I confess that I am an independent. My first choice for president in 2000 was John McCain, and not even because I agreed with all of his positions. It was a vote for integrity, which is even more important than positions. At least, that's my view.
Recently, I heard Robert Novak state that Bush has plans to begin pulling our troops out of Iraq shortly after the U.S. elections, but he will not admit to this now. This is the same newsman who used administration contacts to help "out" the undercover CIA operative, so I suspect this story is accurate.
In the face of obvious disasters, Bush keeps talking in optimistic platitudes. We're going to stay the course, he insists. Have any mistakes been made? It seems irrelevant to him. It's full steam ahead.
This blind approach to power has caused me to review his business history. I can only imagine his internal dialog. "This is not working? So what! I'm not changing my strategies." The difference is that back then someone else had to pick up his pieces. Today, it is the American people who have to pick up the pieces left from failed diplomacy, failed planning, failed war and a spiraling deficit. It is the American people who are hated around the world and therefore less safe.
Will John Kerry be any better? Will he bring something called wisdom to the table instead of braggadocio? Will he temper power with thoughtful restraint? Will he cooperate with other nations while protecting us? Will he be able to reverse the spiraling deficit? Will he get us out of the quagmire of Iraq? Will he have a more pro-active and balanced approach in the Middle East -- the underlying cause of most of the terrorism?
One can only hope. Because it is not correct, as Bush has said repeatedly, that they just don't like our values. No woman or man blows themselves up because of the values of people living thousands of miles away.
They blow themselves up because our policies are impacting them negatively. They are blowing themselves up because they feel they have nothing to lose.
This independent has no other option but to vote for John Kerry and the possibility that he will govern with wisdom, strength and true compassion, all attributes that are sorely lacking in our current leadership.
Pat Rollins, Payson