People sometimes say, “Rant Wraith, you’re such a war-mongering, blood thirsty crypto-fascist that surely you must plan on voting for Bush come November.” Not so loyal readers. Things are more complicated than that. The way I feel about this election can best be summed up by paraphrasing the under-appreciated British political philosopher, Morrissey:
“I think about Kerry and I think about Bush
And neither one particularly appeals to me.”
Domestically I’m a centrist. I’m not really against gay marriage but I’m enthusiastic about it either. I support abortion rights but I’m morally troubled by abortion on demand. I think there are probably too many people in prison but I want criminals to be punished. I don’t believe we should blame America for the world problems. I don’t want the US to try to solve all the world’s crises but I don’t want isolationism either. I am for multilateralism when it helps us achieve our goals and against it when it hinders us. That said on to the election.
Bush is inarticulate and bubbling. I don’t like his tax cuts or industrial subsidies. I wish Dick Cheney wasn’t VP. I hate the deficits particularly. I wish the occupation of Iraq had gone better. They could have shot some looters. They could have crushed al Sadr in May 2003. Not disbanded the Army, etc.
Kerry is a pompous windbag. I don’t like his alliance with Ted Kennedy or Nancy Pelosi. The far left disturbs me and I loath the idea of giving them even a tiny voice in national politics. We don’t need France’s permission to do dick but if Kerry can smooth French feathers by pretending that they matter, that’s not bad. I don’t want to go back to Clinton’s foreign policy of missile strikes, paying off North Korea, and coddling Arafat. Will Kerry stare down the nuclear mullahs of Iran? Will he release the detainees from Cuba? Will he fight the War on Jihad or just talk about it? Or talk about considering forming a commission to offer recommendations he could present to UN bureaucrats?
I have never voted for a republican. I even worked for a democratic House candidate one summer. But that was before the War on Jihad. I am now very close to a single issue voter. A candidate must convince me that he will relentlessly wager war on those who are trying to kill us to get my vote.
Who can convince me? Lately Kerry has made some tough speeches. Will he stick with it? Can he wander so far from his base for very long? Will he risk pissing off the leftists by killing bad guys? By arresting (gasp) Muslim terrorists? Wouldn’t it be good for the democrats to be in power, to have to make some difficult decisions, to take responsibility for US policy instead of just bitching from the sidelines?
On the other hand, is Bush too unpopular to do any good in a second term? Will a second Bush administration be hesitant to make bold moves, too worried that they might get burned? We have 5 months to decide.
As for the other presidential candidates, I want to be clear. I would vote for the re-animated zombie-corpse of Francisco Franco before I’d vote for Ralph Nader.