Monday, October 25, 2004

Five good reasons to vote against Bush:
  1. Iraq - Maybe it was the right thing to do, maybe it was the wrong one, maybe it was just the wrong time. It is, however, incontrovertible that this war has been marked by easily foreseeable errors that have done serious damage to our credibility, stability, safety and military readiness. Al Qa Qaa is only the most recent example, but it's a big 'un. 850 lbs. of some of the most powerful explosives we're capable of manufacturing are missing, and the Bush White House was more concerned with keeping that knowledge from the public than they were with keeping us safe.
  2. Homeland Security - Our ports are still unsecured, as are countless other points of vulnerability, and this administration has resisted every single suggestion for ways to improve our security that did not originate inside the White House.
  3. Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo Bay - Thousands of people have been jailed with scant evidence of guilt, and there is strong evidence that they've been badly mistreated to boot. Personally, I have faith in the ideals of our nation, and think we can win the fight against Islamic fundamentalism without sacrificing those ideals.
  4. The Economy - I don't blame Bush for the recession. The internet bubble was on the verge of bursting when he took office. But there are right things to do when you're facing a recession, and wrong things. Bush did all the wrong things, resulting in net job losses and decreasing the wages of the working class while increasing the incomes of those at the top of the heap.
  5. Responsibility - Whether it's a presidential briefing on a prospective terrorist attack, the economy, or problems with the war in Iraq, the people who work in the Bush White House, including Bush, act as though someone else were really in charge, and was bound to take care of things. At the same time, they refuse to listen to good ideas from outside their inner circle, or answer to critics. That's not the way leadership works.

Five good reasons to vote for Kerry:
  1. Terrorism - Kerry was shutting down terrorist's financial networks almost twenty years ago. And he understands that we're fighting organizations that transcend national borders. That kind of battle requires flexibility of mind and a willingness and ability to work with our allies, but of which John Kerry has. Which brings us to:
  2. Diplomacy - Kerry's international bona fides are impressive as hell. That doesn't mean that he's accountable to foreign governments, or that he's give up any of our sovereignty to them. It just means he knows how to talk to them.
  3. The Economy - Entrepeneurship is crucial to the success of our nation, and Kerry has actual experience running a successful small business, unlike his opponent, and he was chairman of the Senate Kerry Energy Policies Committe. And Kerry's plan will actually help small business owners by making their lives easier, while Bush's "plan" is just more tax cuts, which seem to be the only tool in his toolbox. Also, Kerry has a proven record as a deficit hawk, which we need.
  4. Red vs. Blue - If we're going to survive as a nation, we've got to do it together, which means we can't afford leaders whose response to any criticism is to call "traitor!" Kerry's got a record of working across the aisle to solve problems.
  5. Character - Both candidates are rich, ivy league educated white guys, and both were given much by the circumstances of birth. One squandered those gifts, and the other turned them toward a lifetime of public service. One has drifted through life until a group of people said, "Hey, George, you ever think about running for governor? How about president?" The other has, again and again, made hard choices and done the right thing.

So, that's it. That's my list. What's yours?

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