I’m voting for John Kerry. Why? I’ll try to keep it simple.
I have several issues that usually decide elections for me: the environment and women’s rights (pro-choice, not pro-abortion). For me those issues have never been negotiable.
I almost voted for Bush the first time. He seemed moderate enough, although not particularly qualified to be president, and Gore was very hard to like. But Gore had the experience and the record I wanted to see in my president, so I voted for him, reluctantly.
This from a previously lifetime registered, increasingly moderate Republican. In recent years though, I’d really waffled as Republicans seemed to be moving farther and farther away from defending women’s rights and the environment. Additionally, as my own life circumstances evolved, I slowly stopped thinking of myself as one of the Republican “haves” and more of a “have not.”
Then came 9/11. And the day I watched a church service at the National Cathedral and heard righteously angry voices swell to the strains of “Onward, Christian Soldiers.” I distinctly remember thinking, “My God, he’s going to make this a holy war!” And so he has.
I don’t believe in imposing ones’s religious beliefs on others. I don’t believe in making war in the name of religion. I believe in freedom of and from religion. I believe in science and the intellect and peace. To me spiritualism, or the lack of it, is a very private, personal thing and should remain so.
Kerry was the clear winner in tonight’s presidential debate. One more strike and Bush is out.
Kerry came on strong, like a shark who smelled blood in the water. Bush looked like a deer in the headlights. He sounded defensive and plaintive all night.
The presidential debate tonight was just about as interesting… and entertaining… as I thought it would be.
Kerry did better than I expected. He finally managed to sound as intelligent, and intelligible, as he probably really is. Too bad for his campaign that tonight’s Kerry hasn’t been on hand throughout the campaign.
Sadly, it seems he is totally incapable of talking without somehow referring to his service in Viet Nam. Enough already! And I could have slapped him for those haughty smiles we kept seeing during cut-aways (the cut-aways that weren’t supposed to happen).
He made one point I really loved when he said we must not confuse the war with the warrior. It was a perfect, beautifully succinct summary of my feelings about both the Viet Nam and the Iraq war. You can oppose the war while supporting the warrior.
Bush did fairly well. I’d call it an average Bush performance. He was no more or less articulate than he usually is. He could have done much better, however. There were several times when he appeared to be at a loss for words, long silences as he looked at the camera and struggled to marshal his thoughts. The cut-aways hurt him, too. At times he looked smug, smirking; other times he looked a bit angry, although he kept it in check when he spoke. Props to him for not saying “flip-flop,” not even once.
Both men had best practice their off-camera poker faces before the next “debate.”