This is a letter from a reader to Andrew Sullivan:
I think you’ve missed an important point in your analysis of the candidates. I’m willing to concede, for the sake of argument, the Kerry’s proposals and stances are all superior to Bush’s. I’m also willing to concede, in the same spirit, that Bush is less competent than Kerry.
It still doesn’t matter. What you miss in all your analysis is the fundamental attitude of the candidates toward the War on Terror. Their attitudes are more revealing than their platforms: Bush cares about the War on Terror, and Kerry doesn’t. That’s all that really matters.
That Kerry flip-flops on the issues is not important because he might be indecisive in times of danger, though that is certainly something to consider. That he flip-flops is not important because we need someone who doesn’t change his mind. That he flip-flops is important because it exposes something infinitely more telling about the man: the man doesn’t really believe that there is a legitimate threat. If Kerry sincerely believed that a true anti-war stance would win the election, he would take that stance. Hell, if he believed that a platform advocating carpet-nuking Qatar would win the election, he would advocate that. The man simply doesn’t take it seriously. Bush, despite his shortcomings, does.
I’m about as angrily libertarian as they get, and I was as appalled as you were by Bush’s support for the pandering, theocratic Federal Marriage Amendment. But I certainly believe Kerry would have supported the same thing if his base had demanded it, and I think Kerry’s predilection for pandering outstrips Bush’s by ten to one.
Of course, we know all politicians are panderers. Bush and Kerry can’t escape it. But in a time when nuclear terrorism looms large and our very lives are at stake, we owe it to our country to vote for the guy who takes our safety seriously.
This is amazing to me. If you didn't want to read the whole thing, I can summarize it like this: "Bush may be a moron with ideas inferior to Kerry's, but I will still vote for Bush because he gives the appearance of being tougher on the war on terror." This is, unfortunately, why many people will be Bush supporters. Not because they agree with him about anything, but because they THINK that Bush will be tougher on terror. Nevermind the fact that you are more likely to get struck by lightning than die in a terrorist attack. Drives me nuts.
There are legitimate reasons to vote for Bush (social conservatives should, for instance), but this is not one.