Monday, October 18, 2004

Hugh Hewitt's Symposium: Why Vote for GW?

Hugh Hewitt asks "Why vote for Bush, and whats wrong with Kerry?" In the briefest possible form, here is my answer.

As someone who works in academics, I can say this is a question most faculty and administrators have never asked themselves. On a daily basis, I listen to the shots, snipes, and broadsides directed against the Bush administration, the war in Iraq, and the United States in general. Most of the time, I pay little or no attention to this stuff. If it were thoughtful and/or rational criticism, I would have to consider it. In fact, I have a laundry list of my own regarding this administration and its failures. Despite those criticisms and the candidacy of John Forbes Kerry for President, I plan to vote for President Bush come November.

In the past, I would compare candidates based on my political preferences and decide who to vote for. In this election, my calculus is even simpler. My vote is being cast solely on the basis of foreign policy. Even though Bush has been from fair to poor (at various points) on all of the above, it is his consistent foreign policy vision (not application) that has convinced me that he is not only the best man to lead the US going forward, but perhaps also the only one capable of doing so at this time.

Bush will forever live in a post 9/11 world. 9/11 shaped and molded this man, recasting his politics, his purpose, and his presidency. In his speeches and actions, he has put the US on a course designed to place us in the best possible position to prevent another 9/11. It can be said simply that Bush deserves to be reelected because he lives in a post 9/11 world. If you believe this, then the many failures and missed opportunities under Bush can be accepted (not excused or ignored) as such by this supporter. The reason is simple. Even a Bush who struggles translating his vision of the post 9/11 world into reality is better than a Kerry who insists that, regardless of 9/11, the security environment of the US has not and did not fundamentally change on that fateful day.