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Somone on the MSN current events board I like to read started a thread a little while ago called 'Why I'm voting for..' in which he asks everyone to succintly state who they are voting for and why. I thought it was interesting and a good idea.So far it reads like this (this board seems about 50/50 Republican/Democrat, leaning more heavily Republican:******** Why I'll Vote for Kerry!! ********** George Jr. has single-handedly (along with Tony Blair), been the single best recruiter for al-Qaeda's gang of terrorists. By rushing us off to attack Iraq with trumped up and bogus rationales, and by showing blind and largely uncritical allegiance to Israel, George Jr. has stimulated the largest catalyst for anti-American terrorist recruitment ever. Even if we have killed many Muslim terrorists, we've killed many more innocent civilians (tens of thousands and growing in Iraq) and this leads to more terrorists, etc. So, even if al-Qaeda loses certain battles with our forces, they actually are winning a victory in that the Muslim world is growing more and more united against the U.S. Indeed, George Jr. has placed an even larger "Kick Me!" sign upon our nation's backside. I actually agree with all of those conservative radio pundits who claim that "terrorism is the most important issue for the upcoming election" and this is why I favor Kerry; i.e. keeping Bush Jr. in will lead to further animosity among the radical Islamists who wish us harm. Moreover, Bush Jr's doctrine of illegal, unilateral, pre-emptive strikes leads to greater anti-American animosity. In order to make real progress on the war on terror we need to get the world community back on board with us and the best way to do this is by voting George Jr. out of office. But it's not just about getting rid of George Jr. Kerry would in NO way be "soft" on terrorists. Indeed, he'd redouble our efforts to focus on al-Qaeda; he'd bolster Homeland Security via ensuring inspections take place of the cargo at our nation's ports; he'd properly fund fire and police departments across the land; he'd more aggressively work to rein in the unsecured nuclear materials in the former U.S.S.R.; and since he has personally killed on behalf of our nation's interests in the past, he can in no way be called "soft" (like the Chicken-hawk's in power now); and he'd regain the goodwill and solidarity of the world community that George Jr. squandered. Finally, one of the best, and most obvious, ways to reduce terrorism against the U.S. would be for us to establish a more balanced foreign policy re: the Israel-Palestinian conflict (this was the reason that Osama attacked us on 9/11). Kerry is far more likely than George Jr. to move us in this direction; e.g. Kerry is more likely to do as Bush Sr. did - condition U.S. aide to Israel upon reining in the illegal Jewish settlements and improving human rights of Palestinians; and Kerry is also more likely to become actively engaged in stimulating peace talks between those peoples.My biggest complaint about George Jr. - and the one I cannot excuse him for - is for his administration's LYING to the Congress and the American people in stating that - Iraq had lots of WMD and that they had the means to attack us in the very near future;- that war with Iraq had "not been predecided";- that war with Iraq would "only be waged as a last resort"'- and that it would only be waged "after all other means had been attempted." As a result, we have lost credibility within the eyes of the world; we have squandered the goodwill that most all of the world had for us after the 9/11 attacks; and we have fanned the flames of anti-American hatred among the Muslim world. Furthermore, I oppose George Jr's immoral policy of providing tax cuts (which disproportionately benefit our wealthiest citizens and which subsidizes the off-shore out-sourcing of American jobs) while at the same time waging this expensive war with Iraq. This is forcing our children and grandchildren to have to pay for mistakes we are making today. Alas, this is the Republican way: i.e. to pay for things via borrowing against our children's futures and forcing resonsible Democrats to raise our taxes and restore fiscal discipline! The GOP has embraced a platform of fiscal cowardice - they spend big - but do so on the credit card plan. ********I'm voting for Kerry because I do actually care about the environment.You know- those little things like clean air and water.... *********Good point. George Jr. is clearly beholden to polluting corporate interests and not to the long term health of our global environment. Furthermore, the next president will likely be appointing from 1-3 new Supreme Court justices. I think that these appointees are far more likely to be moderate instead of radical with Kerry doing the appointing than George Jr. **********I'm voting for Kerry because I honestly believe our nation has reached a crossroad. I believe this election is all about who and what we are as a people. Are we boorish bullies or are we wise and patient? Do we believe that war is the last resort or do we believe that war should be our first reaction?. Do we believe that our worship of God is entirely separate from our duties as citizens or do we believe that God is PART of the State?. Do we believe that we should pay as we go or do we believe burdening our children and their children with debt is acceptable? This election boils down to the difference between those who lash out and those who reach out. ****** Senator John Kerry. On September 11th, 2001, if you had asked me who I would vote for in 2004, I would have enthusiastically told you President Bush. Same for October 2001 and November 2001. Bush went into Afganistan and appointed Tom Ridge to a cabinet level position. He was doing the right things that needed to be done after the worst attack on our soil since the Civil War. My support started to wane when he talked about an "Axis Of Evil" and did not mention bin Laden. Iraq, Iran and N. Korea were the original "Axis", but it seemed as if the President didn't really care about the other two, who in reality were more dangerous. Then there was the talk of war. Americans were splintering. My 85 year old father in-law--a Presbyterian minister and WWII Veteran was in his hospital bed on the first day of the war and told me that he was "ashamed to be an American today". That did it...here was the most gentle man I know, whom served his country against Hitler and read the bible everyday who was "ashamed" to be associated with our President's actions. It seemed that anyone who voiced dissent to Bush's folly was being ostricized under a new type of McCarthyism. I knew then, that I was not voting for the President. But there is more than that...As the primaries unfolded I liked Dennis Kucinich, but knew he was a token liberal voice. I saw CT. and Iowa unite behind Kerry. I wondered why. Democrats don't usually care about military experience, even though Gore did have some. As I listened to him I realized he was saying the things that I wanted a President to say. He said we shouldn't alienate ourselves in this day and age of a global economy. He assured me that he would not takle guns away from hunters or homeowners. He backed true sicentific endeavors. He is not anti-union. Wants to raise the minimum wage. This is big for me because, although I am way baove making minimum wage, I remember what it was like to sweat out my bills from month to month on the lowest amount of money. And he said one more thing...at the convention: "Nobody owns the flag". This is big for me. An America where we suppress freedom of speech is not the America I want to live in...DAMMITT----I LOVE THIS COUNTRY AND I AM A LIBERAL!!! President Bush did at one time have a unique opportunity. At one moment, for a few months we were not Republicans or Democrats, liberal or conservative, soccer moms or deadbeat dads...we we united, AMERICANS. The President had the chance to do something great with that. The afternoon of September 11th, my wife begged me not to volunteer to go up to ground zero with other nurses from Pennsylvania. I had too, I told her, even though we were never called up to go--no casualities, just carnage...there was something bigger going on in the country than myself and I needed to go. Many young men and women did the same thing and volunteered for the Armed Forces, like I did when I was younger. They are now dead. President Bush had the opportunity to prevent that and did nothing, not even admit he was wrong. That is why I am casting my vote for John Kerry. Bob
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