Props, kudos, and big shout out to John Kerry for sacrificing one principle in favor of another. America needed a decisive election, and Kerry backed down from last night’s “win at all costs” stance (which he wisely had his running mate project as if on his behalf) and allowed that feeling of decisiveness to begin to take hold.
The “anybody but Bush” camp made a serious mistake early on: they failed to understand why half the country (just OVER half the country, in point of fact) still supported President Bush. This practice of despising the incumbent was carried to a fatal extreme. After all, if you can’t believe anybody would still vote for Bush, how can you hope to convince them NOT to?
The Bush campaign understood all too well what THEY were up against, and they played on that very masterfully.
I can see why folks would vote against Bush. I can even see why they’d vote for Kerry. I understand those arguments, and I sympathize with them to an extent just SHORT of the extent where I’d actually VOTE for them.
The thing Bush has going for him that so few American Presidents have had is the willingness to make decisions that are extremely unpopular.
Argue all you want about WHY they’re unpopular (just not HERE, please… see below). The fact that he sticks to his principles and does things that alienate him from half the electorate and many of the World’s leaders is something that a lot of mature voters actually LIKE. In Kerry those voters saw more of the Capitol Hill compromising that has been the hallmark of every presidency since Nixon (including Reagan and GB senior). Clinton had a great “do what we have to at all costs” streak in him, but when his party got punished in Congress in 1994, pressure from his own party had him backing away from the things he really wanted to accomplish. Personally, I’m glad he did, because I disagreed pretty strongly with most of it, but I understood then and now the necessity of doing unpopular things on principle.
Maybe I’m projecting my own open-mindedness on others with similar party leanings, because I think that most of those who voted for Bush understood why people didn’t like him. I could be wrong. I’m not trying to foster a discussion of issues, here, and I’m certainly not trying to start a flame war. I’m concerned, as Kerry said he was in his concessionary call to President Bush, over the division in the nation today. Part of the problem is that a large number of us not only DON’T understand other points of view, we act as if we don’t WANT to.
I’ve said it before — be nice to each other. Seek to understand why your fellows, your neighbors, and even your enemies think the way they do. Only then will you be able to affect any sort of change.