Why I'm not voting for Bush: End of Series

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There is of course more: The change in foreign policy towards preventative war. FMA. Bush's various unprincipled flip-flops. The way all of his (and Cheney's) best sound bites during the debates turned out to be blatant lies. The way that the campaign has been run (e.g. RNC mailings proclaiming that bible banning will be the result of a Kerry presidency. Also, attempts at vote suppresion.)

Unfortunately, I've run out of time. Well, I guess I could keep going, but it's kind of moot now that election day has arrived. I've tried to stick to the issues and avoid ad hominem attacks. I've tried to avoid conspriacy thinking. I've tried to avoid taking things our of context and makeing low blows. I've tried to avoid the extremes of the liberal arguments. I don't know how successful I've been.

Hopefully I've been able to show that you can be a rational and commited christian while not voting for Bush. (I know that Jeremy knows that. I'm hoping that more of my classmates can come to see that. ;))

Now get out there and vote (hopefully for Kerry).

3 Comments

Some (long) excerpts from other Kerry endorsements (from people who origianlly supported the war no less):

Andrew Sullivan:

The lack of stockpiles of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq remains one of the biggest blows to America's international credibility in a generation. The failure to anticipate an insurgency against the coalition remains one of the biggest military miscalculations since Vietnam. And the refusal to send more troops both at the beginning and throughout the occupation remains one of the most pig-headed acts of hubris since the McNamara era. I'm amazed by how pro-war advocates aren't more incensed by this mishandling of such critical matters. But even a Bush-supporter, like my friend, Christopher Hitchens, has termed it "near-impeachable" incompetence.

I would add one more thing: Abu Ghraib. In one gut-wrenching moment, the moral integrity of the war was delivered an almost fatal blow. To be involved in such a vital struggle and through a mixture of negligence and arrogance to have facilitated such a fantastic propaganda victory for the enemy is just unforgivable. In a matter of months, the Bush administration lost its casus belli and its moral authority. Could they have run a worse war?

Domestically, the record is horrifying for a fiscal conservative. Ronald Reagan raised taxes in his first term when he had to; and he didn't have 9/11 to contend with. Ronald Reagan also cut domestic spending. Bush has been unable to muster the conservative courage to do either. He has spent like a drunken liberal Democrat. He has failed to grapple with entitlement reform, as he once promised. He has larded up the tax code with endless breaks for corporate special interests; pork has metastasized; and he has tainted the cause of tax relief by concentrating too much of it on the wealthy. He has made the future boomer fiscal crunch far more acute by adding a hugely expensive new Medicare prescription drug entitlement.

He ran for election as a social moderate. But every single question in domestic social policy has been resolved to favor the hard-core religious right. His proposal to amend the constitution to deny an entire minority equal rights under the law is one of the most extreme, unnecessary and divisive measures ever proposed in this country. And his response to all criticism - to duck the hardest questions, to reflexively redirect attention to the flaws of his opponents, and to stay within the confines of his own self-reinforcing coterie - has made him singularly unable to adjust, to learn from mistakes, to adapt to a fast-changing world. In peace-time, that's regrettable. In war-time, it's dangerous.

Matthew Yglesias:

Things are not better now than when George W. Bush took office. Instead, on virtually every front there has been deterioration. The proportion of the population at work has fallen. The number of people with health insurance has fallen. The number of people living in poverty has risen. The dollar -- and with it the average American's purchasing power -- has fallen. The federal government's fiscal capacity to cope with an unexpected crisis or the looming problems in Medicare financing has deteriorated. The esteem in which America is held in the world has fallen. The degree of trust foreign governments and the American people have in the US President's description of foreign threats has fallen. The number of terrorist attacks has risen. The state of human rights in China has fallen. Russia's progress toward democracy has been reversed. Politics in the non-Iraq portions of the Middle East are less liberal. In Iraq, a dictatorship and the human suffering of the sanctions regime has been replaced by chaos and the human suffering of a civil war. The American military is less prepared to cope with a foreign threat. The propensity of friendly governments to cooperate with us has eroded markedly. One could go on.

Under the circumstances, the only reason for voting for Bush would be if you had some very good reason to believe that John Kerry would bring about some kind of calamity, and no such reason exists. For all the loud talk of Kerry's alleged weakness, this would only possibly manifest itself in a greater reluctance to involve the country in a second preventative war that, in light of the dire state of the American military, would be unwise anyway. Kerry's tax proposals would leave the rates no higher than they were just a few years ago when such rates were demonstrably compatible with economic strength. Where Bush has taken steps to make things better -- in Afghanistan, on education policy, on AIDS funding -- Kerry promises not to reverse Bush's good initiatives, but to go beyond what the president's ideological commitments will allow him to do.

Kerry has, throughout his life, been a serious person seriously dedicated to public service and the public good. His record is not perfect by any means, but compares favorably with those of the overwhelming majority of politicians with a comparable level of experience. He has done less to make the world a better place than one could have, but he has done far more than most -- certainly more than any of the whiners in the punditocracy who complain about his lack of achievements. Kerry's proposals for health care, military reform, intelligence reform, public diplomacy, and global education promotion are all very good. His proposals for taxation, domestic education, and the so-called "social issues" are, at minimum, an improvement over those of his opponent.

But one must admit that nothing is for sure, and perhaps, in office, Kerry will do a bad job. I see no particular reason to think that he will, but he certainly might. If that happens, we can fire him in 2008. We know that the current officeholder has done a bad job by his own terms -- "compassionate conservatism" has not improved the plight of the poor, tax cutting has not improved the economy or even the average person's disposable income, preventative warfare has not halted nuclear proliferation, crossing names off the high-value target list is not stopping al-Qaeda, pounding the table is not spreading democracy, unilateralism is not producing a pro-American bandwagon, the size and intrusiveness of government is not lessening, even the number of abortions has increased. It is time for him to go.

I'm not sure why a Bush supporter's low tactics undermines a Bush vote. Every politician will have bad supporters. I do think there are legitimate concerns about dead Democrats voting or Democrats voting twice, and to call that voter suppression is conspiracy thinking. That's true of a lot of what's been said on this for the last couple weeks. There are the legitimate problems, like the thrown out registrations, although one piece of evidence suggested that even that was a setup by Democrats, but anyone who won't vote for Bush because of what some Bush supporters do by the same logic shouldn't vote for Kerry either because of Michael Moore.

I think Andrew Sullivan and Matthew Yglesias both misrepresent some issues here, but I'm tiring of this already and longing just for the election to be over, as pretty much everyone is. They start these things way too early for the good of the democratic process.

Its not so much Bush supporters that I'm complaining about. Its the official RNC that I'm worried about. That really does reflect badly on Bush.

anyone who won't vote for Bush because of what some Bush supporters do by the same logic shouldn't vote for Kerry either because of Michael Moore

Again, if Moore were the DNC, then I'd agree with you. But Moore isn't the DNC.

I do think there are legitimate concerns about dead Democrats voting or Democrats voting twice, and to call that voter suppression is conspiracy thinking.

Did you read the fliers linked to in my links? Mailings by official republican headquarters to black neighborhoods telling voters that if they've ever had even so much as a traffic ticket, they would not be allowed to vote? This isn't about preventing dead democrats from voting. This is about deceiveing live people into thinking that they aren't eligable to vote.

but I'm tiring of this already and longing just for the election to be over

Yeah. I felt this way months ago. =Just half a day to go...

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