Wednesday, November 24, 2004

Kodak Moments
New photo galleries available.

Nova Scotia

Mt. Adams
Mt. Monroe & Mt. Washington
Mt. Cabot & The Horn
Mt. Whiteface

Autumn Images


Tuesday, November 02, 2004

My Vote

In the end, I voted for re-election. Like I did in the 2000 election, I cast my ballot for write-in candidate Senator John McCain.

This vote was perhaps the most difficult one I have ever cast. To be honest, Kerry was not an option for me. His long record as a Senator, where he has consistently been on the appeasement side of virtually all foreign policy issues: Cold War, confronting Communism in Central America, nuclear weapons issues, has not given me a sense of confidence in his instincts to confront global Islamic fundamentalist terror. His back and forth on the Iraq issue has been ridiculous and I just don't get any sense that he gets what is at stake here. For all his faults, Bush understands what is required here. A vigilant global effort to confront, what has for many years been left unchecked, the threat posed by Islamic terror. The Democrats need to get real on this issue, fast. Oil and Haliburton have nothing to do with the attacks that Jews face in Israel and around the globe. Oil and Haliburton have nothing to do with violence that Hindus face in Kashmir and throughout India. Oil and Haliburton have nothing to do with the Russian kids of Beslan, or the opera house theatre goers of Moscow. Oil and Haliburton have nothing to do with the attacks on Australians in Bali, or on Spaniards in Madrid. It's not just Americans under attack in Baghdad, but also Christians and animists in Nigeria and Sudan, Orthodox in Russia and Armenia, and ethnic Chinese in western China. They will even kill a Dutch filmmaker simply because he dared to criticize. When they are not attacking others, they are attacking themselves - sectarian violence between Shiites and Sunnis; ethnic violence against Kurds. In their own words they boast of battle waged against Crusaders, Zionists, and polytheists - wherever they are found.

On the otherhand, a Kerry win does not make me fear for the safety of this country. His Presidency would bring in a cabinet of seasoned hands (though that in itself is not a guarantee of infallibility, so we have witnessed with the seasoned hands brought in to serve Bush). I don't suspect that Kerry would be any less inclined to use force if circumstances dictated the necessity of their use. My only concern is that a Kerry Presidency might go back to viewing the problem of Islamic fundamentalist terror with a September 10th mindset - that it is merely a nuisance to be dealt with as a standard police matter. A breather or pause, at this point, would not be in our best interests. Why this issue is so important I need not repeat. My views have been expressed in full many times before.

I did not vote for Bush the first time simply because I was not convinced that he was a true conservative. That statement may seem incomprehensible to some, but in truth it is not. Any conservative who proposes an entirely new government entitlement program in the form of a Prescription Drug Bill is not a conservative. Any conservative who fails to veto one spending bill from Congress is not a conservative. Bush believes in the empowering power of expansive Big Government built along Republican lines. That is not conservative. I support the President fully when it comes to his judgment and actions regarding the Global War on Terror. However, my support of the President dries up when it comes to various domestic issues, namely choices he has made regarding the federal budget, abandonment of free trade, extension of farm subsidies, and institution of protectionist measures for various dying industries (such as steel).

In the end it came down to do I reward Bush for his prosecution of the fight against global Islamic terror? Or do I punish Bush for betraying conservatism and the principles of limited government as he pursued an expansive Big Government Republicanism? Regarding the domestic agenda, I could not forgive him for some of these moves - moves which have damaged and will continue to damage the conservative movement for the present and perhaps the future as well. And regarding the War on Terror, I am not so partisan to think that Kerry will sacrifice our national security and install Michael Moore as Secretary of the Global Apology. That's really what it comes down to. On the issue I care most about I still retain my belief that any administration, if thrust into office and honor bound to defend 290 million of us and beyond, will do what is best for America. Afterall, any occupant of the White House is, above all else, an American. That in a nutshell is why I am so pissed off at many of the inane charges that have been made by various members of the Left - people who in any other instance would not be saying such things if one of their own was in power (see my previous post "The Vote" for further thoughts on this). Howard Dean said he would "Take Back the White House". Did anyone stop for a second and ask themselves who had taken the White House away in the first place? Was it termites? Aliens? American Idol contestants? The White House was never held by anyone else other than an American (except if you count that brief bit during the War of 1812 when the British disrespected the residence).

I repeat, nobody took the White House away. For the last 4 years it has remained in American hands.

The Dems need to step up for America and pay a little less attention to making sure the interests of their tribe are served first. They need to get real. I fully expect a Kerry Presidency, if he were to win, to be welcomed by the cold shower that is inseparable from the weight of the Office, the responsibilities that it requires, and the murky and painful decisions that it demands. They enjoyed 4 years of sniping from the sidelines - comfortable in their position of being unaccountable. If Kerry wins, that ends. As an American, I will support him. And I fully expect that as an American he will do what is necessary for me. And if Bush retains the office, he needs to stop allowing others write the narrative for him. He needs to get out there and step up. Things were done because there were expansive reasons for doing so. Articulate them. And if you can't, then get someone who can. Get them talking night and day. Get them out there, challenging the BS machine. Stop reacting and start leading again. Get out of the bunker.

John McCain is my choice because he is a principled conservative who understands the larger global issues and gets the War on Terror. He is my pick for President because he fully represents who I want in a leader, shares my values, and when it comes to elections, any election, I always vote for who I want.