Why Bush and Not Kerry? It's personal.
I've decided to post a response to Hugh Hewitt's blog symposium question. The question is an easy one: Why vote for Bush, and what's wrong with Kerry? The difficult part will be doing this in 250 words or less, so I hope that Mr. Hewitt will forgive me if I exceed that limit.
I'll start out with national security issues. John Kerry wants to turn a war into a law-enforcement exercise. This only works if both sides are willing to accept it as such. Our enemies see this as a war, and will keep attacking until they've won. President Bush understands this, and has moved the war outside our borders. In fact, he's moved it right to the terrorists' back yard. Despite what you hear on television, we're winning. The Afghan elections and increasing recruitment of Iraqi National Guard and police forces are testaments to this, and these are just two samples of success. John Kerry wants to wait until there's proof positive that an attack has occurred before responding. That's too late to keep us secure. Mr. Kerry brought up a "global test" as well. What if we can't get other nations to believe that we've been attacked, Senator Kerry? What if we bring proof of an attack and Canada, Germany and France say they don't see a problem? The global test has failed. Combine that with a record of defense voting that borders on a near-outright fear of ever using American troops to do anything to defend us, a record of opposing defending ourselves against regular military attacks (like national missile defense) and a desire to leave out local help in taming North Korea's nuclear plans, and you can see that George W. Bush is the best choice on national defense.
Next, I'll go to domestic issues. Senator Kerry wants to Americans to have the same level of health care that he does. The Senator does realize that his medical care costs around $7700 per year, yes? That comes out to about $641.67 per month. The Senator also realizes that such monthly costs would remove approximately 40 percent of my take-home pay? Will the Senator from Massachusetts kindly pay off my bills in full from his paycheck before asking me to divert 40% of my net salary to health care costs? (My student loan and credit card would thank him.) President Bush has laid out plans to allow me to invest part of my FICA tax to supplement my Social Security benefit. Senator Kerry wants me to hope that my pittance in Social Security will allow me to live for a few months in squalor before I die, I guess. He's done nothing to try to improve the benefit. President Bush has also laid out a plan to set up a health savings account that is independent of my workplace. This will allow me to set aside money for routine doctor's visits, prescriptions, and the like. This will save money for both me and insurance companies, since they can focus on catastrophic coverage instead of daily costs, thus lowering any monthly premiums I may have. I do not want a welfare state, Senator Kerry. I want an ownership society. I spent four years in the Air Force to defend American liberty, and I want as little governmental nosiness in my life as possible. Medical issues are only as public as I wish to make them, and government processing will only open the door to uninvited scrutiny. President Bush's plan may be government-started, but it's more opaque to expenses than Senator Kerry's. Again, as little nosiness as possible. I'm not even going into issues stemming from abortion, embryonic stem-cell research or same-sex marriage. President Bush gets my vote for his forward-thinking, low-cost plans for health and retirement.
Finally, we get to the main reason why I will vote for George W. Bush instead of Senator John Kerry: George W. Bush has never denigrated the roles played by any of my family members who served in the various branches of our armed forces. When John Kerry implied that anyone who did not serve in Vietnam did not truly perform their military service, that denigrated the service of members of my family who served in Europe during the Cold War. That denigrated the service of my family members and family friends who served in the United States during the Cold War. Perhaps I should apologize to Senator Kerry for not being born yet so I could serve in Vietnam. I should also perhaps ask for forgiveness for merely serving in the Air Force during Operation Southern Watch, and during the first major Balkan campaign in 1995, since it wasn't Vietnam. Would that be enough for Senator Kerry? George W. Bush also never said that stopping the spread of Castro-style Communism in the Western Hemisphere was unnecessary, despite its anti-US exhortations. George W. Bush never mollycoddled the Sandinistas, trying to give them an unearned legitimacy like Senator Kerry did.
Most importantly, George W. Bush never tried to go around the chain of command and make nice with the Viet Cong and North Vietnamese government. My father and an uncle both served in Vietnam. My father spent 18 months there as part of the US Air Force. My uncle spent 12 months there as part of the US Marine Corps. They returned to the United States only to be spat upon by their fellow citizens, to be insulted because they served in Vietnam. Senator Kerry's involvement with Vietnam Veterans Against the War acted as a fifth column to destroy morale and support for our troops, including the man who would help bring me into this world. Senator Kerry's 1971 Senate testimony exudes a hatred for his fellow servicemen. It was actions like the testimony and "Winter Soldier investigation" that were used to psychologically torture American POWs, making them think they were cut off from the rest of the country. To undermine support for our troops is nothing less than treason. I will not vote for a traitor. I will vote for a man whose service was average long before I will vote for someone who squandered his heroism to aid and abet our enemies. Again, President Bush has my vote.
I owe many things to my mother and father who raised me and the family members who gave me the love and support an extended family can provide. One of the things I can do to pay that debt is to vote for a President who will defend my nation through strength, who will provide a true hand up to self-sufficiency, and who will never forfeit a war of public opinion to our enemies. George W. Bush has my vote. Why? It could be just because of public business issues, but Senator Kerry has alienated me by trying to weaken my nation and insult my family service. That makes it a very personal issue.