I disagree with George W. Bush about many things. Choice, same sex marriage, the drug war, and energy policy, to name a few. I don't like government in the bedroom any more than I like it in the boardroom or my wallet, and I don't like public policy that flows from the beliefs of a particular religion. This has made me a libertarian leaning ticket splitter as long as I've had the vote.
This year I will vote for George W. Bush for president, and a straight Republican ticket, with one exception.
This nation is at war. Not with an abstract concept of terrorism, but with a particularly heinous brew of nihilist Islamic fascism. They want us, and our concept of freedom and civilization, dead, and they observe no bounds or morality in obtaining that end. We’ve not only to win that fight, but to win it fast enough and absolutely enough that we must only destroy that deviant fraction of Islam. Else will come the day when the threat is so large that we must choose between our lives and freedom, and the total destruction of another civilization.
I could wish that George Bush had the clear and articulate voice of a Blair, a Barnett, a Hanson - or a Wretchard. That’s not the nature of the man, but he has shown by his actions over three years that he gets it. The President we re-elect will not be the one we first elected; his world was rocked just as mine that September morning. I respect that he cast aside his dismissal of ‘nation building’ and took with determination to spreading freedom when it became the evident alternative to tragedy. And lest we forget it amidst the carping of this season, he unleashed our armed forces, which responded with plans of audacity to intimidate a lesser man, and stunning victories to ring down all the ages of military history. I want a dux bellorum. I’ll take GWB.
I’m hardly unaware that the struggle in Iraq continues. Did anyone think an enemy who would kill us here for the crime of our culture, would surrender meekly when we came to his home? Yes, we fell short in planning for the political aftermath of Saddam’s fall. But I note that those criticizing most loudly, saying they would do better, are the same who predicted the slaughter of our own troops on the road to Baghdad, and all but gloated when they seemed balked short of the goal. The same coup de main of the Marines and 3ID which brought down Saddam and produced the ensuing ‘success faillure’, shattered these opportunists’ credibility to propose policy. This is war. The enemy gets a vote. It is won with perseverence, not retreat.
As for John Kerry, he too has a record, and it is consistent:
- After returning from Vietnam, turning on his comrades in arms, and treating with the enemy
- Voting against significant weapons system during the height of the Cold War.
- Voting against the first Gulf War to rebuff Saddam’s aggression
- Voting against intelligence funding after the first WTC attack.
- Voting against funding to support our troops in Iraq
- Insulting our current allies and the prime minister of new Iraq
- Proposing a timetable, not victory conditions, for withdrawal from Iraq
This is a consistent record - of weakness and defeatism. No amount of lipstick makes this pig into a war president. Nor do I want the foreign policy team whose hallmark was wishful thinking back in office as we deal with Iran and Little Kim.
As for the Democratic Party, there are two memes that have moved me to a public declaration: ‘Halliburton’ and ‘New Draft.’ I know enough of business and the miliitary to recognize the arguments behind these as utter rubbish. If they were coming only from juvenile blog trolls, I would not be surprised. But to hear such tripe from the mouths of party elders and the heads of the ticket is different. Whether those statements are principled, or pandering, I will have nothing to do with putting a Party espousing fantasy ideology in charge of my country. This is a Party that deserves a long journey in the wilderness. When it can remember how to be a loyal opposition, it might again deserve to rule. Until that hoped for day - I do believe in a two party system - I am now a Republican (Schwarzenegger wing), and will support that party while seeking to change its more misguided policies.
For this election, I make one exception: US Representative Tom Lantos. Redistricting after the 2000 census made me one of his constituents. I’ve been proud of his support for the administration in war, while opposing it elsewhere. For this and other reasons, he will have my vote this year. We still need opposing voices that we can trust to be principled, not based on fantasy or pure naysaying.