I am BARRY HESS > Blog

Better Than Two in the Bush

I think the last two elections have honestly come down to the “I’m voting against this guy” stand. To some degree it seems even a long-time Conservative could find a lot more reasons not to vote for Kerry than to vote for Bush. Yes, it is sad, but I think the feeling people who are voting “against Bush” (I don’t hear of it the other way around as often) have is that Kerry’s stands do not align with their own, but Bush’s stands really do not align with their own. Since those are the only two options we are given, someone who votes can truthfully say “I am voting against Bush”.

I have a friend who is so sick of it he wants to start a web site called Don’t Vote. He is tired of there not being any candidates that come even close to mirroring his ideals. I don’t agree with him, but I do, if that makes any sense. Gore, Bush, and Kerry are all cut from very similar cloths when it comes down to it.

The “anyone but Bush” stand also comes from other places. For every person that can’t trust Kerry in wartime due to his Vietnam shenanigans there is a person who can’t trust Bush due to his Iraq missteps. I can imagine a soldier’s mother being horrified by Bush’s WMD jokes at a dinner in March. I was sickened. The “sure there weren’t WMD’s, but I believe the world is a better place without Saddam Hussein” repetitions over-and-over really insults peoples’ intelligence. Does anyone need to be told the world is a better place? in every speech? for months? I’ve personally been impressed with how Tony Blair has communicated his regret and it is in stark contrast to the Bush response. The possibility of Iraq being on the agenda long before any “evidence” of WMD’s was found may smack of intelligence manipulation to some people.

Regardless of the talking points, I think a great rift is how the war on terror has been handled. Among the reasons for the Iraq war were Saddam’s ties to Al Queda. Yet we never saw any adequate proof of this before, during, or after (see 9/11 commission) the war. Many don’t understand why Afghanistan was not stabilized and why Osama was THE major target and is now no longer important. In fact, I recently watched a Rummy Q&A session where he slipped and called Osama Bin Laden by the name Saddam Hussein twice without correcting himself. It was eerie.

Indeed, the large majority of the terrorists now in Iraq are internal and simply trying to defend their homeland/culture the way they happen to know how. Some would see this as creating a whole new nation of terrorists willing to join the fight overseas. Iraq was previously not a part of this international terrorist tide. These various cultures had been oppressed for so long and now they no longer wish to be associated with each other and they are going to fight to avoid it at all costs. This is yet another issue for people since they may feel the current administration’s strategists simply were not ready to handle this eventuality.

Many people also feel that during the war in Iraq, domestic issues of terrorism protection have fallen by the wayside. Protection of airports, seaports and cargo facilities have still consistently received failing grades. Not D-‘s or D’s, but failing. Additionally there have been (or will be?) local police cuts, which is of great concern to some.

If one believes more troops will be called after the US elections in preparation for the Iraq elections and basically to provide for a safer environment for all troops stationed in Iraq, then one can’t help but be sickened a bit as well. First, the troops will not be given adequate notice and preparation time before deployment. Second, the need for more troops will really not be any greater in a month than it is now and it was a month ago. So the postulate is that the call-up is being delayed for US election reasons. Is it that big of a stretch to say the contingent currently in Iraq have not been given additional supportive forces simply due to the US election (i.e. election politics have made the deployed troops less safe than they ought to be)? I don’t think this is a big stretch for some since a tens-of-thousands troop call-up announcement would be political suicide for Bush. Of course, the questions aren’t being asked by the Main Stream Media for the most part. Time will tell.

As you can see from the above, the counterpoints aren’t really supporting Kerry. If one agreed with enough of the above, I contend that one would be compelled to vote for “anyone but Bush”. The thought process would be that Kerry is an experienced politician who would have the ability to assign a cabinet around him to hopefully help him/us succeed. The reality would not be known for years.