This message came in an e-mail from a friend. I have inserted my comments in blue. If you want to read the unedited thing first, you can click here
You might be interested in the following just written by Charley Reese of the Orlando Sentinel. If you know the writer and his strongly conservative reputation, you should find it eye opening. Note particularly what he says about John Kerry. The conservative journalists Robert Novak and William Kristol happen to be saying the same things.
Where are the links to Novak and Kristol? They are much more credible than Reese. What difference does his label or his reputation make? Either his article makes sense, uses facts, and follows logically, or it doesn't. If I don't know the writer and his reputation, how will I find it then? And there are a few Democrats who support President Bush as well, Senator Zell Miller and Ed Koch being among the most prominent.
Here's a column from the VERY CONSERVATIVE Charley Reese of the Orlando Sentinal.
Who says he's conservative? And so what? If we used labels to decide elections all we'd do is count up registered voters and see whether more are conservative or liberal. Enough with the pointless labels. Decide on something else, please....
Americans should realize that if they vote for President Bush's re-election, they are really voting for the architects of war ---Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, Paul Wolfowitz and the rest of that cabal of neoconservative ideologues and their corporate backers.
I have sadly come to the conclusion that President Bush is merely a frontman, an empty suit, who is manipulated by the people in his administration. Bush has the most dangerously simplistic view of the world of any president in my memory.
Bush can't be smart--we can see he's not. So he must be a marionette. Got any evidence for this one fella? The silly fool, easily manipulated by shadowy evil men and women with some dastardly intentions. Said the same thing about Reagan. Except Bush cannot be stupid. He has achieved nearly everything he has set out to achieve. He has been a two- term governor and a businessman. People who argue that George Bush is stupid are blind. He's actually very calculating. Now you may think his calculus is right or wrong, there's room for debate. But if he were "dangerously simplistic" he would have attacked Iran and North Korea too, as members of the "Axis of Evil". Share and share alike. Yet he has not. Too stupid or too smart? I vote smart. Those problems require different solutions. Which he has chosen. Now, he may not be successful, but eight years of Clinton begging got us very little except a North Korea that gloatingly ignored our stipulations while taking all the generous bribes we offered.
If you want to get William Kristol's opinion, rather than hearsay, about Bush the puppet, read his article, with Robert Kragan, The Administration of One at the Weekly Standard.
It's no wonder the president avoids press conferences like the plague. Take away his cue cards and he can barely talk. Americans should be embarrassed that an Arab king (Abdullah of Jordan) spoke more fluently and articulately in English than our own president at their joint press conference recently.
I think he means "speak" rather than "talk." Ooh, and note the inventive simile there, that "like the plague." Those choices certainly demonstrate both eloquence and intelligence. That's a difficult standard to uphold, isn't it Mr. Reese? And it is ironic that he'd lift a repressive king in a backward country and say "See, command of language proves something." King Abdullah is a staunch friend of America and supporter of Bush policy, both of which cause him trouble at home. So he has clamped down on opposition and civil liberties. (The same things everyone huffs and puffs about Bush doing, by the way, though King Abdullah actually jails his citizens who oppose him.) But he speaks precise English. Whoop-de-doo! Using this reasoning, the correlation between freedom and Presidential literacy should be inverse.
Way too much emphasis is placed on the ability to manipulate words, and intellect in general, partially because those who get to tell the story believe word-manipulation paramount. But it isn't. Useful, yes. But leadership is more than merely using language. Truman and Eisenhower were great leaders. Not intellectuals, in the well-understood meaning of the word, but certainly very intelligent men. Disparaged fiercely during their lifetimes by the official intellectuals who thought these backwoods Midwestern boobs couldn't amount to anything, insulted and castigated as simpletons and yahoos, they are now recognized not just as leaders, but as visionaries. And Mr. Bush expresses his vision, and seems to get people to come along with him. People who managed to graduate from some pretty prestigious schools as well. I've known a lot of smart people in my life, and I trusted very few of them.
