I know you’ve all been waiting with breathless anticipation for me to finally get off the fence and give my endorsement for President of the United States. After much consideration and soul-searching, I’ve decided to cast my vote for President George W. Bush.
(Note: This is an expanded version of my “why I support President Bush” entry over at Blogging of The Presidency)
In ascending order of importance:
On the subject of domestic and social issues, I find myself disagreeing with President Bush. For just a few examples, I think he’s wrong on the issues of abortion, stem-cell research, and gay marriage. But I also believe that he has derived his positions from sincere beliefs and ethical principles, and that is something I can respect. Also, Bush at his core seems to say that a lot of these issues should be left up to the state legislatures, which are traditionally more receptive to the wishes of the people, and that’s somewhere I can agree with him.
One of the things we’ve lost lately that I mourn most is the ability to disagree without being disagreeable. I am willing to reasonably discuss those issues, but the chances of having reasonable discussions on major issues is getting more and more difficult.
A lot of people talk about the economy, arguing whether it’s getting better or worse, and under whom will it do better. I have absolutely no education and training in economics, but I’ve noticed that whenever you get two economists together, you end up with at least three opinions. So I look at the tangibles of the economy — how I’m doing, how people I see are doing, and how businesses I see are doing. Personally, I’m a hell of a lot better off financially than I was in 2000. My friends are almost universally doing better as well. My employer is in the business-support field, and we’re doing better than ever. Finally, the businesses that we work with are, for the most part, doing better and better. So when having to choose between someone who has governed while I’ve benefited and promises to keep taxes lower versus someone who promises to raise taxes, I’m gonna vote for the first guy.
Finally, on the issue of security, I have to again back President Bush. Al Qaeda declared war on us back in 1993, and for nearly his entire term President Clinton treated it as a crmininal matter. He threw police and lawyers at them (when he could be bothered), and it failed so spectacularly that Al Qaeda were enboldened to keep attacking — our embassies in Africa, the near-sinking of the USS Cole, and finally the 9/11 attacks. After that, Bush finally realized that you fight wars with warriors and unleashed the mightiest force the world has ever seen — the United States armed forces. Two terrorist-hosting and terrorist-enabling nations, Afghanistan and Iraq, were broken and are beign rebuilt. A third such nation, Libya, had a “come-to-Jesus” moment and switched sides faster than the Soviet Union in World War II, handing over its previously-unknown Weapons of Mass Destruction program and ratting out many of those it had previously supported. Iran is crumbling, suffering from enormous pressures from within (its own dissenters) and without (having massive US forces to both the east and west). North Korea is getting more and more rattled, desperately trying to balance threats and demands before its own starving populace either rises up or dies out. Saudi Arabia is realizing that decades of exporting its troublemakers is starting to come back and bite it on the ass, and frantically trying to shore up its monarchic thugocracy before it falls to either Islamic fanaticism or democratic reforms. Syria is jumping at the slightest hint that it might have to face the consequences from either the US or Israel for its long-standing backing of terrorists and occupation of Lebanon.
And, most significantly, there has not been a single significant terrorist attack within the United States since 9/11.
The founding fathers were incredibly wise men. The Declaration of Independence outlines certain unalienable rights, and lists as examples “Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness.” That order was not chosen for stylistic reasons, but listed in order of priority. One cannot pursue happiness if one is not free, and one cannot be free if one is not alive. I trust George W. Bush to preserve my Life and my Liberty so I can properly argue with him and his supporters about allowing me to not only Pursue my Happiness, but perhaps even attain it.