The election is eight days out.
I have followed the campaigns. I have been a participant in the discussion everywhere from coffeeshops to sidewalks, to the banks of trout streams, and of course here on the web. I have supported my candidates, my PACs, and the NRA.
The war against Islamofascism did not begin on 9/11 - that day marks when we began to fight back with a defined strategic objective. The Jacksonian in me is highly skeptical of the Bush Doctine's prospects for success. It's not that I doubt the transformative power of representative democracy - far, far from it. The dangerous weakness in the strategy springs from the fact that roughly half of our own polity is either disdainful of free market capitalism and democracy as a system for us (much less tribal cultures who have no traditions of individual liberty or constitutionally restrained government) or is unabashedly willing to exploit the obstacles, mistakes, and tactical reverses inseparable from war for their own short-term political gain. We fight with one foot in a bucket. Electing Kerry would effectively remove the bucket from our foot and put it over our head.
On November second we will choose between two drastically different men and party philosophies. The president has carried the fight to Islamic terrorists where they live instead of waiting for them to hit us again. He has published victory conditions based on the faith that freedom is in fact within the reach of all men, not just certain cultures or religions and an implicit recognition of the evil facing us. He has stood solidly on his primary responsibilities of office to protect and defend this nation in the face of deadly danger and at great political cost. He acted in good faith to address EVERY campaign agenda he ran on the first time around and who did try to reestablish principled compromise as the operating norm for government decision.
His opponent...is a safe loser for Hillary Clinton. His party, once it discovered that media would decline to seriously question the conduct of their last president as it related to the growing terrorist threat in the nineties, embraced obstruction and fearmongering as strategies for their own benefit. Kerry's entire career of public service has been unremarkable for either legislative or leadership accomplishments. He has been on the wrong side of every foreign or domestic policy initiative for twenty years, ranging from resisting the Reagan strategy that led to the defeat of the Soviet Union to coddling Central American communists to being in the forefront of every Democrat effort to redistribute wealth for political gain, weaken property rights, and disarm citizens. Most egregiously, he has participated in his party's efforts to divide America into balkanized factions for exploitation vice appealing to our strengths as a nation of free citizens. No man who would be president should ever place international opinion above the interests of this nation as he so clearly has and intends to do, and he has demonstrated over twenty years his willingness to put his own political fortunes first whenever making a political decision. His proposed strategy for confronting world terror subverts U.S. interest to international organizations and states that have already demonstrated their interests are clearly elsewhere.
In an arena observed by journalists and media outlets driven by objective pursuit of facts he would be fifteen or twenty points behind. Instead, the media elite see their future entwined with his and have acted accordingly. That's not my opinion - it's the opinion of the media organism itself. If you've followed the campaigns you know what I'm talking about. I'm not linking anything today - you can look back over Hugh Hewitt or Powerline or Roger L. Simon or the Kerry Spot to refresh your memory, or simply Google up "media bias worth points" and follow the links.
We can afford the odd senator who shows up for the perks and status without performing his duties in good faith. We cannot afford a president who does the same.
I pray for my country, and my children. I lost my first friends to terror in 1983. I do not think they will be the last regardless of who wins this first presidential election since we began to fight back...but they will not have died in vain if we choose leadership committed to winning, and not managing, the struggle.
Yes, Virginia, there are clear differences between the candidates and their parties. I believe that Bush will win election with 300 ECV and 57% of the popular vote. I've felt that would be the case since the first debate and have seen nothing to change my mind. Kerry is weaker than Gore was in swing states AND the states Gore did win and has lost traction with black Americans, Jews, and women. Even with the looming threat of coordinated fraud and the clear intent of the Democrats to win or grievously damage the electoral process trying, it's not going to be very close. The roster of domestic issues that must be addressed ranges from tort reform to entitlement programs to USSC appointments. I believe that these issues have been neglected by the media because most people already know which side of our political spectrum will more effectively address them. Not because of any one candidate's platform, but because the trend of public policy over the last three decades has shifted to place more conservative office holders in power at local, state, and national offices. All the trends outside of the presidential race polls are clearly following that path and my personal opinion about the presidential polls is that they are at best inaccurate, at worst dishonest, and that this race isn't nearly as close as we are being led to believe.
This will be my last political post until after the election. If you aren't into home remodeling, cannons, cats, or short fiction you probably won't find much here for the next week.
Good luck to you. And don't forget to VOTE!