Ahh, if only regular politics were as civil and sensible as they are here at JesusH. You’d have thoughtful discourse of the ideas, reasoned arguments and perhaps actual intelligent thought. Instead, we got President Bush, or at least for the next day or so. Let’s hope that soon we’ll be arguing about the screwups of the Kerry administration.
It sounds like everyone’s got their minds made up so far, but since I took ample opportunity to pick on Bush earlier in his disastrous run as our commander in chief, I feel like I’ve got to take one final shot. It’s not that he’s wrong about the war in Iraq, or about tax cuts, or about affirmative action, or that he thinks he’s got God on speed dial when he needs to make a big decision. No, it’s much simpler than that.
Our country is in a lot of trouble right now and the best way to fix it is to get rid of George W. Bush.
Let’s set the various ideological arguments aside for a minute and just use Reagan’s famed test of “are you better off now than you were four years ago?” While I’m personally doing pretty well, I can look around and say that the country really isn’t better off than it was before. This isn’t a question of whether you believe in lower taxes or outsourcing or stem cells– just look at how bitter and scared the nation’s become. We’ve got half the electorate who’s terrified of what will happen if Bush wins, the other half who’s terrified of what will happen if he loses.
The two sides have slung statistics at each other for so long it’s hard to pick the fact from the spin, but the clearest difference between the two is that John Kerry wants to change things and Bush thinks everything’s just fine. He tells us time and again that the economy’s turned the corner and that things are going well in the war on terror. Iraq’s not a mess in his world, that’s just a distortion by the media. Those jobs that are flying overseas? Well, they’re old jobs, we need new ones anyway.
Where this really stuck out to me was in the third debate when Kerry was talking about his health care plan. It’s not perfect, it’s not the total overhaul that we really need, but at least it’s a start. What’s Bush’s response? “Well, how you gonna to pay for it?” This is the best our president can do– rather than acknowledging that there’s a problem, he digs into his old playbook and drags out the “that’s too expensive” card. Yes, expanding health care to cover more citizens is going to cost money, but you might figure that it’s in the government’s best interest to, I don’t know, look out for the people it’s supposed to be governing. Rather than looking for a real way to fix the problem, Bush consistently chooses the wrong path to recovery. Since he’s incapable of admitting that there’s problems, unless he can blame them on Bill Clinton or activist judges, we’re worse off than we were when he came into power.
Who knows how effective Kerry would actually be at bringing about a new set of circumstances, but at least he’s got a plan. Bush doesn’t see a need to change much because he’s already satisfied with the status quo. No need to try and bring in more countries in Iraq, no need to fix the health care system, no need to work on improving the economy because he thinks his policies are working.
You don’t need a presidential campaign to point out that they really aren’t working. As much as I despise his economic policies, if I were benefitting from them, I could at least enjoy the spoils. Instead, my company’s laying people off. When he touts laws like the Patriot Act that are supposed to make me feel safer, I feel like someone’s snooping over my shoulder whenever I criticize the president. And the centerpiece of his time in office, this war on terror that transmogrified into a war on people that neoconservatives don’t like, has boomeranged from making me feel secure at home to more alarmed about where the world’s headed.
We are not on the right track and George Bush has put us there. I only hope that people can put aside the nonsense that both sides have thrown up to obscure the real issues and turn out tomorrow to steer us back toward where we need to be.