Friday, October 01, 2004

Bush vs. Kerry

I was watching the Presidential Debate today and consequently had some thoughts about who would make the best president.

As I was watching the debate, I came to realise that I feel that Kerry comes across as the more intelligent and cultivated of the two. But I also feel, that I agree on principle with President Bush.

On domestic issues (social security, economy, jobs), I am probably closer to Kerry. And when it comes to issues as abortion, research on stem cells, gay marriage, environmental issues and economics, I don't agree with President Bush.

However, since Iraq is such an inflamed issue, this is of course what the whole elections is based on. Basically, I believe that Kerry and Bush share the same view on Iraq. But in order for Kerry to win votes, he needs to distance himself from Bush. How to do this? Easy, just say something about Iraq that goes against what President Bush is saying.

The problem is that Kerry isn't disagreeing enough. He keeps entangling himself in details on how to secure victory in Iraq. On one hand, he supported the war in Iraq and has himself said that he saw the need for the removal of the dictator Saddam Hussein. On the other hand he has said that the war is wrong. Or that the timing was wrong. That he would have done it another way.

It is all good and well to be saying this now, in the light of what has already happened. And of course, Kerry has to say these things. That's part of the problem. Kerry's and Bush's view on foreign policy and the war on terror isn't all that different. This makes Kerry's campaign filled with paradoxes and oxymorons. He has to play the charade of being a sharp critic of Bush's Iraq policy when he is not. Otherwise he would be handing over the victory to Bush.

I didn't like George W. Bush before the last elections. I didn't think he was suitable for the job. But after 9/11 I changed my mind. This was, and still is, a nightmarish situation for any president or leader, and I must say that I think that "Dubya" has done a great job to combat more terrorist acts. One must also remember that prior to 9/11, George W. Bush was much more of an isolationist with an "America First" mentality. The small group of Neocons like Paul Wolfowitz and Richard Perle made the president aware of the true nature of the problems of the unstable regimes in the Middle East. This combined with good advisors like Colin Powell and Condoleezza Rice helped President Bush to become a strong and conscientious leader.

If Bush wins, we know what we'll be getting. If Kerry wins, well he's something of a wild card. And I'm not sure that a wild card is what we need at this moment in time.


At October 2, 2004 at 3:31 AM, Blogger Nick said...

I agree with you in that I currently support Bush because Kerry is too much of a wild card. However, I found the part of the debate that was about the Sudan somewhat disappointing. Both candidates are not considering sending troops to Darfur. But at least Kerry would send troops as a last resort. I think Bush might help if Blair sends troops. I don't think the African Union will be effective.

At October 2, 2004 at 9:20 PM, Blogger Frederick said...


Sure, they could both have been clearer and more concrete on the Sudan issue. However, both Kerry and Bush label what's happening in Sudan right now as genocide. Which is more than my (Swedish) government has done. The Swedish Foreign Minister Laila Freivalds has said that "it is close to a genocide", which is dangerous and horrific wordplay when people are dying on a daily basis. I agree with you that the African Union probably won't be able to do much good. As for the UN... well, there's a bastion of impotence for you. Liberal intervention is needed now in Sudan. Blair has previously said he would be willing to send troops to Sudan. I'm sure Bush would be willing to contribute. So let us hope there will be some action soon. Very soon.


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