My personal musings about anything that gets on my radar screen--heavily dominated by politics.


Why I Am A Republican, part III [addended]

It took quite a while for me to start paying attention to the 2000 election. I knew, of course, that Al Gore would be the Dem nominee--the prince-in-waiting, the "best prepared candidate ever." But the Republicans were pretty hard to figure, and I wasn't paying attention to the primaries. Of course, by early summer it was obvious that it would George W. Bush, and the choice was there.

In the end, after listening to everything the two men said, and paying strangely close attention to the debates, I arrive at the decision to support George W. Bush. My decision was largely based on two things:

:tax policy--Gore seemed to believe that the money the government collected was their right, and the disposition thereof was best left to the "experts" in the government; Bush, on the other hand, worked from the assumption that the money belonged to the people, and the the government had a duty to use it responsibly, and return to the people what it didn't need.

:"the working poor"--I got so sick of hearing this phrase from Gore that it made me ill; I have been working my whole life--in middle school I worked to qualify to get into advanced classes; in high school I worked to get grades to get a scholarship and get accepted to a good school while I was working a part-time job to save money while I was working to be a better trumpet player so I could pursue my ultimate goals; in college I worked to pay for college while working to get good grades to get other scholarships while working to build a resume that might get me a decent shot at a good job; ever since I've been working, often picking up jobs during the summer to afford a better life and a future for my family. But, somehow, in the liberal world, the only people who count as "working" are those who work with their hands and their backs, and that mostly only applies to people who never rose to management or who lived at or below poverty; and there is absolutely nothing inherently wrong with that--just don't imply that because I started doing the hard work when I was 12 that I no longer work. So, yeah, the assumptions behind Gore's populist platform turned me off--"targeted tax cuts" that only Robin Hood could hit don't do much for me.

And then I started watching the campaign. Whew, what a mess.

I had a pretty good idea a couple weeks out that it would be close, but I thought W had a pretty good hold on the election. And then the Dems dropped the dirty trick--seriously, in what world does a 25-year old incident constitute a pivotal consideration? But it did.

And my anger at the liberal machine began to grow.

I watched the coverage on election night VERY closely--close enough that I knew that the very early call of Florida for Gore had to be a crock. Honestly, at the time they made the call, it was something like 7% of precincts reporting and Bush out in front 52-47. And my anger at the liberal machine grew still more.

Eventually, of course, the networks reversed themselves; this was at about 1130 pm local time. But I sensed it wasn't over, so I fell asleep on the couch watching the coverage. I guess it was about 2 in the morning when Gore reversed himself on his concession, and the games began.

And my anger at the liberal machine grew . . .

And THEN there was the Florida recount . . .


[ADDENDUM] It occurs to me that I forgot two fairly significant considerations in my choice to support George W. Bush in 2000: Israel and the U.S.S. Cole.

I watched with horror, as I think did most Americans, as the summer intifada played out in Israel in 2000. To me, the idea that Bill Clinton had basically strong-armed the Israelis into offering Yasser Arafat almost everything he asked for, only to be repaid by submachine guns at wedding parties and bombs in pizzarias, laid lie to everything the liberals held dear. "Talk, not guns; negotiation not confrontation . . . " blah blah blah. NO foreign leader occupied as much of Bill Clinton's time as Yasser Arafat, and as soon as he finally gets what he wants he initiates one of the bloodiest summers in recent memories. And, of course, that folly isn't enough for the liberals; no, no, no, they had to add to the problem by blaming the Israelis for their own dead. While a lot of the world began to understand that Arafat's refusal to accept "yes" for an answer defined the problem as existential for Israel, the Left and the Clinton/Gore administration blithely continued to preach at the Israelis and demur towards the most anti-Semitic body in the western world: the U.N. It was embarrasing.

Add to that the bombing of the U.S.S. Cole in the Fall of 2000, and the picture began to develop pretty clearly of what happens when the U.S. abdicates its authority in the world to the feckless and impotent United Nations: a place more dangerous for Americans than in our worst "war-mongering" years. My brother is a pilot for the U.S. Navy, and 17 of his brothers-in-arms went down on that day. That struck a little closer to home than I care to think about, and I'm quite convinced that, though Clinton was in no way to blame directly, the idea of approaching terrorism as a law enforcement problem and only with the approval of our "allies" contributed to that day.

As I mentioned once before, the basic liberal tripe and cliche about the world failed both the Israelis and our own sailors in the buildup to the 2000 election. So, as Al Gore campaigned on a platform of "peace and prosperity," I could only laugh at the cluelessness.

And, of course, support the oher guy.


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