Bell Curve The Law Talking Guy Raised by Republicans U.S. West
Well, he's kind of had it in for me ever since I accidentally ran over his dog. Actually, replace "accidentally" with "repeatedly," and replace "dog" with "son."

Thursday, October 14, 2004


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.


BearPatrol said...

This is precisely why we need a War on Lightning. Those evil-doing electrons hate our freedom!

Raised By Republicans said...

I think I know what this guy's story is. I'm betting he's a long time partisan Republican who retains strong party ID despite changes in that party's ideology and leadership. He's not really undecided. He's intent on finding any reason at all to vote against Kerry and justify his voting for a Republican leader he doesn't really like.

On another note: I don't agree with this argument that changing policy positions about a foreign policy situation that has lasted for years is - of itself - a bad thing. Furthermore, being "decisive" is not always a good thing. After all, fools rush in where wise men fear to tred. Being decisive is only good if your policy is correct. If you are wrong, being decisive and "consistent" can lead to disaster and/or quagmire.

Bell Curve said...

Just in case no one believes me on the odds thing:

The Law Talking Guy said...

I thought Kerry was persuasive that it is BUSH who does not take terrorism seriously. Multicolor alerts are no substitute for scanning baggage in airplanes. Ashcroft's announcements that we should buy duct tape are no substitute for more firemen, policemen, and keeping the national guard at home. Long lines at airports, random screenings of senior citizens, banning nail clippers, and all other random idiocy is all meant to make us feel good, but does not make us one iota safer. Nor does invading countries, such as Iraq, that have nothing to do with terrorism. So, the homeland security department and the TSA are not funded to the promised levels, AND the "homeland security" money is handed out by congressional district, not to the areas of greatest threat.

Bush doesn't take terrorism seriouly. He views it as a political opportunity. We will be MUCH safer with John Kerry as president. He will not talk about safety and have random color alerts -- he will work to improve the first-responder capability and smart detection technology.

Oh yes, and he will also do so without trampling on our liberty and our constitution.