Did you vote for Bush? If so, why?

As a non-US liberal who simply cannot understand why so many people voted for George Bush, I’m very keen to find out why those who voted for him did so. We don’t tend to hear many good things about Mr Bush or his policies (I’ll refrain from calling him President just yet :wink: ) and so I’d be very interested in hearing your reasons for voting for him. You don’t have to justify your reasons and you don’t have to defend them (that’s why I put this thread in IMHO, so there would be less chance of people trying to debate you). I’m just very keen on hearing your perspective.

Thanks in advance.

I’ll take the bait. Here’s why I voted for Bush:

  1. I agree with his neo-con vision of what it will take to make terrorism an unpalatable option for the young Muslim. This Arab anger at the West and at the US in specific which led to 9/11 is fed by a sense of hopelessness which the U.S. had nothing to do with. By deposing the Taliban and Saddam Hussein and planting democracy in Iraq and Afghanistan, we stand some chance of seeing Muslims realize that when they are politically empowered, they can improve their lives and the USA doesn’t stand in the way of that. Certainly, it’s a risk, but not doing it certainly didn’t win us friends, did it?

  2. Connected to 1), I believe we are winning the war on terror. while it is true that Osama Bin Laden is still alive, I think it is clear from his latest tape that he is greatly weakened, and that he is having a harder time convincing people to rally to his jihad flag. That’s the only reason I can see for him expressing a sudden interest in the Palestinian cause…when you can’t appeal to Muslims in any other way, you resort to Palestinian nationalism and anti-Zionism. Saddam Hussein tried the same thing during Gulf War I.

  3. The economy is turning around. I don’t know that I can credit him for this, but it removes from him (in my eyes) any blame for the prior bad economy. As a programmer, and one who used to work in downtown Manhattan, I know plenty of people whose loss of job occurred during the tech bust before Bush even took office (including myself, twice), and at least one who lost his job due to 9/11. The downward trend started before Bush, but under Bush it has reversed and begun trending upward.

  4. Kerry’s insistence on the importance of the UN. I’m very afraid that if he considers that body’s approval of US actions to be important, then US support for Israel will be sacrificed to appease them.

  5. The way Kerry and Edwards pandered was SHAMELESS. While I was already pre-disposed toward Bush (for the reasons listed above), I didn’t actually dislike the Democrat candidates until Edwards pretty much implied that Bush’s stance on stem-cell research was what kept the late Christopher Reeve from walking, and that electing Kerry would bring about cures for spinal cord injuries like his. That repulsed me - it’s one thing for a candidate to make monetary promises he can’t keep in order to get elected, it’s quite another to promise that.

Thanks. I appreciate your perspective.

[sub]I’m really honestly not trying to bait anybody btw[/sub]

Ditto what cmkeller wrote, and if I may add one.

Bush’s stance on the 2nd Amendment supported by his letting the AWB expire. Kerry’s gun-shooting photo-ops despite his 20 year record of gun control votes.

I voted for President Bush.

Although I have some issues with his financial policy, I believe the tax cuts helped the economy. Everyone who paid taxes got a cut.

I believe the war on Iraq and the war on terror are one and the same. Despite everything, he has not waffled, he has not flip-flopped. He truly believes that he is protecting America. And since we haven’t had another terrorist attack on US soil since 2001, I think he’s doing a good job.

I did not trust Kerry. I believed he would turn over the security of this country to the UN, a corrupt organization that favors terrorists. He talked of passing a global test, and that it was fine for soldiers to die for the UN, but not okay to die for America.

I do not support Bush on his increased spending for Medicare or his stance on gay marriage. However, I trust him to keep me and mine safe. I did not trust Kerry to do the same.

I also understand that there is nothing I can do that will convince die-hard Kerry supporters, so as griffen has requested, I will not engage in a debate. My opinions are as stated, and I understand if you think Bush is a poopyhead.

I don’t agree with Bush on gay marriage or stem cell research, but I do agree with his position on education (although the implementation was a little lacking), taxes and the need to stimulate small business. I also strongly agree with his, and Dr. Rice’s, distaste for the soft bigotry of low expectations. So, Domestically, I am more in line with Bush than Kerry.

