The MoveOnPAC recruited Oscar winning documentarian Errol Morris (Thin Blue Line, Fog of War, Apple's Switch campaign) to film brief confessions from 17 people who voted for Bush in 2000. Some have changed parties, some are still Republicans, but they all have one thing in common: The trainwreck that is the Bush presidency has convinced them all to vote for John Kerry. They're simple, straightforward, and hopefully effective messages that need to be seen in the swing states.
When we asked MoveOn members last month for their stories for a real people ad campaign, we got hundreds of responses from members (Republicans, Democrats, and Independents) who voted for George Bush in 2000, but will be voting for Kerry in 2004. These stories of disaffection are the most powerful statements we've found about the failed Bush presidency. Academy award-winning documentary film director Errol Morris has been interviewing these former Bush voters on camera, and he's cut seventeen ads that tell their stories.
Help us decide which ads to air during the Republican convention by rating them, and invite your friends to rate them too!
Unfortunately, when you click the 'view next ad' link at the bottom of each screen, it sends you to a random one instead of the next one, which makes it pretty tough to view them all. To make it a bit easier, I've linked and transcribed each individual ad below. Check 'em out, rate them on a 1-5 scale, and spread the word.
1. Anthony Pirro (5th Grade Teacher): "In the beginning I thought George Bush was kind of a very likeable character, he was very personable, he had a sense of humor, and I just thought, y'know what, he seems pretty down to earth. So, I voted for him. Looking back on it, I thoroughly regret it. The fact is, I'm appalled that I voted for him, I'm embarrassed. He doesn't think things through. We had full support in 2001 from the world community... and now, our country is a mess."
2. Ben Taylor (IT Technician): "These people promise things like fresh air, and deliver dirty air. They promise things like 'no child left behind', and yet the cut educational funding. They say they're for the military and yet they cut veterans benefits? Come on. Let's solve some world problems instead of creating them. I'm a Republican, and that doesn't change... but I'm voting for those Democrats."
3. Brady Van Matre (Boulder, Colorado): "I'm a residential general contractor... build houses, do large-scale remodels. Y'know, dry-wall material is up 15%, wood's up 30-35%, steel's doubled. That's inflation... I could go out of business over that. I voted for George Bush because I thought he'd be good for the economy. He's been bad for the economy. I'm still a Republican... y'know, I still don't think the Republican party is a bad party. But there's no way I'll vote for George Bush."
4. Bruce Fenton (CEO, Financial Investments): "I'm not a pacifist, anti-war person. I have absolutely no problem with our country defending ourselves. We should have focused on Osama Bin Laden. He's the one who attacked us, not Saddam Hussein. I've been a Republican for a long time. I supported the first President Bush, I supported this president Bush, and it's hard for citizens, and it's hard for Republicans especially, to look at their president and say 'My president did wrong'."
5. Connie Cominski (Small Business Owner): "I voted for George Bush, and it was a mistake. He said the mission was accomplished, he said Iraq welcomed us, this was going to be an easy thing, a cakewalk. He said America is better off today than before we invaded Iraq... I think we're more scared. I want someone that's going to give us hope. I want to feel good about being an American again. I want to be proud again."
6. Craig Mancuso (6th Grade Teacher): "After 9-11 there was a headline in a French paper 'Today We're All Americans'. We had the world on our side in a way that hasn't been seen since post-World War II. Within a few months after that, with the obsession with Iraq, it was... washed away. I was a registered Republican, now I'm a Democrat, and I'm voting for John Kerry in November."
7. Debbie Mancuso (6th Grade Teacher): "One of the things I've learned being a teacher is part of the reason I get respect from my students is being respectful to them, and president Bush hasn't earned mine. It's because there's not truth in his message. Weapons of mass destruction don't exist in Iraq, and that is why we went to Iraq. You can call it, y'know, little white lies or shading the truth, but it's a lie. He doesn't respect us."
