed, some of them in jail for 10, 15 years for a crime they didn't commit.
MR. RUSSERT: So you would have a moratorium on the death penalty until there's further research.
SEN. KERRY: I've said that previously. I think we need to look at it. But more importantly, Tim, that's not affected at the federal level. That's not where the crime of this country is fought. It's fought state for state by state prosecutors. That's where it's done. And I would honor, obviously, the laws of those states and that's the way we should proceed. But far more importantly, are we going to do the things in this country...
MR. RUSSERT: So if a state had a death penalty, you would respect it?
SEN. KERRY: Of course. You have to respect the law. The law of the land is the law of the land, but I have also said that I am for the death penalty for terrorists because terrorists have declared war on your country. And just as I, in a war, was prepared to kill in defense of my nation, I also believe that you eliminate the enemy and I have said publicly that I support that.
MR. RUSSERT: So you would have an exception in your moral opposition for terrorists?
SEN. KERRY: That is correct. It's not moral. I have said that I object to it on the basis"
Also, much more details about John Kerry's positions on a wide variety of issues is available on the web-site at: http://www.johnkerry.com/issues/
Your support is very important to the John Kerry campaign.
The letter then lists several ways we could help Kerry's floundering campaign.
So which questions did he answer? Not question #1. He says he believes abortion should be legal, but legal for whom? The question of age-restrictions is unanswered. Joe Lieberman calls himself pro-choice, but supports age-restrictions. Howard Dean calls himself pro-choice and opposes age-restrictions. Kerry calls himself pro-choice and refuses to specify.
How about question #2? Does he support or oppose the Teen Endangerment Act? No answer.
Does he answer question #3? No. Question #4? No. Question #5? He says he opposes the death penalty. Most people who oppose executions oppose them for juveniles as well as adults, but Kerry won't actually specify this, just as Bill Clinton would not immediately specify what he meant when he said, "There is no inappropriate relationship between me and that woman." Question #6? No answer. Question #7? No comment.
Apparently, John Kerry thinks youth and youth advocates are too stupid to know when a question is being ducked. I wonder if he also thinks we're dumb enough to vote for him.