An undecided email thread about the presidential election

From: Rich
Subject: Re: I want to vote for kerry

So you've raised good issues. Seriously john.

Maybe it would be helpful to go thru why a moderate republican (by
voting record that's who I am) has not only voted for kerry but actually
been a reasonably big contributor. at the highest level bush is an
extremist without an interlock and kerry is a moderate muddler. I love
politics in a muddle because politics unlike economics is prone to
really radical extremes...
That being said, I personally think and have told my kids, this is
probably the most important election they will witness. So when you
strip the market junk aside, what are you left with in this ultimate
drag race.

Ok so let's strip the politics aside and ask what are the real

1. 'I can't think of anything I've done wrong and god is on ourside' vs.
'Its a complex gray world that is filled with alliances and complexity'
kerry has done a good job in the last month of never saying the truth
becuase that is what the drag race demands. Customers and voters 'hate:
hard choices so don't be the messenger they will shoot you. Fact is I'm
on board with complexity and I can say I've made a dozen mistakes since
breakfast. So on the issue of intellectual honesty, I vote for the guy
who knows even as the biggest bully you still need a gang. Heck look at
the iran and korea issues. You can have the worlds largest army and 60%
of all defense spending and there is *no way* to win the peacve in a
country of 26m where you are outnumbered 100:1.

2. Irag. This is a quagmire. There is no real escape except to do what
we've done our whole lives which is to admit it and head out the door.
2004 is so much like 1964. Being an immigrant's son from a country torn
apart by war, I can tell you that there is nothing more dear than
repelling the invader. Just papering over this in iraq and afghanistan
won't solve the problem. And with todays miliatry, it means the draft.
Now our kids will certainly escape, but with 5000 dead, 20000 maimed and
$1 trillion spent by 2008 (do the projection and lay it next to the
1964-1968 geometric expansion), its a chance that is too hard to take
for me. I vote for the guy more likely to admit msitakes and get out
than for the guy who pushed his way in. Kerry has no stake in proving we
were right to enter. Bush absolutely does.

3. Minority rights. I can tolerate lots of bs and rhetoric about
the economy and protectionsims is simply a lost cause, but the threat
vs woman (roe v wade), minorities is way to scary and recent. The
veneer of civilization is thin and the road to hell is really paved
with religious (the inquisition) and nationalist (nazism) fanatics. And
in this election the composition of the supreme court really does scare
me. I think fundamental minority freedoms are at risk. Again, I don't
think that this could even possibly be in the purvue of the average wasp
type but I think about it.

4. Fighting terrorism. Goering said the easiest way to be totalitarian
is to scare the common person. Communism in the 20th century is
terrorism in the 21st. Its the boogeyman. Truth is that imho in a
guerrilla war (aka stealth play) the key issue is making sure the
incumbent does what they naturally do which is to oppress. Bush's real
belief that they are against our way of life just strikes me as
viloating just about everything I think about human nature. Most folks
that I've sold to don't care about the other guy as long as they are
doing ok. ..........Once that was done civil war
starts, sdo I'm not surprised the best recruiting vehicle is infact our
presence in iraw and afghanistan. Two islamic countries (irag btw is the
second holiest country in the middle east). Its the same old story that
one mans defense is another man's unjustified attack. it is not lost on
me that today vietnam andf china are the two friendliest countries to us
post 1975. How ironic is that.

5. The military. This is a highly personal one for me, but even though
I've never served a day, I'm a huger supporter of the men and women in
the us armed forces. Been since I was a kid. I've read probably
everything I can about the military and warfare. And it comes down to
one thing, the best battles fought are the ones where you never wage
war. So I think this neocon naked use of force is aanother terrible,
terrible long term msitake. There's a practical reason and a moral
reason. The practical one is that if you actually use a big stick, then
everyone knows you can't hit them. I'm a brown belt in karate and the
no. 1 thing you learn is that you hit the other guy *after* they punch.
Once you punch left you are committed left so a good kick with the right
leg in the groin is going to work. Burning up the all volunteer force (a
tiny cadre of highly professional folks) is really crazy. We talk about
only 5000 casulties until you realize the force multiplier we've lost.
We have a tiny militarty compared with what it takes to actually occupy
territory. Having 110% of our deployable military in iraq means two
things. We cannot respond conventionally to anything happening in korea,
pakistan or iran. So that leaves only once choice, our nukes or nothing
which just leaves to their nukes in the end. Yikes I really don't like
this end game.

4. Domestic. Heck in the old days it was big business democrats and
frugal republicans. This one hits me in the pocketbook, but have become
way too much of a socialist. I actually didn't mind paying higher taxes
with clinton. It was ok with me mainly again because when I see a street
cleaner I identify with them. If I were born 30 years ago believe me I'd
be cleaning the office rather being a found partner of it. So I
actually think a social safety net isn't a bad thing. And I'm a big
believer in fiscal responsibility which means I literally can't understand
the second tax cut.

Well, that's the longish answer. It all comes down to me to the fact
that I couldn't work for a guy like bush. He believes like lbj believed
while kerry, having met the guy, is ironically more corporate. He'd
listen decide and he'd say he's wrong. Enuf said. Sorry for the flame.

-----Original Message-----
From: John
Subject: I want to vote for kerry

But the guy is just so insane at some points. I'm reading in the
nytimes the text of his comments yesterday in columbus, and he is
holding bush accountable for the fact that there are more engineering
graduates in china and india than in the us.

Combined with his goosehunting expedition, he leaves me feeling that he
will say anything to anyone to get elected. not that georgie is
leaving much unsaid is his drive to stay in office. But man would I
love a positive choice.

I guess I just don't like politicians. Or politics.