for the religious conservative: Bush claims to be a Christian, but is he really following Christ’s sense of social justice? Jesus was opposed to the accumulation of wealth by the rich while the poor suffered. Look at the parable of “The Rich Man & Lazarus”! (Jesus almost makes Marx look moderate!) I think Jesus would favor the Democrats’ social-liberal efforts over GOP self-righteousness. Read the Gospels & pray about this, then look at what the Republican leadership (as opposed to the average GOP voter) is doing. Even if you decide not to vote Democrat this year, it may help you advocate real Christian principles in politics.
for the fiscal conservative: Yep, Kerry is a welfare-state liberal. Of course, so’s Bush, really; no one in politics is seriously abolishing the Great Society. And Bush gives money to private institutions in his “faith-based initiatives,” instead of keeping strict oversight of all that taxpayer’s money. The big difference is in the political culture in Washington & of “successful” Republican Congressmen. At some levels, party leadership is more interested in personal politics & personal loyalty than philosophical consistency. A Republican Congress will sometimes do wasteful, un-conservative things because a Republican President asks for them. With a GOP Congress, Kerry will be stymied by partisan hostility, which is silly, but in this case, useful.
for the “War on Terror” advocate: Here’s why I’m voting for Kerry.
Bush has done a lot of stuff that needed doing, but has lacked credibility even when he was right. It’s been too easy for Bush’s enemies to slander the war in Iraq as being for oil, because of Bush & Cheney’s histories in the oil industry. Furthermore, while we do need to set up ad hoc military tribunals for the terrorist suspects that have been seized, deciding to make those secret really was a mistake. It shows a disregard for international law that hurts this administration’s credibility both at home & abroad. Bush has, fairly or not, been demonized abroad to the degree that re-electing him would play into the idea that all Americans support him & support his supposed war-mongering.
But Kerry, elected as a response to Bush, would be able to go through the various issues & policies, & say, “Here, Bush was right, & we’ll continue this; here, he was mistaken, & we’ll correct it.” Some of Bush’s programs will be vindicated. Others will be reversed or simply handled differently by the new administration. And the American people can send a message to the world that we don’t really support that “warmonger” Bush. Which isn’t entirely fair to Bush, but necessary for us–so the US seems to be dealing in good faith as we try to catch terrorists around the world. Bush is damaged goods, imagewise, & we’re probably safer to dump him. And I don’t think it’s unfair to vote against him for having created international hostility. He created it, it’s his own fault, & we’re playing with fire, here. And Kerry will continue most of what Bush is doing. He’s not some pacifist who’ll just say, “OK, Osama, you win.” He has more foreign-policy experience than Bush had four years ago, maybe than Bush does now. He’s better at this kind of thing, which is really not Bush’s strong suit. Bush was the right asshole to kick ass & take names at the right time. Now we need to get someone with more tact & diplomacy to rebuild bridges & secure the peace.