Wednesday, October 27, 2004

Endorsement: I'm breaking new ground this Election Day. For the first time ever I'm going to vote for a major-party candidate for president. Last time I chose Nader, not because I agree with his views but because I was hoping to help him reach 5-percent so maybe we could grow some viable third parties. Before that I chose Perot for the same reason.

This time, though, too much is on the line. First of all, I probably contributed to the election fiasco of 2000 by wimping out and not making a real decision. And now that we're at war, we need to pick a commander-in-chief who will best fight that war. That's why I'm going to vote for George W. Bush for a second term as president.

For regular readers of this blog (both of you) this doesn't come a big surprise. While I won't try to defend everything Bush stands for or has done while in office, I do believe he's done a great job as president.

Since 9/11, Bush has put our team on offense and put the terrorists on the run. We turned Afghanistan from a Taliban stronghold controlled by Osama Bin Laden to a free country that just held its first democratic elections. Terrorists are hiding in caves on the border of Afghanistan and Pakistan, unable to find a home to coordinate their global terrorist attacks effectively.

Now that our spies and allies (and we still have many, despite what others try to say) are helping us continue to round up Al Qaeda and other terrorists, we decided to finish the job in Iraq by removing Saddam Hussein from power and planting the seed of democracy there to help change the culture of the Middle East. This is an endeavor that won't spring immediate results, but it will make our country and indeed the world safer in the long run.

Bush has been able to conduct operations that lead to immediate tactical victories while also setting the wheels in motion for long-term change. Bush has a vision about how we can wage this war and make the world a safer place, and I'm impressed by what he is accomplishing.

I do disagree with Bush on many issues, including his opposition to same-sex marriage and stem-cell research. But right now the war is the most important issue facing us. The Federal Marriage Amendment will not pass, so I can rationalize that away. Stem-cell research will continue without federal support. And Bush simply will not be able to harm other liberal causes, such as abortion rights.

I would be open to removing Bush for a viable opponent. But I just don't see that in John Kerry. I want my president to be resolute and firm. It's not so much that Kerry flip-flops, it's that he never really takes a strong stand. He always chooses his positions in such a way so that he has a quick exit strategy from his own beliefs. His evolution from advocating the removal of Saddam Hussein and his weapons of mass destruction to claiming that the Iraq war was a distraction is a textbook example of political pandering. When the war became unpopular, he echoed that sentiment on cue, despite his past beliefs.

Yes, I wish that the war had gone better. I wish that we had made no mistakes. But no war ever goes perfectly.

What I can't stand the most is the hatred coming from Bush's opponents. The "Anybody But Bush" crowd really believes that our president is an evil man who is recklessly blowing up people for oil and wants to bring about some sort of fascist state in this country. I can't trust the irrational hatred of those people, and I don't want to put them in charge.

This was not a war of choice. We were attacked, and we will be attacked again, no matter how successful we are. Our enemies want to create a world-wide Islamofascist state, to remove women from schools and public life by hiding them in burqas, to prevent people from having the choice to read and do what they please, and to destroy any wealth and prosperity that others enjoy. These are barbarians who want to bring down our society. I don't think they'll be successful. But I want to make sure by keeping Bush in charge so we can defeat them.

P.S. No, this doesn't make me a Republican, a conservative, or any other predetermined status. This makes me a single-issue voter. I'm still a staunch moderate, for the reasons outlined in the "about" section. And I pledge that whoever wins on November 2 will get my unwavering support as well as my scrupulous critiques.


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