This is almost humorous to watch. The Republicans viciously attack John Kerry throughout their convention but whenever John Kerry criticizes Bush they act like “poor John Kerry needs to resort to negative attacks”. Further, they act like the Bush agenda is nothing but success after success and that John Kerry has not articulated his platform. None of this is true! Even if I try as hard as I can to pretend I am a Republican, I could not (yet) call the war in Iraq a success. There is still way too much volatility and the place is not secure. I think Saddam Hussein fooled us by telling his army to basically disappear into the citizenry. We could have violence for years in terms of civil war, an extremist Islamic state or a military government like we had under Hussein. In terms of protecting our interests in the Middle East, the current situation may or may not be to our long term advantage.
What else? Oh yeah, the economy. Well, not exactly the economy I’d want to hook my election wagon up to. There is no proof that tax cuts are helping the economy. Job creation is negative. The market is tepid. The national debt is soaring again. Where is the good news here — it could have been worse? Is Bush running under a “it could have been worse” slogan?
Now throw in the social issues. The Republican platform wants to deny all rights to same-sex couples. No hospital visitation, no estate planning, no shared insurance, nothing. They want to make abortion illegal. They want to prevent stem cell research. They want to teach creation in the schools. The want to abandon the UN. They want to have an international policy of preemption — attack first and ask questions later, just like we did in Iraq. (Oops, it turns out Iraq posed no threat to the United States.)
Bush has nothing great to run on. As John Stewart of the Daily Show says, it’s like the Republicans are saying “Give us 4 more years so we can continue the work we never started.” Bush uses the past tense to describe his accomplishments, like it is all completely solved: we left no child behind! we got prescription drugs taken care of! we made the world safer! None of this is true.
So Bush lashes out with the tried and true Republican tactics: he’s gonna raise taxes! he’s wobbly! he has no message. None of this is true. John Kerry is experienced, intelligent, capable, proven and twice the man Bush will ever be. He is not the most charismatic person in the world. He doesn’t speak to the heart as well as Clinton or Reagan. On issues, though, he is almost always right on. He is right about this stuff and given the chance his ideas will work.
This election is still very close and I still stand behind my prediction that Kerry will win.
Remember: if you don’t vote you are voting for 4 more years of Bush.