If you get a chance to read my comments on the “Opinion and Essay” page it will come as no surprise that I intend to split my ticket when I vote this November. I like to think I hold no firm allegiance to any political party. In fact, 3 out of the 4 candidates I will get to vote for this November will be Republican. I’d really like to vote for more Democrats this November, but the usual suspects that the Dems have trotted out in Montgomery County this Fall all come up pretty weak in the “credible solutions” department.
When it comes to the Presidential race, though, my vote is assured. If my mind wasn’t already made up before, President Bush locked it in concrete for me in this, the third debate of the 2004 Presidential Election.
But what could he have possibly said that would cinch the deal for me?
“Liberal Senator from Massachusetts.”
“More Liberal than Ted Kennedy.”
“You’re so liberal you’re on the left bank.”
Mr. President, I am tired of watching you resort to hot-button labels when you run out of credible solutions to hard social problems. I am tired of hearing you assault a man’s character with baseless slander when you can’t articulate solutions to the problems you have personally created.
You know what, John Kerry is far from the “perfect” candidate. In fact, he’s not the guy I’d be voting for if there were another Republican running for President this year. I’d vote for John McCain in a heartbeat if he were the Republican option.
But John McCain isn’t running and, all-in-all, John Kerry’s platform is reasonably sound. He offers detailed ideas and has, for the most part, refrained from using defamatory labels when he runs out of ideological steam. John Kerry actually makes me feel like he is willing to think through all the implications of his choices before he acts. Kerry makes me feel that with his long history of experience in the Senate he might just have the ability to “cross the aisle” and build coalitions that the President has not been able to muster thus far.
This President exposed himself as being unable to think outside the box in this last debate. This country desperately needed to hear some out of the box thinking. We needed it far more than we needed to experience the kind of polarization that is fomented by brandishing simplistic, childish labels like “Liberal.”