There is a gathering storm on the horizon. It is the presidential campaign of Senator John Kerry of Massachusetts–a campaign sweeping across America town by town and overwhelming another Bush presidency.

Over the past three years, President Bush has benefited from our ever-increasing soundbite society. He has offered an overly simplistic message with little substance, while furthering a dangerous foreign policy and a failed economic plan. While the Administration’s policies unravel before American eyes, it has become increasingly clear that overblown rhetoric and made-for-TV moments just aren’t enough to lead our country during these dangerous and difficult times. Our nation needs a leader it can once again trust, a person of substance, conviction and courage. They are finding it, as I have, in Senator John Kerry.

I support John Kerry because he is a strong leader and national hero with solid character–a hero from a military family who fought for his country with distinction and honor, yet who also had the courage and conviction to question the very war he fought in Vietnam. As Americans are coming to understand, his experience and choices at such a young age contrast sharply with President Bush’s and tell us much about the kind of President he will become.

Americans understand more each day that we must reverse the damaging course of the past three years. President Bush’s failed policies have taken a $127 billion surplus, which should have been used to protect Social Security, strengthen Medicare and improve healthcare, and, instead, plunged our nation into a five trillion-dollar deficit. Rather than creating jobs, strengthening our economy and building on the economic successes and fiscal responsibility of Democrats during the 1990s, President Bush has pursued a singular strategy of tax cuts, ignoring the fact that he is saddling future generations with debt that will take decades to pay off. His maverick foreign policy has alienated our closest allies and squandered the good will shown to our nation following the tragedies of 9/11. Senator Kerry understands the consequences of these failed domestic and foreign policies. He understands the pain being felt daily in the pocketbooks of millions of hard-working Americans, and the sacrifices of our men and women serving in the military overseas and of their families here at home.

Senator Kerry’s views on the role of government and his plan for America stand in stark contrast to President Bush’s. Kerry believes government should play an important role in insuring equal opportunity and upward mobility for the middle class, new immigrants and the poor. He believes that every one of us, not just the elite few, should be able to realize the American dream He will fight for working Americans and the less fortunate. He will restore fiscal responsibility and fairness to our nation’s economic policies and promote civil rights, social justice, equality and fairness, with meaningful policies rather than meaningless lip service. He will protect our environment and reverse the damaging course of the past three years. He understands that success is judged not by slogans but by substance. He will be a President our nation can trust.

Americans want a President who will fight for them, someone who will make them proud. Americans want a leader who understands that as a nation, we cannot and will not go it alone–that our place in history will be judged not only by the actions of today but also by how those actions impact us tomorrow. Senator John Kerry has proven that he is just this kind of leader, with a character and courage tested under fire. He has the integrity, leadership and experience to lead our nation to a brighter and better future.