Long time GD lurker here - I imagine I fit the criteria of the OP to some degree, so I will give this a go. I am moderate on the two-pole political scale; in reality, I’m probably closest to a “small L Libertarian”, with your average liberal-on-social-rights but conservative-on-fiscal-issues dichotomy. The political issue that I personally feel is most important at the moment is that somebody, anybody needs to cut some of the ballooning spending we’ve got going on - in other words, neither candidate really appeals to me. I am an ‘undecided’ voter, but at the same time, my vote does not matter, as I am registered and voting in the state of Connecticut.
I think Bush’s tax cuts were a start in the right direction, but without corresponding spending cuts they are pointless if not overtly harmful because of the unbalanced budget issue. I have no problem with an overly strong reaction to the Iraqi WMD ‘intelligence’ as long as the intelligence did, in fact, suggest that that was the best course of action for our defense interests. I do have a problem with how the campaign was eventually conducted from a diplomatic standpoint, not so much in regards to the UN as an entity of its own but in regards to our relations with the other countries who had nominally been our allies. I think that for the most part Bush has surrounded himself with people capable of running our country, and I certainly don’t feel that he’s as stupid as many would paint him to be.
Were I to vote for Bush, though, the main reason would definitely be his economic policies as compared to Kerry’s. I am a strong supported of free trade, a strong opponent of affirmative action, and generally am in favor of the government doing no more meddling with the economy than is necessary. I believe that while the economy is far from perfect, it is certainly not as horrible as the far left would make it out to be. If I cannot get the sweeping spending reductions that the classic small-government liberal in me would like to see… well, ill-advised half-measures are still probably better than increases in government spending.
The main reason I am undecided is that I abhor Bush’s (and the general far-right’s) views on a goodly majority of the most poignant social issues in our society today. His principles diametrically oppose my principles. This is not a thread about that, though, so I won’t get into it
As John Mace mentions, one of the biggest issues IMO is the party that controls Congress. I would feel much better about voting for Bush if the Democrats controlled Congress, as I certainly would not want Kerry in the Oval Office with an allied Congress at his back. I have lived close enough to Massachusetts to follow Kerry’s Senatorial career, and since it is again off the topic of the thread, I will just say that I have not been impressed. As it is, given the irrelevance of my vote, I would probably vote Libertarian… if the Party wasn’t so psycho. Regarding the OP, though, I certainly see Bush as a reasonable option; or, at least, no less of one than Kerry is.