I want to love Kerry. I really do. He does look presidential, and he doesn't stutter and look funny everytime he talks (I just laugh thinking about Bush talking, sorry).

After watching a little bit of the SC forum for the Democratic candidates, I was pretty impressed with the way Kerry handles things. He comes off as a cool, collected, intelligent man.

So I gandered over to his website to read up on his policies, hoping to find some common thread ... and I found nothing. So I will continue to support Bush and probably vote for him in 2004.

I'm well aware of Bush's shortcomings domestically. His "core values" (his ideas about family and morals) are off-base and I strongly disagree with most domestic policies, but the way he's handled international politics and helped guided the economy (as much as a President *can* help guide an economy) is going to win my vote.

The way I see it, the American society is constantly becoming more liberal and progressive. A lot of these domestic issues that come up today (gay marriages for one) which are frowned down upon by the Bush Administration *will* be overturned over the next decade.

However, I find that we're at a critical point in international relations. We have an emerging power in China while Europe attempts to consolidate under the EU. We finally were the target of an terrorist attack ... and we realized that there are a lot of assholes in the world who hate us.

What we do *this* decade will reverberate over the coming half-century. If we do not make the proper decisions now, they will bite us in the ass ... we need to help eliminate the threats while we can still manage them.

The United States will not always be the sole global superpower of the world; there will soon be a time where we will need to take into more serious consideration the EU bloc and the China bloc.

By taking a stand in Iraq, we are sending a message to the world that we are commited to the causes we believe in; we're not a country of soft action-less citizens. As torn as our country was about going to war with Iraq, when we *did* go to war, we made it a short affair with relatively low losses on both sides.

Although we never found those WMDs, more evidence comes out that Saddam was simply letting terrorists freely roam his country and train there. Whether or not either of these were true, the message we sent to many of the world leaders is: "You're not safe."

It wasn't mere coincidence that Kaddafi decided to change tunes a few weeks ago in regards to being more "cooperative." You never hear about the quiet changes in policy that a lot of countries are taking; you can be sure that now the world *does* listen to what the United States has to say and *does* know that although we do respect multi-national organizations like the UN, we do not feel binded by them.

Now, with that being said, what's my point?

The election of 2004 will effectively determine Iraq's future. And Iraq is far from "safe" now that Saddam is capture. We must continue forging through our plan to rebuild Iraq as a country that is governed fairly (and represented equally by all the ethic groups living there) ... and unfortunately I just don't see that happening with any of the Democratic candidates. If we fail to help Iraq rebuild properly, they will continue floundering as a corrupted nation-state ... but if we support them 100% in their rebuilding, we can accomplish what we did in West Germany and Japan after WWII ... we can make them a global power (they have the potential). We do not want to do a half-assed job and have the Iraqis fall to some fundamentalist group like the Taliban.

Most of what I read from the Democratic candidates' websites basically say they want to hand over Iraq to a broader coalition. Sorry, wrong answer.

France and Germany have a horrendous track record of doing anythign at all. I mean, when's the last time they even intervened positively in another country? The US and its allies must continue with their plan in rebuilding Iraq regardless of the cost. Only then can we be assued that Gulf War II was not in vain.

Domestic issues will be overturned in the long run, but what we do in world politics reverberates for much longer. The tradeoff we're making in the short term (degradation of domestic policies) is definitely worth the benefits we're making in the long run (stabilization in the Middle East).
Currently listening to: Everclear's Santa Monica
Posted by roy on January 31, 2004 at 12:13 AM in Ramblings | 6 Comments

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Comment posted on February 1st, 2004 at 12:20 AM
Kerry talks about how the Bush White House is owned by special interests and that he's going to bring America "back to the people". He should look into his own funding and Congressional voting history before tossing around accusations. Be careful about records Kerry, they'll come bite you in the ass.

carolina in my mind (guest)

Comment posted on January 31st, 2004 at 06:11 PM
Well, your analysis of the external threat is sooo right on. I guess not the liberal profs in Chapel Hell haven't completely brainwashed you after all.

And while you are unfortunately probably right about the fact that Bush's conservative morals and values will disappear in the next decade, this is the true threat. Those values which you call "off base" have been the backbone of our country since before it was a country (i.e., all the way back to the Pilgrims and the 1600's). Once we succeed in freeing ourselves from these supposedly archaic values, then we will crumble from within.

The terrorists will only have to sit back and watch.
Comment posted on February 1st, 2004 at 04:14 AM
I do agree that these values have been a part of our country and have served us well ... but the past 20 years has seen a "cultural" revolution of sorts with homosexuality becoming more culturally acceptable than in the past.

I really do believe each generation is becoming more liberal and progressive when it comes to these things; although I still view homosexuality as not the norm, there may come a time where being homosexuality will be as culturally acceptable as interracial dating (which was, at one time forbidden).

I think it's important to know that these things *will* happen and embrace these changes as soon as possible. I don't see any of this happening with Bush's administration ...

But this is just a simple focus on one of the many values. Some of them are more valid than others, but i chose this one for argument's sake :)
Comment posted on January 31st, 2004 at 12:33 PM
woah...how did he help guide the us economy? Oo
Comment posted on January 31st, 2004 at 02:21 PM
Well one thing to understand is that Presidents have very very very little over the economy. The downturn and upturn of the economy has more to do with business cycles than any policies by the President.

It's just like nobody actually credits the upturn of the economy during the '90s to Clinton; he was just *in* office when it happened. The downturn of the economy under Bush also wasn't his fault, and this upturn isn't really his doing either.

The only thing I meant by that comment is that he's not shafting the economy completely; his policies *are* intended to help the economy, and that's all I mean by that. As long as Bush doesn't implement any new constrictive taxes that chokes the life out of our economy, he's doing no wrong.
Comment posted on January 31st, 2004 at 11:25 AM
well said