Having listened to or read about these bozos for the past year or so, I find myself ready to vote. Nationally, that is. Locally I am in a deep, deep, pea-soup fog. But that's another post.
In a very real sense, my vote has already been cast. Not literally, mind, but in personal terms the election was decided the moment Kerry floated up to the top of the Democrats' short list. You may have presumed, from other posts, that I would have been a Bush "ringer" from the get-go. Not necessarily.
Like many others, I've been less than charmed with the idea that we have troops in Iraq. In my heart of hearts I suspect we were led there under false (or, at least, grossly misunderstood) pretenses. Unlike others, however, I support what the troops are doing and why they're doing it today. The war has become more defined in terms of global terrorism, rather than merely the toppling of one or more idealogues. Looking into the future, our wars will have two prongs: Terrorism still commands the front page, but don't count the hard-line communist nations as down and out, either. We still have North Korea to keep a wary eye on, and Cuba still hates our capitalistic guts, too. Iran straddles the border by harboring both terrorist organizations and its own blossoming nuclear proliferation.
Unlike Kerry, I just don't see getting much support from Europe in shutting down these threats.
And, so, Bush is the man for the time. Domestically it was never even a close call. Kerry took care of that. Any man professing Catholic beliefs who isn't willing to fight for them will likely compromise other values to fit his political schema. Not a good mix.
I can forgive human foibles to a degree. This is why the whole Vietnam/National Guard meme just didn't resonate with me. Whether or not Kerry really did what he says he did in Vietnam didn't really concern me. I found it far more bothersome that he came home and immediately began making a political hash of the war for his own gain. At the expense of those who served honorably. Bush may have capitalized on opportunities created for him, but he hasn't denigrated those who served with him, either.
Bush has already demonstrated to my satisfaction that he will stay the course against terrorists and other enemies of this nation and our freedoms. Kerry has demonstrated that he will act only if he thinks it will make him look good to the French and the Germans.
Bush still has shortcomings, to be sure. I am no fan of No Child Left Behind. It's a poorly designed program that puts undue pressure on kids to perform at levels that many will not be prepared for at any given age. One size of education does not now, nor ever will fit all kids. Give it a rest and create a program that really works.
Neither am I enchanted with this country's response to environmental problems, particularly global warming. I suspect this one will catch this country (and many others) with its collective pants down. The fix will be enormously expensive, but could be softened by planning for it now. I just don't see Bush taking the lead here. Still, I don't see Kerry as doing any better. The wastefulness of this country is just too entrenched for any one administration to make the needed corrections.
All that said, the balance still tips in favor of Bush. God protect him and us.
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