America should be strong. I agree with Bush on this. I agreed with the way Bush responded to 9/11. When he gave the speech where he made the several impossible demands on the Taliban, demands that no sovereign nation could submit to and still retain any sense of national pride, I was impressed. He made it clear in that speech what had not been made clear by over twenty years of deeds: America will not suffer an attack on this side of the Atlantic. You can attack our assets overseas, but don’t dare bring the problems over here.

Pain looks great on other people.

Iraq was fought over trumped up charges. Iraq is to Bush’s discredit. But the war was prosecuted extremely well. The peace is having problems, but the war went spectacularly well. If you’re American, British or Polish or one of the other coalition members. It was extremely devastating for Iraqis.

Even though I don’t agree with Iraq, though, and think Bush was cleaning up his daddy’s mess, I want a president that is willing to be strong and use that strength, not one that is overly concerned with what other nations think of us. Normally, an unnecessary war would completely put me off, but Kerry’s reluctance to present a strong face to the world put me off more.

Bush is not my hero. Bush is not one of our best presidents. Bush is willing to be strong, though, and he is much smarter that it’s popular to believe. His domestic positions are more in line with mine (except I am more socially inclusive of other life styles) and he doesn’t remind me of a political weathervane.

I feel that Bush is the better Commander in Chief. As someone who is currently wearing a uniform full-time this was overwhelmingly my biggest concern. Simple as that.

I don’t think you were baiting but I’m waiting for the sharks to smell blood. I will not respond in this forum.

I voted for Kerry, but I was undecided until election morning, and I’m willing to state why I almost voted for Bush. Hopefully this is not too much off topic In my case, it was a matter of deciding which one to vote against. Some of the reasons why I disliked Kerry are listed above, but some of my other reasons are rather, uh, distinctly in the minority here.

  1. I strongly oppose the Democrat’s position on Social Security and Medicare. Our Social Security tax (FICA) is the most regressive income tax I know of. Make more than a certain amount, and you don’t pay on that excess. Half the tax is hidden as a payroll tax, unless you own a small business like a day care. (You have to make a pretty good income to pay more in federal income tax than FICA.) Expanding Medicare will not make medical care accessible to more of the poor. It will just make more of us have trouble paying for our own care. (INMHO, if you really want to do something about the cost of medical care, do something about all the unnecessary tests done so doctors don’t get their a$$es sued off. I have a friend, who is not well off, who needed to get a cat scan just to get some stitches on his head.

  2. Democrats favor a legislative judiciary. I don’t. E.g., I’m all for gay marriages, but legalizing them by judicial ruling leads to resentment and acrimony that won’t fade anymore than that resulting from Roe vs Wade. Legalization should be a legislative action, so that the population knows they are not disenfranchised. Just as some Iraqi’s oppose us just because we are there, some oppose judicial rulings just because they change laws by fiat.

  3. I know the economy started to tank in 1999. Don’t keep blaming Bush for the economy. He deserves no more blame than Bush Sr. and Clinton for the good years, none of them were in office when things changed. The beauty of the American economic system is that economic decision making power and political power are seperated enough that we seem to be able to elect any number of mediocre politicians without screwing it up too badly.

  4. The Iraq war, at this point, was not a big deal. For better or for worse, we are in it. Kerry wouldn’t have any different options than Bush.

(So, why did I vote for Kerry? Well, it’s not like there aren’t things to dislike about Bush …)

‘B’ comes before ‘K’.

(Hey, just like my home decor philosophy, I take a ‘minimalist’ approach to politics!) :wink:

You mean, of course, The Second Half of the Second Amendment. And Bush stated a desire to extend the AWB but did nothing to push the legislation.

Two of many reasons I voted for Bush:

  1. Supreme Court: I want to see abortion laws severely restricted. Kerry promised to appoint only pro-abortion judges to the Court. Bush supposedly has no litmus test but I figure we’ve got a better chance of fixing the Court with him than we did with Kerry.

  2. Social Security: I’m 27. My mother’s generation is going to bankrupt SS, it won’t be there for me. Rather than pay into a fund that I’ll never benefit from, I want the right to invest my own earnings into my own retirement account. I also want to pay as few taxes on the interest I make as possible.

I support the Morals of Bush.

This is all great. You’re really helping me to understand the other side of US Politics. Please everyone, keep these comments coming.

I voted for Bush for several reasons.

