November 02, 2004

Why You Should Vote For John Kerry

Normally I don't write about pure politics, since if my influence on Internet freedom is marginal, my influence on the electoral process isn't even a speck on the page. But given the closeness of the Presidential race, today might be a day where it's literally true that if what I write changes just one reader's mind, it reasonably might make a difference.

Vote for John Kerry.

Here's why.

Now, I know that if Kerry does win, I'll have to endure much finger-pointing of the form "Nyah, nyah, nyah. You said to vote for Kerry, and he did *this*, And *that*. And yada-yada ...". It's easy to argue fantasy against reality. We must deal with degrees of difference.

Ralph Nader is being a spoiler. The US electoral system does not support minor third-party candidates. They have the effect of siphoning votes. That's the facts of the matter.

Having lived in Massachusetts for more than 20 years, I've seen John Kerry over the long term. He's got no charisma, but he is thoroughly competent at his job.

More importantly, despite all the campaign noise, there really is a signal which comes through, and very strongly on the issue of security. The Kerry team believes in US power, but the Bush team believes in US empire. I assert the US would in fact be safer under a Kerry administration than a Bush administration. George Bush's foreign adventurism of an Iraq war is like a grotesque version of the old joke about the drunk who searches for his missing keys under a lamppost because the light is better there. I'm impressed, in a negative manner, how the Bush administration has to keep coming up with some sort of "link" between Iraq to Osama Bin Laden, some way to put them into the same category, in order to justify an outright war. If any country deserved to be invaded for connections to Osama Bin Laden (especially funding), that country was Saudi Arabia. And Bush, given his family and personal background, is far too entangled with the Saudi monarchy to credibly oppose it.

In contrast, John Kerry knows all about wrong wars in the wrong place in the wrong time, about ripping the country apart for ill-considered policy. Posturing wins no battles, bullets are remarkably ignorant of speeches. Iraq isn't Vietnam. But there's enough in common so that John Kerry saw the end of a similar path which George Bush seems determined to take, and it doesn't end in a pretty place.

This doesn't even address all the issues of George Bush being set to load the Supreme Court with even more right-wing fanatics, or to pay for the war(s?) with an even larger deficit, and so on.

It's not about "character" or "family values" or any such nebulous quantity. It's very clear, about bad wars paid for with bad economics, as opposed to understanding that war is not a sport and has a price. That's why:

Vote for John Kerry.

[Update: Well, I tried ...]

By Seth Finkelstein | posted in politics | on November 02, 2004 01:29 AM (Infothought permalink) | Followups
Seth Finkelstein's Infothought blog (Wikipedia, Google, censorware, and an inside view of net-politics) - Syndicate site (subscribe, RSS)

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