For a (maybe) Kerry voter
It's coming down to the wire. I have been trying not to let my immovable object of low opinion of John Kerry meet the irresistible force of Bush's low approval numbers. I've been trying extra hard not to lob any unreasonable bombs at the left. Especially hard though is trying not to let my partisanship push me in to preaching my view to the more centrist of my friends. It is hardest to hear a centrist friend tell me their vote is most likely going to John "Do You Know Who I AM?" Kerry, as the result of a 'lesser of two evils' calculation.
I respect my friends who feel this way, and this is how America works. But I can't just sit back and assume these people are properly informed about the man. It's much easier to just let a person keep thinking Bush is a moron who swaggers too much, and Kerry is just a rich senator. It's hard though, because I've gone and picked through all the biased(from both sides) sloganeering(that is designed for the less informed) that has had the result (thanks Jon Stewart) of convincing the uninformed that both sides are equally bad. I can understand if a person doesn't like Bush, but an arbitrary switch to the challenger on the assumption that "How could he be worse?" is just scary to me. It's important to understand that you're not just voting against someone. You're voting for someone with a record in public service long enough to get a clear idea of how the man views the world, despite the short term(and partisan spun) rhetoric being flung at you from both sides. There are measured views out there, and if you read them with a critical eye you will see for yourself.
Look at this article
in the Australian by Stephen Morris. It gives a simple rundown of Kerry's history of foreign policy views. Sure, it expresses opinions and sure it's biased against John Kerry. The thing is, they aren't unreasonable opinions and they aren't irrational biases. If you're still thinking you're going to vote Kerry simply as a default, I hope you will give it an honest look:
ALTHOUGH George Bush has reopened a slight lead over John Kerry, the outcome of next week's US presidential election is far from certain. What would Kerry's election as president mean? A dangerous time for the West.
Many have correctly pointed out that Kerry is, for now, proposing an Iraq policy not very different from that of President Bush. Yet there are vital issues other than Iraq. Kerry's 34-year record in public life indicates that he never understood what the Cold War was about and that he does not understand the nature of the US's rogue-state or Islamist terrorist enemies now. Those who see in him a moderate realist replacing the idealists of the Bush administration will be disappointed. For Kerry has a world view that is also idealist, but of a different kind.
Again, yes I know that Bush is hated and blah blah. But I've studied that man too, and it wasn't just blind partisan reflex that won my support. That certainly influenced my vote too, but I'm talking about *support*. I'm not just voting for the man, he has my support as a leader because of what I've decided about him. I may be totally wrong about him, and wrong about Kerry as well, but I don't think so. Bush would get my 'lesser of two evils' vote, if that's how I was deciding things.
posted by M@ at 8:47 AM