Mainly, was that I think Bush will try harder to keep taxes lower. Politicians like to say he gave a tax cut to the rich, and I am OK with that, because I think they pay more than their fair share anyways. The rich and upper middle class pay a tremendous amount of taxes in the US. I am not in favor of redistribution of wealth. If I earn my own money, I want to keep as much of it as possible. This philosophy carries over to other things like health care, etc. I do not want a national health-care-for-everyone policy. Other nations already have this, and their tax rate is simply more than I am willing to pay. When everyone has health care, the rich and middle class tend to support the lower earners. This is simply a fact. In my opinion, this does not encourage people to innovate and go after the dream in the same way that hardship does.

Kerry had a lot of social programs he would like to fund, I did not see a way of paying for them without increasing taxes. As someone who thinks we already pay too much in taxes and that government should be smaller, not bigger, I have problems with that.

Kerry’s senate record identifies him as someone I do not want leading our country. His large record confirms his stance on military and taxes much more than the debates did.

I feel it is in the US’s best interest to do what is in the US’s best interest. This does not make it necessary to go to the UN at all to ask for permission for anything. The UN is largely an uneffective body that says much and does little. Bush shares my feelings about the UN. For all the people that bitch about Iraq, review all the UN resolutions re: Sadaam/Iraq. There were at least 12, with no real action. This is not the type of governing system I want my country to have when it comes to my citizen’s well being and safety.

I think the economy has very little to do with Bush, and I think it is pretty strong right now. Similarly, I think Clinton had very little to do with the economy of the 90’s.

Kerry does not strike me as being honest. He has clearly been acting more moderate than he has in the past, this is a warning sign that he is not necessarily who he says he is.

Kerry seems like a member of the anti-Bush party, not a part of the Democratic party. It seems so many people that call themsevles Kerry supporters are just people that don’t like Bush. This is a problem. A true leader should be able to have a following because of his/her ideas, but because he is the “other” candidate. I never heard enough detail about Kerry’s plans to find that they were any good. He always just said he had a plan, but did not offer much detail.

I think finishing what we started in Iraq is paramount. We simply can not leave without finishing, it is not fair to all the people we are there to help. From personal experience, Kerry does not have the respect that Bush does among the majority of those in the military.

I think we need to have a very strong military, Kerry’s record has shown he wants to cut military.

There are more, but this gets me started.

I hear this a lot from Bush supporters, but I’m not sure what exactly it means. Do you mean his personal morality or his public policies? I’m sincerely interested in hearing the details of your thoughts about this.

Speaking as one who has voted before for both Democrats and Republicans, several times, for the presidency, I’ll toss in a bit.

One thing that struck me early on in the 1992 campaign of Bill Clinton, when I was still an either/or voter, was his complete lack of sincerity. This was long before Whitewater or any of the other stains of his national career, but I did order his campaign booklet. I was struck by how vague and fuzzy the rhetoric was. It expressed nothing that could be counted on.

And we saw that he shifted, dodged and went with the polls, although he was (thankfully) unable to get any of his agenda moved along, even with his party dominating Congress during his first two years.

I don’t think that really mattered to him.

Then we saw the same thing with his purportedly “cerebral” heir apparent, Al Gore, who fit his campaign rhetoric to the demographic niche he was serving it up to. I remember him, in Louisiana, where a lot of people’s livelihoods depend on oil and gas extraction, saying a few days before the election, when gas prices had spiked, that “we will develop this nation’s energy resources!” when he had a long record of espousing curtailment of that energy usage by use of punitive taxes.

And then we had John Kerry going on a couple of outdoor ventures that, frankly, came off os photo ops. And then he abandoned his core lefty constituency to court the right.

What it all boils down to is that Bush is the devil I know, and I can trust him to steer where I think he’s gonna steer, while Kerry remained a wild card right up until the end.

While I don’t support all that is the current Repiublican agenda, they’re at least more up front about it than the Democrats.

Everyone above has given most of my answers…

while I differ with the details of how President Bush has implemented some of his policies (a national amendment on gay marriage and the handling of Iraq), I do agree with his basic policies (I don’t believe in the re-definition of marriage at all, but if it is done, let it be by the democratically-elected legislatures, and I do believe that even as the US supported Saddam Hussein as a counterbalance to the Iranian Ayatollahs, it was our obligation to bring him down.)

