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Reflections of a Bush Supporter in Massachusetts
by Aaron Goldstein
09 March 2004G-Dub

In less than three years, the Taliban have been knocked out of power, Iraq has been liberated, Yasser Arafat has been ostracized and Colonel Ghaddafi is surrendering his weapons of mass destruction.

One need not entirely agree with a candidate in order to cast a ballot in his or her favor. If total agreement with a politician’s platform was a prerequisite I suspect few people would exercise their franchise.

For instance, in the case of President Bush, I do not agree with his stance on gay marriage nor do I agree with his decision to support a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage. I believe it is unnecessary for the federal government to get involved in this matter.   

But this is America and …..gasp!!!   You can disagree with the President of the United States.   It is also possible to disagree with the same President of the United States and vote to elect or re-elect him.

If you asked me in November 2000 if I thought I would ever cast a ballot for a Republican, much less George W. Bush, I would have told you that you were suffering from dementia. When I voted for Ralph Nader, national security and a strong defense were the furthest things from my mind.

Then on September 11, 2001 I grew up and realized that the only job of government was to protect its populace. Here President Bush rose to the occasion. There was little indication in the 2000 Presidential election that Bush was much interested in foreign policy and getting involved on the international stage.  But in less than three years, the Taliban have been knocked out of power in Afghanistan, Iraq has been liberated from Saddam Hussein, Yasser Arafat has been ostracized and Colonel Ghaddafi is surrendering his weapons of mass destruction.  For his trouble, President Bush has simultaneously been compared to Adolf Hitler and has been accused of being controlled Jewish interests. There is certainly much more to be done but no doubt that President Bush is on the right path in the War on Terror. It is on that basis I will cast my ballot for George W. Bush in November.

His opponents provide the populace an abundance of rhetoric and name calling.  But when it comes to providing feasible alternatives their lands are barren.

Senator John Kerry began to annoy me in earnest nearly a year ago when he suggested that there be a “regime change in the United States,” as opposed to Iraq.  Kerry may very well have been jesting but he was also equating President Bush with Saddam Hussein, as had many in the anti-war movement, and was clearly tapping into that sentiment.    

In one of Kerry’s commercials in the run up to the New Hampshire Primary, he proclaimed, “We’ll never have to send our sons and daughters to war for Mideast oil.”
Indeed, he repeats this sentiment when talking about energy and the environment on his official website. Surely the man must be joking.  Surely the man cannot mean a word of it. Surely he is far too intelligent to stoop to this level. Yet all evidence is to the contrary.

For Senator Kerry to suggest that our troops in Afghanistan and Iraq are there solely to increase access to oil is a slap in the face to those who have left their families behind to risk their lives to protect our interests and create a better world.  He has effectively trivialized the integrity of their mission and for that he should be ashamed. No doubt Senator Kerry served honorably in Vietnam and his fierce criticism of the war reflected sentiments that existed amongst his fellow soldiers and many people here at home.    Senator Kerry may be in touch with many Vietnam veterans but he is woefully out of touch with those who fight the War on Terror in Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as those fought in the 1991 Persian Gulf War.   

Thirty years ago, John Kerry challenged the Washington establishment concerning our involvement in Vietnam. Now John Kerry embodies the establishment. It would be interesting to see a John Kerry-like figure who served in either Iraq/Afghanistan or in the Gulf War challenge him as he challenged President Nixon three decades ago.  I wonder how Senator Kerry would react to such a person -- who would have the credibility and first hand experience to defend the nobility of these missions.   If nothing else it would demonstrate the old saying, “What comes around goes around.”

I would be remiss if I did not allude to Senator Kerry’s suggestion that President Bush “misled” the country about going into Iraq.    What Senator Kerry really means to assert is that the President lied -- but he is too patrician to do so.  Of course, Senator Kerry does not say how President Bush supposedly misled the country.     After all, as a member of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, Kerry had exactly the same information as President Bush concerning intelligence in Iraq.  If anyone is misleading the country on Iraq it is Senator Kerry and not President Bush.    

Like many Democrats, Senator Kerry’s domestic agenda is well-intentioned but ultimately pie in the sky.   Senator Kerry recently announced that companies that sought to move their operations offshore not be permitted to receive government contracts or obtain tax incentives.  Aside from being an unfair restraint on trade and commerce, Kerry cannot enforce such a law and he knows it.  The World Trade Organization would not stand for it, as it did not stand for Bush’s steel tariffs.   And I thought Kerry wanted the United States to have more friends in the world.

Senator Kerry, like every Democrat since Harry Truman, is promising health care to every American.  While I believe that government-run health care is not without its merits, why should anyone believe the Democrats when they promise universal health care?  They have been promising it for more than half a century where they spent much of it controlling both Houses of Congress and have never delivered.  Why should now be any different?     While I don’t agree with President Bush entirely on health care, he is not promising anything and I would rather vote for someone who promises nothing than someone who promises something he knows he cannot deliver.   As Tim Hardin sang many years ago,  “Don’t makes promises that you can’t keep.”  Put another way, a President is best measured not by the promises he makes but by rising to the challenges that unexpectedly come his way and test his mettle.   On that basis there is only one viable choice for this Massachusetts resident and that is George W. Bush.

Aaron Goldstein, a former member of the socialist New Democratic Party, writes poetry and has a chapbook titled Oysters and the Newborn Child: Melancholy and Dead Musicians. His poetry can be viewed on www.poetsforthewar.org.

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