I watched many of the press conferences during the Iraq invasion. Reporter after reporter stood up, made some pious speech, and then, instead of asking a question, used the 30's Soviet-style interrogation techniques "And, as everyone knows, it is true that you murdered both your wife and daughter while having sex with your son, isn't it?" Why should Bush go out of his way to get into those swamps? The press loved Kennedy and worshiped everything he said. He looked like a great President because he was witty and charming. But was he? Or was he just a handsome guy with a lovely command of language?
John Kerry is at least an educated man, well-read, who knows how to think and who knows that the world is a great deal more complex than Bush's comic-book world of American heroes and foreign evildoers.
Define educated. Bush graduated from Harvard and Yale. The two jewels of the liberal educational firmament. I suppose even this frat-boy had to read a book or two to graduate from those places. Or does it mean nothing? http://www.insidepolitics.org/heard/heard32300.html
Bush got a 1206 on his SATs, a very good score. Not genius, but far from dunce, and that was way back when the scores meant something. There are many American heroes and many more foreign evil-doers. The recent theft of a painting in Norway strikes me as incredibly wonderful. Any two people who witnessed it could have stopped it, but like many Europeans, they stood by and watched a valuable treasure get swiped in front of their faces. They love to talk, but they're not so good at doing. Inaction and hope are their favorite policies, hope that maybe the problem will just go away while they discuss. Rwanda. Balkans. Sudan. Talk, talk and more talk.
And that "complex" argument. Trotted out all the time to justify inaction. Umm, hard decisions. Oh-boy, too many options. Is that the kind of driver we want on our bus? Sometimes we may take the wrong road, but with a believer in complexity at the helm, we get nowhere.
It's unfortunate that in our poorly educated country,
Why are we poorly educated? Not spending enough on education? If there's any place Kerry's ideas have been unrelentingly implemented for the last forty years, it's education. What's it gotten us? Kerry's biggest supporters other than lawyers are teachers. They want more of the same, more total freedom to be the "experts" and create a poorly educated populace. We know their track record.
Kerry's very intelligence and refusal to adopt simplistic slogans might doom his presidential election efforts.
Refusal to adopt simplistic slogans? My God. I listened to Kerry's acceptance speech. How many times did he refer to his "band of brothers"? The brothers he repeatedly and publicly called war criminals and murderers? It's not even his phrase, but boy did he pound with it. Every slogan he offers is so vague it would need a lot of clarification to graduate to simplistic. He's in favor of clean air. He wants good health care. He'll get us partnering with the rest of the world. They'll shoulder their share. Sure. He couldn't get his colleagues in the Senate to work with him in twenty years, many of those years with his party in power. What is his biggest achievement in the Senate? All I heard about was the Senate Intelligence Committee. That's not a feather in his cap these days. And not one piece of legislation he's proud of? In twenty years? If he can't work with other rich white men, what's he going to do with hostile foreigners? What's his answer? "I'll do it better." Now that's simplistic. "Hope is on the way." Oh boy....now there's a promise that's not simplistic. Nothing specific or concrete or tangible is on the way. Hope. Wow. I'll put that in the bank!
But Thomas Jefferson said it well, as he did so often, when he observed that people who expect to be ignorant and free expect what never was and never will be.
Lend weight to your empty arguments by hauling in Jefferson. How about Franklin too? Another pretty smart guy, And both of them would gag at the reach and power of the Federal government. And, by the way, who expects to be ignorant and free? Bush? His supporters? Republicans? They're the ones doing well in school and attending college. This is why the Democrats are so eager to get every "disenfranchised" homeless person, illegal alien, teenager, deadbeat and felon on the voting rolls? So they can get the "educated voter" back in the political process?
People who think of themselves as conservatives will really display their stupidity, as I did in the last election, by voting for Bush. Bush is as far from being a conservative as you can get. Well, he fooled me once, but he won't fool me twice.
So he was stupid. When did he stop? Today? Yesterday? Last week? Like the self-admitted war criminal, you lose a bit of credibility when you disparage yourself as incompetent or malevolent.
