Readers are sounding off via email on the subject of America’s next president. I started this discussion with my July 12th article, Interrupting Bush and then continued it with a July 17th article, More On Interrupting Bush. Since those two articles, I’ve received so much email on both sides that I’ve decided to reprint comments over time. The first comments follow an excerpt from Al Gore’s speech at the Democratic Convention.
I’m guessing that we’re heading for another close election. I hope the counting is accurate this time.
Al Gore, former Vice President:
Of course, no challenge is more critical than the situation we confront in Iraq. Regardless of your opinion at the beginning of this war, isn’t it now obvious that the way the war has been managed by the Administration has gotten us into very serious trouble? Wouldn’t we be better off with a new President who hasn’t burned his bridges to our allies, and who could rebuild respect for America in the world? Isn’t cooperation with other nations crucial to solving our dilemma in Iraq? Isn’t it also critical to defeating the terrorists?
We have to be crystal clear about the threat we face from terrorism. It is deadly. It is real. It is imminent. But in order to protect our people, shouldn’t we focus on the real source of this threat: the group that attacked us and is trying to attack us again-al Qaida, headed by Osama Bin Laden?
Wouldn’t we be safer with a President who didn’t insist on confusing al Qaida with Iraq? Doesn’t that divert too much of our attention away from the principal danger?
[To see the rest of Mr. Gore’s speech, click here.]
I think voting for Kerry is irresponsible and a reprehensible decision. Whether you like everything he did or not, President Bush has moral values and core decency. Kerry and Edwards do not! If they think that Whoopi Goldberg’s shameful display represents their core constituency, why aren’t the people who would vote for Kerry ashamed of that? And if they are NOT, woe to the people who let those votes decide who will lead for the next four years. There simply is no excuse for voting for the Kerry-Edwards team.
I think Kerry, although a bit morose, is a fine human being. Intelligent, experienced, a decorated veteran on par with the finest this country has to offer. I haven’t kept up with the criticisms being leveled against him, nor do I care too much to see what possible flaws the republican machine will come up with. I realize that Bush is not necessarily a villain any more then Kerry is our savior. Yet, something is desperately wrong with the America that I see today. And in my estimation, the Bush administration had caused great harm to many and he will continue to grasp at his privileged power at the cost of everything that this country holds dear.
I really like Kerry’s military credentials. Don’t send me off to read some web site featuring Viet Nam Vets who hate Kerry. That only speaks to the politics of the web site rather than the military record of Kerry. He was undoubtedly a strong military leader as his record indicates. I also like his post-military opposition to the Viet Nam war. He was pretty gutsy to stand before Congress and speak out as he did. The ultra-right wingers who criticize him for that are clueless about what the Viet Nam protest was all about. Most of my generation and much of my parents’ generation eventually came around to agree with the position that Kerry took at that time. The ones who didn’t are still fired up about what a good idea Iraq war #2 was.
I also like Kerry on embryonic stem cell research. The Christian Coalition is wrong on this one regardless of your position on abortion. I know this is controversial in some circles, but we really do need this, and it is not killing babies by any stretch of the imagination. It is significantly less ethically questionable than the in-vitro fertilization process that is well established and not opposed by most Christians, some of whom have undoubtedly had children using these procedures, which involve destroying hundreds of viable embryos for each baby that is born. There are numerous lines of research for which this research is extremely promising. One that is particularly close to my heart is Alzheimer research, and unfortunately, ESCR is probably not all that promising for this particular line of research. Critics of ESCR point to Alzheimer as evidence that it is not worth pursuing. They conveniently do not mention all the other illnesses that it shows bright promise for. Ask Nancy Reagan about this one.
The United States is the ONLY major industrialized nation that does not ensure health care for all its citizens. I do not understand why conservatives are so vehemently opposed to this. I think it is one of Kerry/Edwards strong points. Perhaps as our health care benefits continue to erode, people will eventually see the light. I know that my benefits have steadily declined every year since the beginning of the Reagan administration. The Clintons were squashed on this when they tried to address it. Their plan might have been too aggressive for the political climate in which they introduced it, but the basic premise of health care for all is ethically right.
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