By Judson Cox
Last week, I took advantage of early voting, and cast
my ballot. Granted, my brains
haven’t baked in the southern sun quite as long as a Floridian who
can’t tell the difference between Al Gore and Pat Buchanan, but it
seemed a pretty clear choice to me. The
whole process took maybe ten minutes, and all I had to do was fill in a
few ovals with a felt tipped pen. The
ballot was straight forward, the instructions were clear, and it could not
have been easier.
Regardless of what the politicos, wags, spinners,
pundits, race warlords and lawyers may say, voting is easy, and the
choices are very clear. For
President, we must choose between two very different men.
If you believe the world changed on 9/11, you will vote for
President Bush. If you believe
9/11 changed nothing, you will vote for Sen. Kerry.
9/11 changed everything for President Bush; indeed,
it changed President Bush. He
was transformed from a president who showed little interest in foreign
engagement, to a strong war time leader.
He stood in the rubble of the
, the Pentagon and that
field and shed real tears. He
embraced the families, the first responders and the construction workers
and vowed that soon the whole world would know our determination to never
allow such an attack on our soil again.
He began waging war against the nations that harbor and fund
terrorism, even in opposition to the opinion of much of the world and most
of the Democratic Party. He
made clear that we would fight this war – with our allies if they are
willing, but alone if we must. President
Bush believes this is a war we will either fight on foreign soil or on our
own. 9/11 left us no choice.
Kerry told The Harvard Crimson in 1970. “I’m an
internationalist; I’d like to see our troops dispersed through the world
only at the directive of the United Nations.”
And in 1994, discussing
, he said, "If you mean dying in the course of the United Nations
effort, yes, it is worth that. If you mean dying American troops
unilaterally going in with some false presumption that we can affect the
outcome, the answer is unequivocally no." (
Post 10/20/2004) Sen. Kerry
said, when asked how 9/11 had changed him either personally or
politically, “I mean, it didn't change me much at all.” (New York
Times Magazine, 10/10/04)
When asked what it would take for Americans to feel
safe again, Kerry said, “We have to get back to the place we were, where
terrorists are not the focus of our lives, but they're a nuisance."
(The New York Times Magazine, 10/10/04)
In the same article he compared terrorism to “gambling and
prostitution,” evils we would have to learn to tolerate and live with.
With the exception of the constantly changing positions he began
adopting during the presidential campaign, Kerry’s statements have been
consistent over the past 34 years. He
does not believe terrorism is a threat great enough to warrant war, and he
would never wage or support any war without UN approval.
Kerry’s top foreign policy advisor, said, ''We're not in a war on
terror, in the literal sense. The
war on terror is like saying the war on poverty. It's just a metaphor.”
(The New York Times Magazine, 10/10/04)
The candidates’ strategies to combat terrorism are
starkly different. Yasser
Arafat's Palestinian Authority (a terrorist regime) “made its first open
statement Monday expressing support for
democratic presidential candidate John Kerry.” (
Post 10/18/2004) On the same
’s President Putin said that, “"International terrorists have set
as their goal inflicting the maximum damage to Bush, to prevent his
election to a second term. If they succeed in doing that, they will
celebrate a victory over
and over the entire anti-terror coalition." (CNN 10/18/2004)
If the choice is so clear to foreign leaders - that those who
support terrorism support Kerry and those who oppose terrorism support
Bush - why should the waters seem so muddy in American politics?
We have a clear choice to make - between strength or
weakness, American interests or foreign interests, between action and
appeasement, between killing the terrorists and allowing them to kill us
– between President Bush and the “internationalist.”
I chose President Bush.