8. Deborah Wood (Wimberly, Texas): "My husband went to school part-time. He's got a bachelor's degree in computer science. So far, no job, and it's been three and a half years. The computer science industry was downsizing, sending jobs overseas. George Bush said 'Americans have to retrain'. My God, how many times do we have to retrain? Why not bring these jobs back home? I voted for George Bush. I feel very betrayed."
9. George Moose (Former Asst. Secretary of State): "For me, the United States does have an important role, a leadership role, especially during this period in history. But in order to lead, you have to be able to inspire other people to follow you, and that clearly is not the case today. We need a foreign policy that is reflective of the genuine character of the American people, but also is a foreign policy that is going to protect our interests in the future. I'm voting for John Kerry."
10. Kenneth Berg (Police Dispatcher): "From what I have seen, Homeland Security, it seems to exist more in title than anything else. And money has supposedly been allocated, but I don't see where. We don't have more personnel on the roads or patrolling our streets than we did before 9-11. My personal opinion: Homeland Security amounts to nothing. I am a registered Republican, and I have been since 1984. I would vote for John Kerry on November 2nd."
11. Kim Mecklenburg (Financial Advisor): "I've been a lifelong Republican since I was old enough to vote, and I thought that Bush would be a fiscally conservative individual. I feel betrayed. I don't believe that a government should be engaging in reckless spending, recklessly stretching the military to the point of breaking, recklessly trying to stretch, alter, and amend the Constitution, which this country was based on. And that's why I'm going to vote for John Kerry."
12. Lee Buttrill (Veteran, U.S. Marines): "We were given these ideas that there's weapons of mass destruction. Well, where are the weapons of mass destruction? They said they were so sure where they were, but where are they? When we were over there, we looked around. I was on an intelligence gathering team... we looked in scientific installations... we never found anything. It was just a lie, and it wasn't a proper use of American troops, it wasn't a proper use of my life, my friends lives, or the Marines who I've seen die around me. It's not a proper use."
13. Nathan Ward (Computer Technician): "I had survived two previous rounds of layoffs, and then the third round got me... they wiped out my whole department. I was forced to stop paying credit card payments, I had to file bankruptcy, I had to be rushed to the hospital for an emergency appendectomy for which I'm not ensured. How can we be the only westernized country without national healthcare? I can't believe that this is the best we can do. There's got to be a better way. I'm voting for John Kerry."
14. Rhonda Nix (Shreveport, Louisiana): "We've got to take care of this country! It upsets me that you can go and spend billions and billions of dollars trying to liberate other people when there's so many people here... they don't need liberation, but they need healthcare. They need food on their table. They need education. It is time to invest in this country... that's what I want to hear about. That we're being taken care of here at home. I'm still a Baptist, but I'm no longer a Republican."
15. Richard Dove (Colonel, U.S. Marines, retired): "I don't think that president Bush is a Republican. The root of the Republican conservative movement is conservation. I mean, that's what a conservative does... he conserves. The clean air, the clean water, these natural resources, they belong to the public... and he is squandering those resources on his corporate buddies. I'm a Republican... I have conservative values, and I cannot see four more years of that kind of leadership."
16. Sid Hasan (Corporate Executive): "I was a Republican in 2000... I actually campaigned for George Bush in California. I think they care more about getting reelected than they care about America's future. I do not understand how they can spend billions of dollars, go into billions of dollars of deficit, and leave it for the congress to figure out what programs to cut. The presidency of George Bush and this administration is a risk for this country, and dangerous for the world."
17. William Harrop (Former Ambassador to Zaire and Israel): "I thought that voting for Bush would do the country better, but I turned out to be wrong. He is convinced that he's right. Things are right or wrong for George W. Bush. They're black or white, right or wrong, with us or against us. A statesman doesn't think in terms like that, and I think we want to elect a statesman as our leader, not an ideologue. I feel my life's work has been very much squandered away by this administration."
Although I know they won't broadcast all of 'em, I sure hope they air Rhonda's. She's got spunk.