But (and in my tedious political posts, there is always a 'But') I think that how this election plays out is not up to Kerry. EVERYONE in the country needs to take responsibility, including YOU. If you don't want another 4+ years of the current regime, during which they can pack the Supreme Court, further gut environmental protection, go off on more military misadventures, and roll back 50 years of gains in civil rights, you needs to get personally involved and do what you can. Sitting on the sidelines, wishing that Jesus Christ would have come back to run as a Democrat instead of the current ticket of Skeletor and Howdy Doody, and bitching about how tepid the Democratic ticket looks helps NO ONE.
You are not a passive participant whose job begins and ends on election day. Sure, you may not be in love with Kerry, but in the end, what matters is the alternative. Ask yourself honestly, is there any imaginable scenario where Kerry would be a worse president than Bush? Keep in mind two facts of American History: campaigning for President and being President are two different jobs, and one's loveability doesn't predict much about how well you do as President. In the past few years, the most moral, thoughtful President was Jimmy Carter, and he never really got his arms around the job. Kerry is at least realistic about what is possible in Washington, and his heart's in the right place.
Which is a long way around of damning Kerry with this faint praise: Chances are that he would be a decent to excellent President, even if that's perhaps not immediately apparent. He's been around government long enough to be a pragmatic operator and accomplish the possible. He's demonstrated over and over his caution and thoughtfulness. Those qualities have been used against him by the RNC smear machine, and it's a fundamental failure of the Kerry campaign that they've not countered the 'flip-flop' designation effectively. Sure, Bush is 'steadfast' and 'you know where he stands.' But how valuable are those qualities when he's completely unwilling to let REALITY influence his actions?
The bottom is this: Bush is bad news, and Kerry would do a better job. You need to help get the vote out for the Democratic Party and make a difference this year. And you need to engage Bush voters you may know constructively and try to change hearts and minds. We're at a crossroads right now, and the path we're on is scary and depressing. Make a difference NOW or regret it the rest of your life.