Monday, July 19, 2004

Backwards Thinking: Bush still hasn't proposed an agenda for what he'd like to do during next four years if he's re-elected. I've been wondering about this sinse he failed to mention anything about the future during his last State of the Union Address. And now The Washington Post is getting curious about what's on the calendar, other than vaguely fighting the war on terrorism.

According to the article, Bush plans to introduce his agenda during the Republican convention in early September. That way, Bush can control the debate for last two months before Election Day.

That sounds like an interesting plan. But considering Bush's recent attempts to push new ideas, he's actually taking a big risk that his proposals will stumble and fall. Remember going back to the moon, and then going to Mars, all while making sure homosexuals can't get married? None of these proposals have caught on with the American public.

I'm thinking new ideas should involve, say, Syria or, even, Iran. I'm not saying we're ready to invade just yet. But Iraq was supposed to set an example to others. A little tough talk may be in order here.

If Bush doesn't plan to act aggressively during his second term, then why exactly should we vote for him? I think he's done great work in Iraq, Afghanistan, and beyond. But those gains aren't going to disappear with Kerry in charge. If Bush doesn't plan to stay aggressive during his second term, then we could vote for Kerry as a type of rebranding vote and put foreign nations at ease. All Kerry has to do is quit acting like the past four years were a mistake and talk about a new direction in the war on terrorism, now that we've already accomplished so much.

Unfortunately, Kerry is running against the past four years. He's arguing that Bush has made mistake after mistake, by botching up Iraq and the economy -- about both of which he's dead wrong.

That makes the upcoming election not a look toward the future, but a referendum about the past four years. I don't see how Kerry can win that.

So even if Bush doesn't come up with any grand master plan, I don't want to vote against what he's already done. Unfortunately both of our candidates are arguing about what we should have done instead of where we need to go from here.


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