A FINAL THOUGHT BEFORE THE SHOW
On Tuesday, Americans will choose between the conservative hawk from Texas, and the conservative hawk from Massachusetts. Both are running on a platform to strengthen the military and track down terrorists wherever they may live. Draw your own conclusions about who has the most convincing track record in this regard.
I have tried to make clear the reasons I have, and continue to support, President Bush. Despite his many faults, he seems to understand that the only nations serious about this fight are already in the field at our side. We have recovered from budget deficits before. We have been debating abortion and gay rights and all the other lifestyle issues for decades, and these debates will not go away if John Kerry is elected.
I will be able to live with a Kerry Presidency. But what tortures me is the thought that this country is no longer capable of doing hard, dirty work -- that we have reached the point where nothing difficult is attainable because the cost is something less than free.
I believe, from a reading of the history and the very words of the leaders of North Vietnam, that John Kerry was instrumental in convincing them that if they were able to hang on and inflict enough American casualties, eventually we would tire and go home.
I further believe that history shows that the Ayatollah Khomeini had our number in this regard, and I regard the start of this current conflict as the day they overran the US Embassy in Tehran, to which our response was...what?
The murdering, beheading savages who are trying to steal victory from defeat in the American ballot box have seen these lessons of Vietnam, and Iran, and Somalia, and they are -- and have openly said they are -- doing their best to kill as many Americans as they can to win this election for the man they certainly seem to fear less. That tells me something.
We now discover from MEMRI (link here) in a more precise interpretation of Osama bin Laden's recent tape that he was in fact saying that those American states that do not mess with him will be safe, and the implication, of course, is that those that do -- by voting for Bush -- face his retaliation.
Whether or not you are willing to bargain your safety with this man is up to your own individual conscience. Personally, the idea disgusts me, and I think the reason the press has --shockingly! -- declined to mention this is because they know that despite Michael Moore, this is not Spain. I believe the idea of bin Laden dictating American politics is enough to ensure a Bush win. Read the article at MEMRI and draw your own conclusion.
President Bush has already done much to re-program our mortal enemies assumptions about our determination to finish what we start, no matter the cost. Three dangerous enemies have fallen during his watch -- Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya. The first two were predicted to cause American streets to run red with blood as the Jihadists took their vengeance upon us. In the three years since 9/11, there have been no terrorist attacks on this country. That is a record to be proud of, and one that deserves the reward of my vote, at least.
I want to finish this fight, now. I don't think our children should have to worry about this five or ten or twenty years from now, when Iran or North Korea has had a chance to spread some nuclear largesse around. I believe a badly wounded enemy is more dangerous than a dead one. I want this fight to be over so that the country can afford to elect someone who panders to everyone and speaks French and can undo all this animosity from Europe with a few well-placed toasts and a conciliatory speech at the UN. The time for that is when this thing is over.
There is much to dislike, and even some to despise, about the current American President. But he means to finish this fight, and by that, I believe he means to finish it by winning.
Afghanistan did not go to the warlords. It went to the polls. There were not one million refugees. Iraq did not produce 10,000 US casualties in house-to-house fighting, nor did it splinter into 3-way civil war as so many predicted. In three months, Iraqis will also go to the polls, and they, by all accounts, will continue their widespread support for secular candidates and repudiation of the extremists that are fighting so hard to terrorize and dishearten them. But the Iraqis are not terrorized. They are signing on for their army and police forces in the face of great danger. We owe those brave men and women something better than "wrong war, wrong place and wrong time."
This is failure?
Not by my standards, it isn't.
So I promised you a final thought, and everything above this point is mere preamble to it. Here it is:
People are telling you that Tuesday will be the most important election of your lives.
That is not true.
The most important election of your lives was held on Tuesday, November 7th, 2000. You just didn't know it. Neither did I.
What happened on that day led to one man being in the White House these past four years, rather than the other one. Whether he has done enough to keep us safe, even if he should lose on Tuesday, remains to be seen. But the fact remains that George W. Bush was Commander in Chief and President when we needed him the most.
I made a mistake when I cast my vote for Al Gore in the most important election of my lifetime. I won't make that mistake again on Tuesday.