(Note to reader: Comments in the following opinion may be offensive to reader. Advise an open mind when reading and remember, it's just an opinion.)
Why is it that only the most emotionally sensitive topics elicit the most camaraderie amongst those on the same side, despite reason and logic? And why does politics still elicit such emotional reaction in a time when everyone has near-perfect information; the average person in this country today actually has some college education; and understanding an administration's management approach is as easy as picking up a newspaper?
Welcome to 2004's presidential elections, where any Barrack, Dick, and Kerry who has an opinion about how to run this country thinks it's the right one. Well, I may not be a savvy politico, but I do have an opinion.
Let me begin by opining about our work ethic as a country: I believe the average person in this country is hopelessly caught-up with the concept of entitlement to appreciate how hard it is to actually accomplish becoming president. I further believe that the average person in this country is so attention-deficit, that if it doesn't produce results instantaneously, it's time to move on to the next. Given these two beliefs, I am all for giving the incumbent a little bit longer (after all, he can't be elected to a third term, anyway) to actually finish what he started.
For all the criticism of his inability to properly manage anything, let alone our country, it's unfortunate that these critics (from what I've read, hard-core politicians with nothing better to do than instigate towards extremes, despite the average citizen's comfort being in the center or even neutral) find it difficult to take the long-term view of something as vast as managing this country.
Allow me to explain: as early as Dec 2001, critics believed the incumbent was pressuring his country too strongly to go to war with a country that hadn't yet been connected to the terrorist attacks in the U.S. in Sept of that year. The common belief was that Bush exploited the attacks to create an opportunity to get Iraq's oil under U.S. control. For his creative reasons for preemptively attacking Iraq, critics felt he lied to us.
Well, critics, it's not like Bush popped out of thin air prior to becoming president (and here's my defense for Bush's cunning ingenuity):
1) Had you read about Bush (instead of regurgitating rumors), you'd know he once sat on the board of the 11th largest defense contractor in the world, Carlyle Group (where his daddy still advises); was chairman of a large oil company; and was born and raised in Texas. In case you missed it, this is how his agenda was formed.
2) It's public record Bush Sr. had difficulties getting rid of Saddam. To a Texan, that's like taking his guns away. Did you think Bush Jr. was just going to let that slide? (And did you think that gun law was really going to matter to a Texan? But seriously, if thugs want guns, they'll get them, ban or no ban.)
3) It's believed Bush stole the 2000 election. I agree, and that's OK. Not only did Bush bankroll his campaign with one of the largest warchests in the history of running for office (with Big Oil money, of course), the deciding state was governed by his younger brother, Jeb Bush; Oh, and their dad was a former president. Given the unusually convenient state of things, did you honestly expect Bush Jr. to lose? So our country can be bought and elections rigged that's democracy. Accept it.
4) Upon taking office, what was his first move? Let me thank (read: pay-off) the country by giving them back tax money. I got $300-something. Maybe I'll get another 300 if I vote for Bush again.
5) During the last 3 years, anyone who has opposed his policies or plans gets dealt with extreme prejudice. Tally the number of careers destroyed, public CIA-FBI bickering, unexplained leaks of confidential information during his tenure, and of course, the biggest coup, consolidation of his power via his new Homeland Security Dept, and a picture begins to emerge of a dictator living in a democracy. Any man smart enough to subvert our founding principles like this ain't that dumb. I believe that as long as I stay on his good side, I'll prosper.
6) Finally, lets look at Bush's seemingly ridiculous attack on gay relationships. If you looked at the Republican constituency, it's predominantly church-going conservatives who lacked a moral leader. Bush gave them a leader by attacking something they didn't like - gays getting married - in order to get them motivated enough to encourage their friends to vote for him. In my opinion, Bush couldn't care less if his male neighbors were doing their thing next door. But if he's got to pick an enemy - like Hitler instructed in "Mein Kampf" - the gays are it.
Hopefully, I've demonstrated that Bush is a man to be reckoned with intellectually. But if he's this crafty, why give him another four years to totally subvert this country to his will? For the same reason you shouldn't get fired after just a couple of weeks on the job - you haven't proven how valuable you can be to the company in the long-term; and the company has definitely not extracted its full investment in you yet.
Today, we're neck-deep in a war, shaky economy, and cultural shifts. What makes you think that Kerry will magically turn things around in the next four years? In fact, he'll spend the next 4 years tweaking what Bush started then taking all the credit. Although I'd admire Kerry for doing that, I don't see a need to put him in that position. Ultimately, I believe that even if Kerry did win, he'd do the same exact things Bush would do, because that's just the way one runs a country this complex.
Now, let me discuss the
good things Bush did:
1) He got us started on a solid plan to fix up education in this country. At the rate we were going, we were on the verge of having the most ill-prepared workforce in a generation take over. The problem started with Democrats in the 70s, and as long as they considered unions an important constituency, it would've remained.
2) He put our lazy armed forces to work. Think about it - we spend upwards of $200 billion of our hard-earned tax dollars annually on paying a bunch of unmotivated kids with no ambition or direction to play fancy war video games all day, then go to college. What a scam. I'm obviously not happy that so many of them had to die in this war, however, last time I checked, joining the army was voluntary. They thought they were getting a free ride until reality struck. And when it struck, they stayed, fully aware of the risks.
3) He got the rest of the lazy, unmotivated country fired up and eager to learn about our democratic process. Seems to me like no other president in the last 30 to 40 years has stirred up enough emotion to get this many citizens interested in voting, let alone learn about the process. Thanks to Bush, no other election will be as easy a win as any of the ones before him because candidates will be addressing a competent citizenry.
4) His administration will do the most damage to organized labor since organized labor first organized. During this time, the country has furthered its push into a service economy, who are traditionally not organized; observed the end of international quotas, permitting more easily-organized-manufacturing jobs to go to non-union China and other countries; observed the growth of Wal-Mart and it's total obstruction of organized labor in its huge workforce, along with other legal strategies designed to curtail further employment lawsuits; and strong-armed any increases in wages (for organized labor), including vetoing minimum wage increases and opposition to the first changes in the Fair Pay act since it was instituted decades ago. Frankly, as an employer with constantly increasing costs of doing business, any help I can get from my president is appreciated.
5) He prioritized:
"The environment may be important, but the oil buried deep inside it is more important; Let's go get it!"
"Cloning? That's for sheep. Stop messin' around and do some real work."
"Sure, millions of people don't have health insurance, but that's not my fault. Has it occurred to anyone that poor people just don't want insurance? Maybe they'd rather buy food and pay rent before spending on that pricey stuff."
Bottom line: no president
will have a perfect presidency. It's impossible today and it'll be impossible
as our population grows. As a result, it's simply logical to keep Bush in office
than to transition us again. And because I'm a logical person observing these
things around me objectively, I'm voting for Bush.
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