Rebirth of Reason


The Real Reason to Vote for Bush
by Jason Pappas

As of this writing the polls show a close race that should have been a slam dunk for George W. Bush. Why is Kerry doing so well? It’s not likely that these candidates will take vastly different paths when in office. Nor, has Kerry’s wisdom – as a Monday morning quarterback – impressed the voters of his qualifications for the job of commander-in-chief during the middle of a war. And, it would be too cynical to believe that the personal hatred of George W. Bush is a powerful force that can elect his opponent, Mr. Kerry, in whom no one really sees anything to encourage even one half-hearted cheer. The shortcoming of the President’s re-election campaign is that he doesn’t know what principle he represents and what this election is really about. But Kerry does.

In the aftermath of 9/11, the President rallied the country behind a bi-partisan banner of “United We Stand.” Yes, there were some rallies against our military action in Afghanistan, but they appeared to be throwbacks to the 60s – and marginalized in the current context. While the President showed no signs of understanding that we face an ideological movement driven by an unreformed dark-age religion, he has understood that this was more than a criminal act. He boldly declared that we will “go after” the regimes that sponsor and aid terrorists – listing three whom he called the Axis of Evil – and we would not wait until we were hit again.

Again, there was a flurry of ridicule, but not enough to make a dent in our unified spirit to fight back. Indeed, in a Dec. 11, 2001 interview with Bill O’Reilly, exactly 3 months after the atrocity of 9/11, John F. Kerry said emphatically that Saddam Hussein was a terrorist. He emphasized that he and the Clinton Democrats were ahead of the curve – alluding to the 1998 actions taken by Congress and the While House that resulted, by some measures, in a greater number of bombings of Iraq than the ’91 Gulf War.

What changed? Enter Howard Dean. Going into the first primary, Dean’s poll numbers were so impressive that major Democrats were knocking themselves over to rush to be one of the first to endorse him. Those anti-war demonstrations turned out not to have been just a flash-in-the-pan, but the tip of the iceberg. Kerry, who keeps both his Navy uniform and anti-war gear in his closet ready for any contingency, convinced the Democrats that he was a man for all seasons – he’s two candidates in one. The rest of the story is well known. What I want to focus on is the message of the Kerry campaign … which is neither articulated nor effectively combated.

The anti-Bush campaign is in essence an anti-American campaign. This is the origin, the motivating force, and the philosophical meaning of the whole movement. But it is unspoken, which is why it is hard to combat. Voting for Bush is a required act to proudly reaffirm the core values of our country. Let me convince you.

The battle of Iraq is part of a greater war, which, regardless of the stage of Saddam’s WMD programs, was a valid military option. Even the positioning of our military on this particular sand dune by taking out the local tyrant puts us in the center of evil: Iran, Saudi Arabia and Syria. During WWII we lost 3000 men in the very first campaign of the European theatre when we invaded North Africa – and those men were killed by the French whom we were trying to liberate. No one specifically remembers those details or the reasons to take North Africa. Nor do people remember the reasons for invading mainland Italy one month after Mussolini first fell only to find ourselves bogged down trying to occupy and subdue Italy for a year. In any war, it is not unusual to secure hill A before hill B, even though the main enemy is behind the latter. And with regard to the battle of Iraq, the real issue in this political campaign isn’t military strategy – the issue is moral.

The very way Kerry speaks says far more than people are willing to acknowledge. During the campaign Kerry often spoke in a deep resonant tone of condemnation saying that “we went it alone.” Obviously it would be nice to have a few French troops, but Kerry's manner and subtext was clearly that we committed some kind of sin – not merely some minor practical drawback. Most of Kerry’s critics dealt with the slight to our current allies, the nature of French contrariness, etc. Few point out Kerry’s moral opposition inherent in his rhetoric; but you can be sure his supporters heard it loud and clear.

The bogus issues of pre-emption and fighting a “war of choice” are again moral issues for Kerry. The critics get side-tracked, by pointing out precedents such as Kosovo, leaving the moral issues unaddressed. Kosovo was not a threat; self-interest was not involved. The Kerry supporters hate the Iraq War because its primary aim was defending America and America’s interest. For Kerry supporters it is this that taints the war. The very idea of acting in our self-interest – which is the right moral motivation – is anathema to the Left and suspect to many others. Rather than proudly defending our right to do so, administration supporters trumpet the altruistic side-effect of liberating Iraqis. This tactic is disastrous on two counts. Critics can’t believe Bush is motivated by such “ethical” altruistic concerns, and for once they are basically right, but not in the way they imagine. But worse, supporters of the war don’t want to hear that our men and women are dying to liberate what they understandably see as undeserving savages.

America is not a nation of altruistic suffering and martyrdom. We are a country based on the respect for each individual as an end in himself and the noble idea that mutual benefit – i.e. production and trade – is the primary means we achieve our values and respect each other's contributions. This creates an abundance that understandably motivates our generosity. And we are often too generous. However, it is an understandable mistake; as we act in our interest we enjoy seeing others move forward as well. We, of course, should be proud of our achievements and the primary way we have become great. The Left, however, has been exaggerating our errors and denigrating our achievements for decades. For the Left we are seen as the focus of evil in the world – we have to be as the epitome of capitalism and the symbol of its success. It is to such an underlying negative mindset that Kerry speaks when he says in that deep voice of derision that our mission as wrong – morally wrong.

One oft-heard question is a revealing litmus test – but about the questioner: why do they hate us? This question can mean two things. One side asks this question with the subtext: what is wrong with these people that they would hate such a great country as ours? The other, prominent in the media and pervasive in the press, is: what have we done that we deserve such hatred? When Kerry and his supporters cry that we have lost the good-will of the world so prevalent after 9/11, that our allies no longer love us, and that Islamic hatred towards American has increased, you can be sure Mr. Kerry isn’t saying what’s wrong with them! In essence, he his saying they have a valid point. The American Left and the Islamic fanatics are, deep down, soulmates. Indeed, why do they hate America?

The issue isn’t Mr. Kerry. Whether he knowingly advocates that America is shameful or by trial-and-error has found out what resonates with his constituency, his cynicism, his self-loathing, his defeatism, and his bogus moralistic posturing have turned this election into a referendum. Whom you vote for determines what principles you reaffirm. A vote for Kerry is a vote that American is a shameful nation – a vote for Bush is a vote for American’s essential greatness and our right to defend our achievement.

Sanctions: 13Sanctions: 13Sanctions: 13 Sanction this ArticleEditMark as your favorite article

Discuss this Article (7 messages)