This blog officially endorses John Kerry for president. Yes, I do know it's a vanity for a two-bit blog such as this to make a bold statement of endorsement, but I feel it's important to stop dilly-dallying and say it: I want John Kerry to be our new president because America needs change and I believe John Kerry is the man who will effect that change.
Former President Clinton summed up the differences between the two main candidates perfectly when he said, "If one candidate's trying to scare you, and the other one is trying to get you to think, if one candidate is appealing to your fears and the other one is appealing to your hopes, you better vote for the person who wants you to think and hope." John Kerry wants us to think about what he can do for us, and he offers us hope that things can be better, that we do deserve better than what we've been given in the last four years. Fear should not be the deciding factor in this race, but rather the qualities of a man who has devoted more than 20 years to public service.
John Kerry is a man of strong character and intelligence. He's a decorated Vietnam veteran, who risked his life when others avoided service. He speaks clearly, intelligently, coherently and is a skilled orator. He is a man who values information and many opinions in order to make his decision; he revises his thoughts, not because he's inconsistent or 'flip flops' but because he knows there are no black and white answers, that gray areas do happen and changing information requires revising approaches and agenda. Contrary to George W. Bush's claim, Kerry is not, in fact, the most liberal senator in Congress. According to factcheck.org, a non-partisan site dedicated to uncovering the truth about all of the spin in the campaigns, Kerry is actually just left of his party's center. Also, according to FactCheck, Kerry has also been consistent on his Iraqi war stance.
Kerry supports not only the social issues important to us, he also will work hard to make sure we are taken care of on the financial and educational issues as well. Kerry proposes health care reform -- including coverage for all Americans -- as well as protecting a woman's right to choose. He will work to create new jobs and opportunities here in the United States, rather than shipping them overseas. He will work hard with our allies overseas to stabilize Iraq and reduce the threats posed by North Korea and Iran. He believes in protecting the environment and energy independence and has plans for education, including tax credits for college tuition. You can read more about the specifics Kerry's "Plan for America" on his site. John Kerry believes strongly in one America, not one for the rich and certainly not a separate one for the poor. He and John Edwards will work together to create that one America; they will work together to renew the hope lost in jobs, wages, health care -- the financial issues that really matter.
President Bush may be a man of strong conviction, but he does not deserve a second term in the White House. During his four-year tenure, Bush has started two wars in an attempt to make us feel safer. The war against Afghanistan was justifiable; we were going after Osama Bin Laden, the man directly responsible for the 9/11 attacks. As of yet, however, Osama Bin Laden has not been captured, and there are not enough troops on the ground in Afghanistan to finish the job there properly.
Iraq started the doctrine of pre-emptive war and the war itself was based and sold to the frightened American people on a false premise. There is absolutely no link between 9/11 and Saddam Hussein; as such, George W. Bush lied to the American people when he implied there was one, and in this war, the reasoning for which shifts daily, over a thousand US soldiers have died, and the Iraqi civilian death toll is between 13,909 and 16,033 at this writing. In addition, Bush developed no plan to secure the peace; our presence in Iraq will continue for years now, at a cost of billions. Despite the heavy cost in financial and human resources, it's impossible to say whether the United States is any safer now than it was prior to the invasion of Iraq.
Bush also produced the following results:
- 1.6 million private sector jobs lost since Bush took office; 800,000 net jobs lost.
- 4 million more people living below the poverty line;
- Healthcare premiums up 55 percent, while more than 5 million people have lost their health insurance
- $89 billion worth of tax cuts awarded to the top 1 percent of income earners
- A $236 billion surplus turned into a $422 billion deficit
Those are the highlights; you can read more here, along with the appropriate citations. Some facts also from this Salon article.
There are many reasons why people cite Bush as their candidate of choice. For instance, there's a perception Bush will be strong in his response to terror; we are, after all, talking about a President who did initiate two wars in less than four years. A new pro-Bush suggests electing Kerry will benefit the terrorists because Kerry allegedly cut intelligence expenditures; these statements are misleading, as it seems Republicans, including CIA Director Porter Goss proposed even more stringent cuts than Kerry ever has. The President even opposed the creation of a Homeland Security Department for 9 months or so after 9/11, before 'flip flopping' and agreeing such a department could be created.
However, here's an idea neither candidate will mention: the 'war on terror' is virtually unwinnable. Other countries -- Israel, Spain, the United Kingdom, Russia, for instance -- have been fighting terrorism for a lot longer than the United States has been. Taking on this global fight cannot and should not be a unilateral action. The only way to even make headway is to bring allies to the table, to treat them with respect and understand that they are sovereign nations with their own ideas on how to spend their valuable resources, both in financial and human terms. The Bush administration has made multilateralism virtually impossible; with John Kerry in office, there is hope some of the allies may come back to the bargaining table and perhaps, lend a hand to stabilize Iraq.
The next president may also have the honor of electing a Supreme Court justice. This is an issue that has virtually gone unnoticed, but the recent thyroid cancer diagnosis of Chief Justice William Rehnquist has brought the issue to the forefront again. Among the major consequences is the fate of Roe v. Wade -- a landmark ruling that surely could be overthrown if Bush is re-elected and able to appoint a justice. The potential nominees and consequences are listed here.
George W. Bush has had his four years in office and we've seen what he's done during that time. The American people deserve better, so much better. Vote for change, vote for hope, vote for John Kerry on November 2.