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I've Made Up My Mind


BgMstr4u
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As many of you know who have read my posts here over the last few months, I lean Republican, am a moderate conservative, think that we really are in a war that we must win, and admire some aspects of President Bush's character and record. I have also been deeply disturbed, as everyone here is or should be, by his disregard for the civil liberties of gay people. I have become convinced that the Patriot Act's vagueness is opening doors to a more secret government and criminal system.

 

I am not convinced that Kerry really understands the struggle we are now in, or if he does, he is playing that down to keep the peaceniks in the tent till November 3. If he doesn't understand it, he will within a week of his election when he actually has to choose which actions he will take, instead of alternating dove and hawk by weeks as in his campaign. And when he does, no matter what choice he makes, he will face the loss of approximately half the Democratic Party when he acts. He was not chosen by the Democrats for his policies, but for his ability to win. Once having done that, when he chooses his course, those who want us out of Iraq will turn on him as violently as they have turned on Bush, or alternatively, those who believe we must stay and prevail will join the Swift Boat Veterans of this world. He can't win on this with his own party, and that is his basic dilemma, and no amount of flag waving and stiff-jaw speechmaking will disguise this fundamental division in the Democratic Party once Bush, who is uniting them now, has been removed from the scene.

 

I think he faces very shaky prospects for four years as President, with a Republican Congress, with his own base not very enthusiastic about him and divided on Iraq, and with much of the rest of the governmental machinery on the state level in Republican hands as well. Making this even worse is the bitterness with which many on his team have demonized President Bush and his policies, which will be resented for a long time, just as the Democrats bitterly resent the cheap and nasty tactics many Republicans took against Clinton.

 

Having said all this, and knowing in my heart that I prefer a Republican, I am voting for John Kerry. I don't think Bush can bring anything more to a second term than we see already. The nation is stalled in the domestic arena because of his fixation on tax cutting. He is spending us into oblivion, though I really don't think Kerry will be much different on that score. Bush's personality just grates. And most of all, his willingness to use the personal lives of gay people as political fodder is beyond alarming.

 

Since I live in New York, this will probably make little difference. But I send it out in hopes that other Republicans will join me, and that, with Bush gone, Republicans can have the huge political fight we need to reclaim the real values of the Republican Party from the tax-cutting obsessives and Christian Right extremism.

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>Having said all this, and knowing in my heart that I prefer a

>Republican, I am voting for John Kerry.

 

Bravo and well done, BM. Glad to have you aboard.

 

>I don't think Bush

>can bring anything more to a second term than we see already.

>The nation is stalled in the domestic arena because of his

>fixation on tax cutting. He is spending us into oblivion,

>though I really don't think Kerry will be much different on

>that score. Bush's personality just grates. And most of all,

>his willingness to use the personal lives of gay people as

>political fodder is beyond alarming.

 

As for spending, let's not forgot that under Bill Clinton, we had a budget surplus. I think that we have a better shot of heading back in that direction with Kerry than with Bush. Bush has not used his line item veto once. If Congress stays republican, they will keep Kerry in check in terms of spending and kerry will pull out the line item veto to erase any Republicna pork he doesn't like. Kerry opposes gay marriage but supports civil unions. Up until last week, Bush opposed both, but Bush pulled one of his famous flip flops and now is in favor of civil unions (alledgedly - that would most likely flip flop back during a second term)

 

>Since I live in New York, this will probably make little

>difference. But I send it out in hopes that other Republicans

>will join me, and that, with Bush gone, Republicans can have

>the huge political fight we need to reclaim the real values of

>the Republican Party from the tax-cutting obsessives and

>Christian Right extremism.

 

It's very refreshing to see a Republican express that. It's ironic that the very element which brought the Republicans to power, the Krischun Right, is now the very same element that is destroying the party from within.

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Thanks for this comment! I appreciate it.

 

But one thing... "Bush has not used his line item veto once. If Congress stays republican, they will keep Kerry in check in terms of spending and kerry will pull out the line item veto to erase any Republicna pork he doesn't like". Actually, the President does not have a line item veto. It is the reason why Robert Byrd (he's the champion at pork) and others line-item bills that can't be vetoed with their outrageous and expensive bring-home-the-bacon. If we need any new constitutional amendments, the line item veto is a good place to start.

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Congrats on the decision. I know it wasn't easy for you. As a lifelong (mostly) Republican, I remember the real conservative values espoused by Ike, Barry Goldwater and others of that time. Moderate on social issues and responsible with money. Those values seem lost entirely today. Running the nation in to debt, wacky foreign adventures and these incursions in to personal civil liberties are not values anyone with any historical perspective of the conservative movement would espouse.

 

The fact is, a lot of gay men I know could be Republicans if this were the old Republican party. Things started to change with the Reagan era, the Reagan response to AIDS and Anita Bryant entering the "Big Tent" as Reagan sought his second term.

 

Personally, I find the last four years of our nation to be unacceptable. This leopard is not going to change his spots. Time for a different direction. If we don't like that direction, maybe in four years, it will be time for change again.

 

But, four more years of the status quo, and I know I won't be a happy camper. I don't know if I'll be happier with Kerry or not. I'm really not happy with what we've got. People had low expectations of Clinton too. The guy did leave us with a budget surplus that is now just a distant memory. That's the real Clinton legacy in my book.

 

--EBG

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>But one thing... "Bush has not used his line item veto once.

>If Congress stays republican, they will keep Kerry in check in

>terms of spending and kerry will pull out the line item veto

>to erase any Republicna pork he doesn't like". Actually, the

>President does not have a line item veto. It is the reason

>why Robert Byrd (he's the champion at pork) and others

>line-item bills that can't be vetoed with their outrageous and

>expensive bring-home-the-bacon. If we need any new

>constitutional amendments, the line item veto is a good place

>to start.

 

First, I'd like to say that I admire your open mindedness. Second, I'd like to point out that while Dems are known as Tax and spenders, Republicans are just spenders. They do not balance their budgets. they cut taxes while continuing spending. Bush and the Republican controled Congress have run up an incredible Budget deficit.With no plan on how to pay for the war or any other spending. That is much worse than the Democrats. At least they pay for their plans.On the issue of checks and balances, maybe it would be a good thing to have a social liberal at the helm and a Congress to hold Him/her accountable.

 

The problem with that is "Political Grid lock." Keeping either party from playing politics on initiatives will be dificult. But maybe we will have a balanced budget and social good in one Government. It worked in the Clinton era.

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