Monday, November 01, 2004

Time for Change: Vote John Kerry

When I sent in my absentee ballot 2 weeks ago, I voted for John Kerry for President of the United States. Nothing in the intervening 14 days has swayed my opinion one iota. We need a new President sworn in on January 20th. We need a fresh start.

I’ll spare a bunch of tempting theatrics concerning an obvious endorsement from this all-but-unknown blog. I’ll just point out two pro-Kerry rationale that I feel have been underrepresented in the all endorsements that I’ve read.

Time for Change: Compromise
In an electoral season punctuated with savage attacks, Bush accusing Kerry of flip-flopping was one of the less-pointed jabs that he and his minion made against Kerry. Accusing someone of inappropriately changing his or her mind is a double-edged sword – a sword that I believe will cut Bush at the ballot box tomorrow.

Changing one’s mind when the situation dictates or finding compromise with an entrenched opposition are positive traits for dynamic leadership. These are traits that Governor Bush advertised in his 2000 campaign (Remember an end to “playing politics” in Washington?) and they are traits that President Bush utterly lacks and completely disrespects.

Granted, Bush abruptly changes his mind – as when he suddenly let fly on Good Morning America that he thinks gay civil unions are okay (What about those 11 state amendments banning any kind of gay partnership recognition? Does he now oppose these measures?) – but Bush’s changes of heart occur in a one-sided manner. This move, and others like it, are Machiavellian calculations designed to gain maximum political advantage.

We need someone willing to compromise. Bush has provided us with enough Inpendent Yankee Cowboy moments to fill 5 presidencies.

Time for Change: Moving On From 9/11
The events of September 11, 2001 transformed the attitudes of Americans about security, identity, and our place in the world. We’re still in the shadow of those towers, adjusting our domestic and foreign policy in a climate of uncertainty.

President Bush was at the reins on 9/11, but it could have been President Gore. Heck, in a bizarro world where we didn’t have the 22nd amendment, it could have still been President Bill Clinton.

Bush’s squad bumbled quite a bit, but who wouldn’t have bumbled?

Would a Democrat have built a more effective Department of Homeland Security?

Would a Democrat have enlisted all of NATO (or – dare think it – the UN) into unseating Saddam?

Would a Democrat have had the courage to back away from rash decisions when his blood boiled?

I don’t know the answers to any of these questions. From where I sit, these questions hardly matter. Whether Bush & company like it or not, they carry the mark of our post-9/11 confusion. Had their performance been superhuman, I’d probably encourage you to keep them in office. Their performance has been only human, so I encourage you to let them go.

It’s time to let go of the immediate aftermath of 9/11 by letting go of the leaders of America’s post-9/11 reaction. Let’s see how another set of talented people guide our country through these uncertain times.

Let’s move to the next chapter of American history, the chapter where America reconsiders its place in the world. Let’s move on.

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