Voting for Bush, Rooting for Kerry
Yep. You read right. This blogger is none too pleased with the theatrics of either candidacy. I find little solace in either man seeking the presidency. I'm dropping my usual deadpan third person style to speak colloquially in this essay because I'm angry, having waded through the last presidential debate.
I'm voting for the President because he appeals to my basic, cave-man instinct for picking who will lead me in a jungle rife with vipers and tigers: I think Bush is out to save my bacon more than Kerry, who is out to save his cherished, cultivated ideals from getting besmirched by the demands of the 21st century. Admittedly, it's a base assessment of the the President. The President does not appear to have a truly workable plan for engaging the enemy, or he can't articulate it. Arguably, the ball's been dropped in several ways, as we defer before Fallujans and Sadrites, and hope our trained Iraqi keystone cops can handle Death Inc. But my gut reports that Bush will bat a ball when it's pitched to him---where it flies is anybody's guess. Kerry will question if it is a ball that has been pitched, if its a fair pitch, and if his bat is legal. He'll puzzle over how many possible trajectories are acceptable to the 'World Community' so that the alleged ball that was possibly pitched might not offend whomever it lands upon.
Vote Bush. Yes---it might be certain quagmire, certain tragedy, certain death---certain fill-in-the-blank. But the gut says yes to conviction.
But if Kerry wins, I can nurse a nascent passion. For too long since 9/11 the Democrats and so-called liberals have occupied the peanut gallery, mocking and judging every move the President has made from their velvet armchairs. "Under our leadership, things would be quite different," they chide as they strike yet another pose. And so be it. Kerry as president means the other half of our fractured system gets its opportunity to pick up the fiddle and play 9/11's dissonant music. Of course, the fiddle has its own tunes, and it is managed more than it is played. I want to see this happen. I want to see some political credibility build on both sides of the aisle, or in absence of that, a serious reality set in. We won't hear a President Kerry babble on about Vietnam in the midst of this unfolding war, because it's nothing like Vietnam---it never was, and never will be. His Vietnam experience will offer little guidance when, for example, he's playing the shell game with the Iranians, waiting for the nuclear nut to reveal itself, with the free world as the stakes. Kerry as president will finally bury Vietnam. Good riddance.
I am fed up with a lopsided political system that has only one half of its elected officials talking partially sanely in the face of unique challenges, new realities and new enemies, while the other half spews utopian crazy talk, eschewing true responsibility. The Democrats having to face the music is my secret passion. Seeing John Kerry sweat and writhe by actually attempting cogency and commitment will give me no end of satisfaction. And some hope.
Perhaps with Kerry dodging bullets, he and his eviscerated party might actually start firing back with the heavy ammo---courage, commitment and vision. Our system might no longer be lopsided, such as it is today---and we could the see if firing with both barrels could make a difference. I'm not holding my breath.
I am close to not believing that my cherished country can address the deadly threats that lash its shores and metastasize in its cities. Credibility is about more than fighting an old war or talking tough in front of cameras on a Texan ranch. National credibility means closing ranks, and putting away fantasies to form a unified front against a rising plague of anarchy, fascism, and the colossus of death.
Fatalistically, I have less faith in Kerry than Bush. What I don't want to lose faith in is our whole civilization. And that's what's at stake.