For all the enthusiasm and interest John Kerry brings to the presidential campaign, he simply can't beat the raw furor and emotion brought at the mention of that one name, "Bush." Just hearing that syllable sends the liberals into a frenzy that only Hillary's election to the White House could top. Some may consider the upcoming election a referendum on the Bush administration, but the ballots we will be filling out on November 2 will not ask whether you want to vote against Bush.
"Anybody But Bush!" has been the mantra of the Democratic Party since the campaign started. It is the only thing all the Democratic candidates could agree on during the primary season, and it may well be the only message Kerry can say he's consistent on. The theme has proven itself the best in rallying the base of the Democratic Party, but I feel that it deserves a fair counterpart. Has anyone thought that perhaps we should vote in the spirit of "Anybody But Kerry!"?
It is important that people understand both the foreign and domestic implications a Kerry administration would bring in the next four years.
We'll start off with what's hot: Foreign policy and national security. John Kerry is the unofficial candidate of France and Germany. All I can say is that if France and Germany agree on something, it must be crazy. In addition to bragging about support from Old Europe, Kerry has garnered endorsements (manifest in overly favorable coverage and the scuttlebutt our media is hearing) from communist dictator Kim Jung-Il, and the nuclear-hungry religious right of Iran, which I consider a greater threat than America's "religious right," the only one that Kerry fears. Kerry is the candidate of the Axis of Evil: France, Iran, and North Korea. North Korea wants him because they think he'll let them keep their nukes, Iran wants him because they think he'll let them build nukes, and France wants him because they think he'll let them sell nukes (or rather the equipment necessary to make them). Yet only a few months ago, he said the greatest threat to the United States was a terrorist nuclear attack. With him in office, that would be guaranteed.
Kerry said that he would be a good diplomat who would build alliances, yet he called the coalition of the willing "a coalition of the coerced and bribed," and personally insulted Iraqi Interim Prime Minister Ayad Allawi by insinuating he was an American puppet. He also neglected to thank numerous countries, such as Poland, during the first debate. Great way to make friends, John. While he complained that Bush engaged a war that the world didn't want and that didn't have the financial or logistical backing of a strong coalition, he voted against the First Gulf War, in which there was strong international support and a massive coalition that paid for much of the war. The foreign policy problem is that Kerry is a weak man, and it is the perception of weakness that invites terror, and can cost America's dominance abroad, both militarily and economically. I only hope that when people enter the polls, they'll think, "Who would Osama/Chirac vote for?"
And how will it look domestically with a Kerry administration? Taxes will be up, along with spending. Health care quality will plummet, and the budget will increase at least 33 percent just to pay for nationalized healthcare. With Social Security, Kerry said that he will neither cut benefits nor raise the retirement age, but beyond that, Kerry hasn't offered anything else, meaning he is ignoring a ticking time bomb that will make today's deficits look miniscule a few decades down the line. Labor unions will have their man in the White House. Energy supplies will remain stagnant, gas prices will skyrocket, regulation of numerous industries will take hold, environmentalist psychos will control the EPA, and outsourcing will continue, though at a slower rate. Our economy will slow. Affirmative action will go unchecked, government will fund abortion, and religion will be banned from public areas. Our country will be driven by a radical, left-wing agenda. I guess I'll vote for the other guy.
Bush has enjoyed four years of media scrutiny, investigation and life in the public eye; Kerry has endured a few months. During the primary season, Howard Dean took the brunt of media criticism. Afterwards, Kerry had a streak of unanswered Bush-bashing. Only at the RNC did Kerry's weak defense and foreign policy record come out, but little has been said about it since then. Kerry wants to talk about Bush, and so does Bush. Perhaps because he's currently leading polls in both important battleground states and nationwide (despite "losing" the debate to Kerry), Bush has not issued the rallying cry that he is the "last choice" for America, and instead is focusing on a message that argues he has a plan for America and the world. Kerry was a debate star in high school and college, so is anyone surprised he won in his first encounter with our President? He may have won the debate, but he didn't win the hearts and minds of that many voters. If Bush continues to let Kerry misspeak about "Treblinka Square" in Moscow, how the RNC closed down all the subways in NYC, and this mysterious "global test" he would exercise in his foreign policy, they'll be no need to let loose the "Anybody But Kerry!" monster. People will see Kerry's not their man themselves.