Bits and Pieces

Sunday, October 24, 2004

Vote Bush

It's 6am, and soon time for sleep. Before I leave, I think it's high time for a little talk of the election.

Now the prevailing opinion among Americans is that the opinion of foreigners is a little less than worthless. In the case of the ridiculous Guardian campaign to convert undecided voters in Ohio I'm all for that concept, but I still feel its my right to insert my two cents.

The reason for this is that the leader of the US has a huge effect on the rest of the world, and my little part of it in particular. The outcome of this election will be a factor in the next general election here in the UK. A strong win for Bush will, in a way, validate Tony Blair's support of the war in Iraq. Combined with the result of the recent Australian election, he would be leading into the next election in a very strong position. Conversely, a Kerry win would be taken by Blair's detractors as a strong statement that the war was unsuccesful. The reality isn't important. All that counts is perception.

I have my own reason for supporting Bush this time around. It's nothing to do with Bush's form during his tenure (if I based my choice on his track record I probably wouldn't support him), but rather my belief that John Kerry wouldn't do any better.

One of the most important attributes of a leader is decisiveness. The willingness to take a position and stick with it is essential. The position itself is secondary. Hitler took some pretty damned evil positions, but at least he was decisive, and that led to him coming damned close to domination of the world. Whatever you say about Bush, you have to concede that the guy is decisive in a way that Kerry isn't. 8 days from the election and I still can't figure out what Kerry stands for. Would he have entered Iraq? Will he withdraw US troops? Who knows?

And that's what worries me. The man with his finger on the button can't afford to worry about nuance. He can't afford to take a day out to worry about the nuances of a situation. He has to act. Bush will do this. In fact, we've seen him do it time and again, in Iraq and Afghanistan, and ignoring the UN. Much of the time his actions have turned out to be misguided, knee-jerk or just plain wrong, but at least he took action. Kerry may take action. He may suddenly become the hard-chargin' terrorist killin' 'merica lovin' guy the Democrats need. Sure, he might do it, but can we afford to give him 4 years to test the theory? In politics, and in war, 4 years is a long time. Perhaps too long. We can't sit around and wait for the day Kerry grows a pair.

So - vote Bush, and things probably won't get worse than they are. Not the best campaign slogan, I'll be the first to admit, but it works for me.
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