It’s quite remarkable how the US Presidential election is already so heated, yet still 9 months before the people go to the polls in November.
As a political junkie, for me, the next 9 months will be like watching an extended Super-Bowl, where each team is equally balanced on defence and offense. Where the result will depend more on a fumble, interception or last minute field-goal from center-field, on an issue far removed from jobs, the economy and national security.
I like the way the Bush team is holding John Kerry accountable for everything he did and said from the time of his birth. I equally like the way the Kerry team is holding Bush accountable for character, much the way Bush senior held Clinton accountable.
The Bush ads equating Bush with 9/11 are pretty vile. 3,000 or so people didn’t die on 9/11 to get George W Bush re-elected. To include scenes of 9/11 and the firefighters in his political message, is in fact making 9/11 all about Bush. If they’re smart, they’ll pull the ads.
I remember 9/11 as if it happened just this morning. I remember Bush on Air Force One, flying all over the country looking for safety, while Mayor Rudy Giuliani was running towards harm’s-way, now and then removing the cloth held to his face to filter out the smoke and dust only to bark out orders.
And here’s Bush typecasting himself as the hero of 9/11. There’s something very wrong with this picture.
Bush has a record to defend. And after all is said and done . . . Kerry doesn’t.
Kerry’s Senate voting record is meaningless when one analyses how issues are voted on. To vote for one part of a Bill, very often the Senator has to accept separate objectionable parts within it. This gives a false impression which Bush’s people will take full advantage of. And so would I, if I was them.
But Kerry isn’t the President. And as such, he is not responsible for the way things are today in the USA. He is only one (of 100) Senator who has a limited say in the management of the American government, and even less in its foreign policies.
It is also fascinating how the Bush team has pulled out all the stops to get Osama Bin Laden, believing his capture or execution will clinch 4 more years for Bush. For all we know, they might already have him in their sights, and are just waiting for the most opportune time to pull the trigger.
Kerry’s non affiliated supporters are running biting televison ads asking the right questions of Bush, while imaging a USA under fiscal and social attack. These ads cut deep.
I don’t know how Bush can square the circle of Americans living on welfare, having to call India or other countries for information on their social assistance.
Bush’s people are running ads that make Kerry look as if he is soft on defence, even though 9/11 will be 3 years ago by the time of the November 2004 election.
We also have to realize that since 9/11, there hasn’t been an attack on American soil or against American property abroad. Not even a little one (not including Iraq and Afghanistan). Nonetheless, Bush’s people will keep the threat of attack boiling on the front burner.
Bush’s team has teed off on “moral” issues such as “faith based” policies and proposed Constitutional changes that are anti-gay rights.
Here’s the middle-ground where Bush loses me, and where the football can be kicked form center-field through the uprights. Same as I think it is probably where Bush will lose a lot of moderate Conservative votes.
I live in a small somewhat religious (at least they pretend to be religious) rural area in South Eastern Ontario. The multiplex movie theatre in the next “big” city of Cornwall (population about 50,000) serves all the small towns, and except for weekends, when the farmers, families and kids come to see movies, it’s usually deserted. But not these past few weeks.
The Passion of The Christ is sold out – all the time. And regardless of the overwhelming consensus on how violent it is, there are no shortage of young children who are brought by their parents to see it. I’m talking about kids as young as 10 years old.
The people exiting the movie appear to be mesmerized.
Last week, the local area newspaper asked its readers to comment on the movie, with the results posted on their current front page.
Every comment, with the exception of just one was similar. They all agreed that this was the most important movie they ever saw. And finally: the “real” truth and “actual” description of the Crucifixion of Jesus Christ was portrayed AS IT REALLY WAS.
How do any of these people know how it really was? Gibson doesn’t know how it really was – or if it was at all. None of us know because none of us were there. Yet, this movie is now part of the Gospel and the undebatable and undeniable truth.
Anne and I were so disturbed by the expressions on the faces of the people leaving the theatre, that we decided not to go back there until they stop showing the movie.
So you ask: What does this movie have to do with George W Bush, John Kerry and the US Presidential election?
Simple: The people who are so committed to this fundamentalist belief, are the same mesmerized unquestioning people who will vote for Bush en masse. Bush is these people.
Even though I have a Conservative bent; I favour freedom of choice, freedom of Gay marriage, a fully government financed healthcare system, and ABSOLUTE separation between Church and State.
Bush’s fundamentalism bothers me to no end. And that’s why this campaign is going to be more exciting than any campaign in memory.
In essence, the battle for the White House will eventually be decided not on jobs, the economy or security. But rather on fundamental issues that divide the religious right from the secular left.
The deciding votes will be cast by the Conservative and Liberal middle. And if I was an American with the right to vote, I would be one of the people in the middle. And my vote would not go anywhere near religious and Conservative fundamentalism.
Here is my prediction:
George W Bush will lose the White House to John Kerry, if Bush continues to fight on a far Right “faith based” platform. And if I was Kerry’s people, I would make certain to force the issue at every opportunity.
My money goes to Kerry by more than just a squeaker.