Another big factor for me is the lasting legacy of Supreme Court and federal court appointments- especially regarding abortion regulation & restriction (I’m not for a total ban on abortion, but for major limitations), Ceremonial Theism (the Pledge, Nativity & 10 C displays, for example) and gay marriage. While no leading Democrat Presidential candidate has campaigned for gay marriage or against ceremonial theism, they would not tend to be as careful about not appointed justices who would rule against my positions on these issues.

There are many reasons listed above that I also shared, but the big thing that left me as a Bush man was that I felt an overbearing attitude of “You’re stupid and evil if you disagree with me” from the Left… that many had convinced themselves that there is NO way other than THEIR way, and if they ever found out I was conservative, they’d instantly assume all sorts of Repugnican things about me.

It left a really shitty taste in my mouth. That’s probably what comes from being a conservative in California… and I’m absolutely positive that a liberal in Texas probably suffered similar bullshit. However, I don’t see how that excuses treating ME like shit, making assumptions about me without finding out WHY I believe the way I believe.

Ultimately, I felt that change needs to come from the bottom, that Bush’s boners are a symptom and not the cause. I felt that if Bush’s detractors had used honey instead of vinegar to attract flies - tried reasoning instead of demonizing - that Kerry mighta won (maybe). Instead, they tried to destroy Bush, and I feel they wound up consuming themselves instead.

Ah well.

I agree with part of what SPOOFE said. I know very well that Rush Limbaugh is a blowhard doofus, but somehow the venom from some on the left makes it all the more impossible to join them.

Plus, for me, it was the issues like the appointing of judges who aren’t trying to make everything imaginable to be legal by the power of their position.

The big one: As much as it might be true that Bush didn’t find out enough about Iraq before sending the troops, I can’t stand the thought of the UN trying to be in charge of us. This is the body that let Lybia be the chair of the human rights committee. OMGorsh. The Iraq thing is already started. I think Kerry is more likely to give in to demands not only from other nations but from hostage takers and threat makers. I really do.

While I admit that Bush almost certainly didn’t serve in the Alabama National Guard like he was supposed to, and I hate that he did it and that he won’t admit it, I find it worse that Kerry apparently used very minor wounds (never hospitalized at all, IIRC) to get 3 Purple Hearts and a plane home so that he could heavily imply that every soldier involved in Vietnam was committing war crimes.

But the REAL BIG issue is this: Democrats playing to their party LOVE to grow government. Sometimes I wonder if someone like Kerry has ever met a govt. program he didn’t like. There doesn’t seem to need to be logic behind it, only “compassion” and “help”. Once a govt. program is started, have you ever seen one stop? I can’t name one right now, that’s how rare it is.

Government makes genius decisions like building multi-million dollar separate freeway merging overpasses for carpool lanes around here. Simply mindboggling. It doesn’t matter that carpool lanes aren’t the most effective reducer of car pollution, it’s what we have, changing it would be hard, and it feels good to supposedly be doing something. It doesn’t really matter if that thing actually works, it’s most important to be seen and to feel like you’re doing something to help.

I’m an almost stereotypical American. I don’t like government. Government NEVER has a real incentive to do a job right or quickly. No one will be fired from a public job for doing an uninspired job. I can’t even get the employees of my private university to show initiative and drive; how can I trust the government to run things that could be run by someone else?

Just to clarify my own post: I do not feel that anti-Bush sentiment was somehow louder or more obnoxious than pro-Bush (or anti-Kerry) sentiment. I just feel that the Kerry PR machine was sitting on the sidelines and trying to make a mountain out of every molehill that sprung up, resulting in giant conflagration of accusations so numerous that is was near impossible to sift through the wheat and chaff. Targeting Bush with a vast quantity of low-quality accusations, hoping SOMEthing would stick.

By contrast, I always felt that Bush was very consistent. I think he was upfront about his foreign plans… that it would be a hard war, that it would take a long time. I feel that his behaviors more closely match those of a man trying to do the best for his country as opposed to the picture painted that has him selling out everything at every given opportunity.

In short, for every one strong and credible Bush criticism I’ve seen, there’s been twenty that were overblown and overemotional kneejerks, in my opinion.