I did it! I talked a JFK guy out of it. We were doing business and somehow the discussion came on about politics. We talked about what was going on in the world. We talked about history and how it is relevant to today. We talked about why we thought "our guy" would make a better leader. He obviously was pro-Kerry. But, he really didn't understand why. He started off by using the usual ABB rhetoric and as each of his objections were beaten down his arguments became weaker and weaker. The best part is that he is a senior USAF enlisted guy. This means he will be giving voting awareness classes every three weeks until election day. He's called once already to clarify something he saw on the Internet. He is not pro bush by any means, but he now understands why Kerry cannot be elected. I have to do follow ups on business issues, so I get to ensure that he doesn't waver. Cool. We discussed keeping score and how we personally felt about leadership in general and what makes a good leader. Since we both have extensive military backgrounds we hit it pretty even in that department. My score card is the Leadership Traits and Principles that I learned as a young Marine before being entrusted with my Marines welfare. Additionally I have a mafia question to the effect of "whaddaya done for me ... ever". And finally I have the gut check. Gut checks are simple. Take all the facts, all the suppositions, and all the assumptions. Did it sit well in your gut. We agreed right off that both candidates would be given a bye on their military records. No bashing or questioning allowed. Under that condition, Kerry wins in that department. Score is currently 1-0 in K's favor because he did in fact serve in combat. We looked at Government service. GW has two successful terms as a chief executive in Texas. He also has a successful term as chief executive at the federal level. Kerry has more total years due to his time in the senate. It was pointed out that Texas Governor may not be as powerful as all that. It was also pointed out that the senate record is singularly unspectacular. Rather than bash either we agreed to let them have a tie here. Score is 0-0 on this. Overall it is still 1-0 in Kerry's favor. We looked at how each man conducted his personal life. GW was a drunk who has reformed. Kerry is a catholic on his second marriage. No score. Both have kids who apparently are not really careful (one shows her boobs and the other sticks out her tongue). Neither can really claim to be anything less than upper income. Neither can deny family involvement either. Again 0-0 so we still are 1-0 overall. Then we began to talk about great leaders in history. We discussed character and standing. Here's where JFK lost. See even honoring him for his actions in Vietnam, as President Bush has publicly stated, we cannot honor him for his actions after Vietnam. His testimony was and is an insult to those who served and continue to serve. My friend from the Air Force was stunned for a moment. It never occurred to him that Kerrys antiwar actions could cancel, point for point, his decorated service. At this point Kerry lost his one point and we are tied. Contrast his (kerrys) years of literally grasping at all sides of an issue with the single minded clarity of the president. Some say that the fervor the president projects with his "with us or......" stance is evidence of a right wing religious conspiracy. I believe that in reality it is unwavering character. It is the sure and certain knowledge that in this world there is right and wrong and that in spite of the apologists, he will do the right thing. My friend began to nod. Then I asked him about WIIFM. In the service, WIIFM is the acronym for "Whats In It For Me?". It is the central question you must answer every time you teach a class or brief someone with an intent to suggest a course of action. It is also Kerry's stance. It shows in each of his endeavors as he uses issues and people to position himself for advancement. As Kerry's statements come out, as his record in the senate is examined, as his votes are more and more scrutinized, you have to ask yourself, WIIFM? Not much. My friend from the Air Force agreed as well. Score one for the good guys. 1-0 for GW and the Good Guys will win.