Thoughts on Bush

One week to go before the presidential election. I’m voting for Bush, but reluctantly. He’s had some good moments, particularly right after 9/11, but overall I don’t think he’s been a good president. But I’ll take him over Kerry. My preference would be to have a different Republican running for President.

Bush’s foreign policy, an America-First, America-Only type of thing, has turned much of the world against us. It just wasn’t necessary. We’ve got to remove arrogance from our foreign policy. As long as Bush is president, the rest of the world will hate us, and that’s not in our security or economic interests. ANY different president, whether Republican or Democrat, would help us in that regard. But I don’t want it to be Kerry.

I’m disturbed by the Bush administration’s clear advocacy for the rich, whether it’s tax cuts that especially benefit the wealthy (and nobody’s arguing that that’s not really the case) or loopholes and regulations that benefit big corporations. A good share of the problems rest in Congress, I realize (a Republican Congress), but Bush doesn’t seem to be even trying to stop it.

The tax cuts–I never really saw the point, and once we found ourselves in war, the continued cuts seemed ridiculous. Especially when we’re running up huge deficits. No President has ever cut taxes during a time of war. But Bush is. Makes no sense to me.

I was never comfortable with going into Iraq. It seemed like we were rushing it (and in hindsight, we obviously did). Why, I wondered back then, in the spring of 2003, couldn’t we wait six months or a year? Saddam was being contained; he was no immediate threat. But Bush was extremely anxious to get into Iraq. There is a big part of me which says, by rushing us into a war without really thinking things through, Bush broke the trust of the American people and deserves to be defeated. But another part of me is still going to vote for him. But I don’t view him as a Commander in Chief in whom I place confidence.

Now, I can’t voice these sentiments around most of my friends or coworkers. In so many people’s eyes, Bush can do no wrong.

There are other issues on which I break with the traditional Republican agenda.

  • I wish Republicans cared more for the environment. I’m far from being a tree-hugger, but I do think God made us stewards of his world, and we have some responsibility.
  • I think hard-core anti-crime Republicans have done great harm to the justice system with all of the “three strikes” laws and other mandatory sentencing guidelines. The result has been a lot of injustice, with people getting sent to prison for things they shouldn’t be sent to prison over.
  • I think Republicans are highly unreasonable when it comes to gun control. Some restrictions are good and reasonable.

Those are a few things. Like I said, I’m voting for Bush, but with great reluctance. Kerry really troubles me in many ways. His would be a totally secular presidency. And while I do think he would help us on the world stage, in most other areas–particularly domestic policy–I don’t like what I foresee.

Okay, that’s enough to get me in deep doo-doo with most of my Republican friends.

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