It is not at all conservative to balloon government spending,
Agreed. But is there any hope Kerry would do less? C'mon, how much spending did he promise? He's going to fix everything everywhere. And the only way he can do that is get heaps and heaps of money from those evil rich people and spend it.
to vastly increase the power of government,
Democrats have sought to regulate almost all activity between all people in all circumstances, except sexual. They want to regulate what kind of cars we can drive, what kind of food we eat, what kind of snacks we consume, what kind of buildings we build, how we use private property, how we educate our children, how we discipline our children, how we spend our leisure time, what kind of stores we shop in, how we choose medical care, how we decorate our cubicles at our offices, what ads are allowed on television (Swift boat veterans, anyone?), and on and on. They believe they know best, and if we just did what they ell us to do, we'd all be better off. They want to manage how we think. Hate crimes are thought crimes, punishing people not for what they do but for what they believe. They want to jail people who question homosexuality. That's pretty powerful. That is a major expansion of government power.
to show contempt for the Constitution and the rule of law,
For instance? Let's be specific rather than just hurling unsubstantiated charges or secret codes. Is it the Patriot Act, passed by Congress? The Florida 2000 results, where every study since 2000 has shown Bush really did win? Or by Bush's using the Supreme Court to stop the recount, the same Supreme Court the left worships in every single issue with this one exception? A few details please....
or to tell people that foreign outsourcing of American jobs is good for them,
Economics is a very tricky subject, and I certainly hope my job does not go to India, but the idea of using tax policy to punish companies who don't do what the government thinks they should is scary, and the source of every loophole that exists. Is America a better place since the arrival of foreign cars? Foreign competition saved the car industry, though it was a long, bloody process and is still far from complete. But this is way too complex. What will Mr. Kerry do? Force companies to hire Americans? Not do business with those who employ foreigners, even when they are huge multi-national companies with offices, plants, and support all over the globe? You think the government is powerful now, just wait until they start defining what percentage of employees must be in America the way they define what percentage of employees and contractors must be "minority."
that giant fiscal and trade deficits don't matter,
Define giant. Raw numbers, or percentages of GNP? We've had them for years. What evidence is there that they are hurting us? Now that doesn't seem logical, I agree, but are we governed by facts or what we think in our hearts is right?
and that people should not know what their government is doing. Bush is the most prone-to-classify, the most secretive president in the 20th century.
He was never President in the 20th Century. (Just as Nixon was not President on Christmas 1968.) Small quibble, but let's at least agree what we're discussing. Indicative of the carelessness and casual attitude of Bush's attacker, the facts don't rally matter as they "feel" so strongly about things seared into their hearts. Well, have you forgotten we're in a new century, or do you just not care? I don't like the secrecy either, but come on, at least get your century accurate.
His administration leans dangerously toward the authoritarian.
It's no wonder that the Justice Department has convicted a few Arab-Americans of supporting terrorism. What would you do if you found yourself arrested and a federal prosecutor whispers in your ear that either you can plea-bargain this or the president will designate you an enemy combatant and you'll be held incommunicado for the duration?
Terrorism is very hard to prove until the terrorist takes the helm of an airplane or lights his shoe on fire. I am not crazy about punishing thought instead of action (see above, though the left loves that one, as they want everyone to think alike and any deviation is hate, intolerance and bigotry) and until the terrorist actually commits his act, we have little to go on. But if the September 11th killers had been arrested on September 10th, do you think anyone would have convicted them? The left consistently thinks the biggest group of religious fanatics we need to fear are Midwestern conservative Christians who attend church on Sunday. Get a grip folks, a good percentage of the world wants you as dead as they want me.
This election really is important, not only for domestic reasons, but because Bush's foreign policy has been a dangerous disaster. He's almost restarted the Cold War with Russia and the nuclear arms race.
Almost. Well, like most other almosts, that means he didn't. And again, so what? Just because something bad happens, e.g. cold war "restarting" does that mean it is our fault? Why is it that every foreign leader, even a totalitarian despot, gets the benefit of every doubt and votes with one candidate and armed poll-watchers are called "elections" but every action by a conservative President is intended to enrich his friends, poison children, and ravage the wilderness?
America is not only hated in the Middle East, but it has few friends anywhere in the world due to the arrogance and ineptness of the Bush administration.
And who has friends? Cuba? Syria? North Korea? Iraq had friends. What does that prove? America is hated because we support Israel, a country much of the world wishes did not exist. Are the haters of jews the ones we want as friends? Let's see who has friends among people, not among nations. What country has the most illegal aliens swarming into it, though it has borders with only two other countries? What country do the poor, the dispossessed, and those seeking opportunity come to? Those are the friends that matter. And people come here. By the million. So the rich and powerful in other countries don't like us? Who cares?
Don't forget, a scientific poll of Europeans found us, Israel, North Korea and Iran as the greatest threats to world peace.
What the hell is a "scientific" poll? Just a word thrown in to give substance to air. And of Europeans. I spent a week walking in Europe with Europeans in the summer of 2002. They asked how we handled having our mail read and other fascist-like problems. They have a completely distorted view of our life, based on information that is not just wrong, but wildly wrong, promulgated by a press that, for whatever reason, hates us. And has for a long time. Remember the nuclear freeze movement in the 1980's? That "freeze" would have played no part in ending the Cold War. Perhaps the Europeans would rather live in the cool shadow of an ICBM than face the stark responsibilities of today. No, the Western Europeans, inventors of communism, fascism, and the Inquisition, just to name a few, are hardly role-models, and hardly those whose good opinion we should cravenly seek. Should we not do what's right? Isn't that priority number one? And who decides what's right? Them? Or us? Wanna take a poll? Even a scientific one?
I will swallow a lot of petty policy differences with Kerry to get a man in the White House with brains enough not to blow up the world and us with it. Go to Kerry's Web site (www.johnkerry.com) and read some of the magazine profiles on him.
Whew, that'll be convincing. Those in-depth magazine profiles asking about his favorite wine (a '61 Latour, in case you're interested) and did he play naked lacrosse (two questions from the GQ interview.)
You'll find that there is a great deal more to Kerry than the GOP attack dogs would have you believe.
Which dogs are those...the independent ones who question his service in Vietnam? Now, they may be right or they may be wrong, but since he chooses to run almost exclusively on the military service he publicly rejected, is it unfair for people to ask questions about it? Who has been likened to Hitler? Stalin? Compared to Whoopi's genitals? Called stupid, ignorant, murderer, deserter, Fascist? Was that John Kerry? Did I miss those attacks?
Besides, it would be fun to have a president who plays hockey, windsurfs, rides motorcycles, plays the guitar, writes poetry and speaks French.
Choose the guy by his hobbies? Are we kidding? How about a president who actually does something? Remember how they attacked Bush for his vacation time? I suppose a President Kerry would be praised for his poetry composing time. And Bush speaks Spanish (and got his highest grades at Yale in Japanese.) But of course, all right-thinking Americans know French is the most beautiful language to speak.
It would be good to have a man in the White House who has killed people face to face. Killing people has a sobering effect on a man and dispels all illusions.
What's your evidence for that one? Stalin and Hussein are just two of the more famous Presidents who have killed people face to face. Prison is full of these guys. That's some prerequisite. Guess there's reason those Democrats want to register felons after all, looking for new candidates......
The forwarded message contained the originator's e-mail address. I replied to him with an earlier version of the above. In the spirit of equal time, I present his reply:
Having been raised in a family of generations of Republicans, yet taught to vote for the person, not the party, this past December I finally felt I could not continue to align myself with people who are so un-American (according to Jeffersonian democracy as well as failing the criteria established for such by the last decent Republican President, Eisenhower - and had Goldwater been elected, he probably would have been), unethical (with the two most corrupt individuals of the Nixon administration, G. H. W. Bush's administration and now G. W. Bush's administration - Rumsfeld and Cheney) calling the shots, or the blatantly Fascist take-over of not only the Republican Party but of the country as well (look up the classic definition of Fascism - the "merging of corporations and government"). The world is not wrong and a few American "bubbas" and Robber Barons right. From two grandfathers, one of whom had 3 businesses taken from him for doing business with the enemy (the Nazis) and the second whose bank was laundering money for the German Socialists, the Bush family has had an illustrious history of "legal" crime and corruption.
The Emperor has no clothes!
Why bother......I happen to believe the Emperor does have clothes, but the pretender has no legs to stand on. However, I'm willing to consider this standard, since it would keep all future generations of Kennedys out of politics.
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