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