Monday, October 11, 2004

Why Vote FOR Kerry and Not Just AGAINST Bush

I would like to respond to Janine's suggestion on one of my posts below. Here's why I intend to vote for Kerry. For Kerry, not just against Bush. Kerry is a good man, I think, and I'm hopeful that his presidency will reverse so many of the trends our country has suffered in the four years of the neo-cons.

Someone has to fix the mistakes that have been made. First. What have those in power done to our country? Here's a short list.
1. Put the country into an incredible amount of debt. We need to raise taxes lickity split, and figure out how to revive the economy, which is farming out jobs at an incredible rate. As long as taxes are framed as a "problem," this will be hard to accomplish, but at least with a Democrat, we won't have a government that is its own worst enemy. Would you hire a CEO whose avowed purpose was to shrink the company and drive it into the ground? Nope, I wouldn't either.

2. Enmired us in a senseless war that is tapping our resources, both psychologically and financially, as well as disappointing the entire planet. Seems they sometimes look to the US as a ray of hope in the otherwise corrupt bleak world wrought by centuries of imperialism and capitalism. Now the US is just as bad as any other power-hungry empire. Is there no hope?

3. Sent the environment on a downward spiral to doom. This is completely flat-out frightening. We're all doomed! The fish are dying! We're breathing in poison! Our water is dirty! By any measure, it's BAD. Bad, bad, bad.

Okay, so those three things are important. Most candidates admit to those problems, even the Republicans, who refuse to take any blame for them. But what can Kerry do that no one else can? Why not vote for the Greens, or the Libertarians, or write in your own name?

First, the obvious. He has been annointed by the Democratic Party, which means that there is probably no surprise dirt that can be dug up on the guy. He has been checked out thoroughly. Believe me, if they had any character issues on him, we would have known about it a while ago. He's clean. Therefore he has a chance to win.

(Frankly I don't care about a person's personal life when it comes to their job performance, but I think I'm alone in that sentiment. Personally, I'm sort of grudgingly happy for Bush that he used his family ties to get out of combat duty. At least he was THAT smart. He's still a complete jerk, but he did dodge the draft. You have to give him that.)

We have a two-party system in this country. It's a shame we don't have a parliamentary system whereby various parties get a percentage share of the seats according to the percentage of the population which voted for that party, but we DON'T. So to my way of thinking we have no choice but to vote for Kerry. Votes for another candidate mean that one of the two candidates garner a vote by the simple fact that it is not cancelled out by a counter-vote.

Even though voting for Kerry might be voting for someone who is more conservative than you, or who has to toe the party line and it isn't strong enough for you, or you simply want to be an iconoclast: I say whatever, suck it up. It's not so bad. If our country's two-party system really bothers you, figure out how to change it. I believe that voting for some third-party candidate will NOT show the powers-that-be that you are protesting the two-party system; actually, they are HAPPY when you do so. Or at least the wrong side is happy, generally speaking.

Kerry might just stand for most of the things you do, if you look closely. He can argue his way out of a paper bag without wearing a wire. He's smart. He has a lot of experience in politics. I think he has a chance of getting us OUT of the stupid war we're in, because he is a military man and knows how the military works, presumably. Strangely, I'm a bit leery of his heroism in the military because I spent my childhood among hippies in the Vietnam era, but I admit that it is a prejudice.

Because you know what's nice? Kerry protested that war, even after he won his purple hearts, so he probably isn't some kind of cretinous military guy in disguise! He probably sees the military as what it has the potential of being, which is a powerful deterrent, as well as an opportunity to reach out to the world with help when the powers of good are threatened. (I say "help" and I don't mean "full-scale invasion," you'll note. "Help" in the form of distributing bags of rice and flour, keeping the peace when sociopathic warlords are in power, protecting people, etc. is what I have in mind.)

And finally, the environment: here's what I know, and it isn't much. Kerry isn't entirely in the pocket of corporations. Again, he has been annointed by the Democratic machine, which means that he toes the line in terms of Democratic platform, and generally speaking, that means standing up for the little guy. It means that money is not necessarily the first consideration in any question. Conservation and preservation of nature do not make money for anyone, and it seems entirely possible to me that a man like Kerry might see past money interests to higher priorities, like the future of the human race on this planet. I hope. Oh, I hope.

(cross-posted on Spanglemonkey)

No comments: