Bush has to go regardless of the cost.
I deliberated on the coming election and must voice my opinion. I voted for Bush in 2000 because I thought Gore would be unable to fulfill the role of President, making him an unacceptable option. Things haven't changed much in 2004 — Bush is running against a Democratic candidate who truly doesn't seem capable of fulfilling the role of Commander in Chief and "leader of the free world." Kerry, on the other hand, is running against a Republican who has trampled the Constitution, is turning our country into a police state, and, not surprisingly, caters to the rich and big business.
I have been vexed by the choices for president this election season. Neither candidate, in my opinion, should be in office.
Having no one in the President's office is not an option, though, so I'm left having to decide which of the options is going to be least problematic. Unfortunately for Bush, that will be Kerry.
Bush has already proven himself an opponent of constitutional protections and rights. He believes that a police state is acceptable. He believes freedom is something we can set aside in times of national tragedy. He has shown that everyone is free to exercise their First Amendment right to free speech so long as they agree with him and support him. He's shown he can be the President only for his religiously devout supporters while not giving a damn about the rest. He has demonstrated a hitherto unforeseen ability to separate America from its allies by abusing them, strong-arming them, insulting them, lying to them, ignoring them, using them, manipulating them, and otherwise mistreating them. He has demonstrated a complete disregard for basic human rights and the obligations of international relations (such as the Geneva Convention). He shaped an administration of like-minded cretins who entertain less than honorable intentions and employ brutal, sometimes monstrous, means to achieve their ends. He has brought shame, dishonor, anger and mistrust to people both at home and abroad.
Don't misunderstand me. There are certainly good things which Bush has achieved (the tax cuts for we the people [not we the big businesses who are significant campaign contributors], the rapid and decisive response to 9/11 insofar as invading Afghanistan is concerned, the No Child Left Behind education reform [a step in the right direction so far as taking action goes, but there's still much to be done in this area], and even the reorganization of the federal government which created the Department of Homeland Security [finally bringing together all of the related assets which had been haphazardly spread throughout the government before]).
The issue is that he has made significant mistakes in the areas that really count. Our international relations are in tatters. We went to war against a country under false pretenses (note: now that we made the mess, we can't leave until we clean it up; it's just that we shouldn't have been there in the first place). The government can now more easily invade our privacy and abuse our rights without the need for proof or due process. Your library records are now fodder for terrorism investigations which seem to happen completely under the radar of judicial oversight and media scrutiny. Businesses are getting the majority of the items on their wish lists, most of which represent fewer rights, benefits and protections for employees (yes, there's that ugly we the people thing again). He has demonstrated bigotry in his call for a constitutional amendment designed to, for the first time in our country's history, limit the rights of a certain class of citizens. Under his command of our executive branch of government, our military violated the Geneva Convention and demonstrated that it is a case of "do as we say and not as we do." America has shown by Abu Ghraib and Guantánamo Bay that our lofty morals are actually preached several octaves higher than we are willing to deliver.
I do not believe these are activities worthy of America's legacy.
John Kerry doesn't entirely thrill me with his questionable voting record to date. He appears somewhat scared of making decisions or standing by them — or both. I do not agree with all of his politics, but that is always true for me. I am concerned that, similar to Gore, I am unsure of Kerry's leadership ability and fear it will be less than sufficient for the job ahead. Kerry's choice for a vice-presidential candidate is troubling in that Edwards seems so childish to me (making me wonder what happens if Kerry is hurt or killed while in office and Edwards has to assume the reigns).
But Kerry isn't the issue in this race. Bush has already demonstrated during his time in office that he cannot perform the functions of that office without violating the rights guaranteed us by that most holy of documents for Americans — the Constitution. Any other complaints, even those I've listed above, are moot in comparison to that one event. Reducing our rights as they are assured us by the Constitution is an affront to that very document. It is injurious to Americans everywhere to know that we violate our own "law of the land" when it's convenient. There is no greater crime or more important reason to vote for Kerry and ensure Bush isn't allowed to continue this precipitous corruption of our country.