Wednesday, October 20, 2004

Why I will vote for Kerry

I have been away from this blog site for awhile. To tell the truth I doubt many people read this so I did not feel much incentive. But I see a response today. Thanks, Robert.

Why I will vote for Kerry: this is from my heart, or off the top of my head. In any case here are the major reasons:

* President Bush has transformed a record budget surplus into a record deficit, and there is no indication he will do anything serious to reduce it over the next four years. On the contrary it is likely to grow ever larger, exponentially perhaps. Why? Because he wants to make tax cuts permanent, while at the same time he has said he will pay whatever it takes to win the war in Iraq. Added to Iraq is Afghanistan and Homeland Security. The tax cuts have benefitted mostly the very wealthy. For the average American the refund might have amounted to a few hundred dollars. Unless we decide to withdraw and allow Iraq to collapse into anarchy, which is close to where it is now, this war is likely to take several years before the country is stable enough that we can pull out. And we will have to finance the war while reducing taxes for the wealthy. That makes no sense. The conservative economist Milton Friedman once said that a tax cut now is not a real tax cut unless it is accompanied by corresponding cuts in government spending. We are just passing on the fiscal burden to the future.

If this trend continues, it may be that our country will reach a breaking point where drastic cuts have to be made in most domestic programs in order to bring the deficit under control, perhaps even elimination of entire programs.

* Bush and Cheney have conducted a criminal policy against our environment, destroying our natural resources and endangering public health in order to benefit their wealthy cronies. Bush is, as Robert Kennedy said, the worst environmental president in the history of this country. And that is quite an accomplishment. Every major environmental organization has strongly criticized Bush's environmental record. Even Russell Train, one of the first EPA administrators, under Richard Nixon, has expressed his strong protests on this matter. Bush has refused to enforce hundreds of environmental regulations and has appointed to environmental regulatory agencies former CEOs and lobbyists for energy industries that exploit our resources. This is an obvious conflict of interest, appointing foxes to guard the henhouse.

It is unfortunate that the environment has not become a more serious issue in this campaign. It was not even mentioned in the three debates. But in fact our natural resources are like money in the bank. And when we use them up now that means they are not available in the future. Furthermore, environmental pollution is closely linked to public health problems. For example it is unsafe to eat fish from most freshwater sources because of the mercury contamination. Bush does nothing to stop this problem because he does not want to hurt the interests of the corporations that are plundering our land.

* When Bush ran for office, he claimed to be a "uniter not a divider". Many believed his promise, but now four years later our country has never been more divided. In Congress, Republicans have excluded Democrats from much of the normal conference hearings. In public discourse, particularly this campaign, we see highly divisive, hateful rhetoric; and while the left is not blameless by any means, it is really the Bush-Cheney-Rove team that have been the most guilty. I have never witnessed a more vicious presidential campaign in my lifetime.

* Unlike his father, Bush demonstrates a woeful ignorance, in fact a willful ignorance, of the complexity of foreign affairs. He has a new doctrine of preventive war, that is invade other countries that might be a threat in the future, even if they are not a direct threat to us now. In the case of Iraq, he sent our troops in there with wild misconceptions about how we would be welcomed and no plan for winning the peace. Now we are bogged down in a much less safe situation than our troops were in Vietnam, for example. And the Muslim extremists are acting far more forcefully in Iraq than they ever did under Saddam Hussein. The latest tragic news is the highly respected director of Care International in Iraq has been kidnapped. Will she be beheaded too? We will probably have to stay in Iraq for over a decade, or withdraw and see the country descend into anarchy and terrorism. This will be very costly for us.

Furthermore, his general attitude toward the United Nations and what Rumsfeld called "Old Europe" is also pretty self-defeating and only serves to isolate us further from the rest of the world. In fact, while Bush may win the election here, if the rest of the world could vote he would lose by a landslide.

I could go on, but those are the major reasons for my opposition to Bush. In all these aspects, Bush and Cheney have demonostrated an arrogant and myopic shortsighteness that will be mostly costly not to us but to our children and grandchildren.

What then are my reasons for supporting Kerry? First of all, he is not Bush. He could not possibly be as disastrous in office. But beyond that, I believe he will behave far more responsibly toward the environment and toward our gaping budget deficit. His health plan while very commendable, is not likely to pass without significant modification unless the Democrats somehow take over both the House and Senate. But it is more important what he won't do than what he will do on the domestic front. Futhermore, Kerry has a strong environmental record, and I believe there would be significant progress in this area under him, certainly major reversals from the present trend.

As to foreign policy, particularly Iraq, I would not wish that on anyone. I do not know how Kerry might handle the Iraq war differently, but I do believe he would seek to repair our damaged relations with other countries over this war. Unfortunately, we could well see a return of the draft, whether under Kerry or Bush.

I do not agree with Kerry on all issues, but I believe he is more genuinely motivated by public service than is Bush. At this point I am not entirely optimistic he will win, but I would be so happy to see a more thoughtful, intelligent, and yes, ethical president than the clown who currently occupies the Oval Office.


Blogger Robert said...

For me you hit it with the comment "... he is not Bush." This will be the first time that I have voted for a main-stream candidate. I'm not necessarily happy about this, mind you. But I think GWB is enough of a threat to... well, just about everything, that I need to vote for Kerry.

For me, however, the issue of Corporate control and intrusion into just about every aspect of American life is even more of a serious issue than the environment, and even less discussed. I do not see either party doing much to stem the tide. However, in this case, I think we need to get rid of the person that will do the most damage. There is no doubt who that is.

On a different note, have you noticed that Jack turned off the comments section of his blog? LOLOL... I guess the heat got so bad he had to wall up the kitchen. ;)


3:39 PM  
Blogger Stephen Denney said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

5:02 PM  
Blogger Stephen Denney said...

I accidentally deleted my own comment, so here goes again. Thank you Robert, for your reply. I agree with you regarding corporate intrusion, but to tell the truth have not followed this issue very closely.

Yes, too bad about Jack closing off the comments section.

5:06 PM  

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