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“Bewildered by Kerry Supporters”

Once again, a letter to the editor of the News-Post has provided me with writing material.  This morning a letter by Kevin Moore of Mount Airy, titled “Bewildered by Kerry Supporters,” had this to say:  

“It bewilders me when I read letters from people voting for John Kerry because he'll raise the minimum wage, provide universal health care, institute more gun control, give credits for college tuition, and (my favorite) their hatred towards President Bush.” 

Ok, those are pretty divisive issues.  Perhaps he just has different opinions on those topics and doesn't understand the viewpoints of others. 

“Folks, we are at war and protecting this country from more 9/11's should trump any social issue.  Without security from terrorism, all other issues are effectively neutralized.  I know this is inconvenient for liberals but it is reality.” 

Ah, so we should ignore poverty, the prohibitive cost of medical treatment, the fact that we're leading the world in gun violence, the skyrocketing price of college tuition, and everything else that has happened under George Bush's watch because we're afraid of terrorists?  Way to be terrorized, Mr. Moore. 

Of course I think we should fix up our nation's security.  We do need to modernize our defenses for an age when we're not worrying about a country waging conventional warfare on us.   

But that DOES NOT mean we should ignore the problems that affect our daily lives.  In 2001, 11,106 murders were committed with firearms (this statistic is even ignoring non-gun related murders).  That's a lot more victims than there were on September 11, although it obviously wasn't as much of a spectacle.  Instead we hear about  gun crime every day on local news. 

The other issues he mentioned are self-explanatory.  The point is that we cannot simply triumph over terrorists by keeping them out of the country.  We have to beat them by not being afraid of them and by maintaining the high quality of life that has made this country so powerful.  We can be the most ridiculously secure nation in the world, but what will that matter if everyone is poor, sick, shot, or uneducated?  What exactly would we be defending then? 

“John Kerry has now questioned Mr. Bush's initial response to the 9/11 attacks, saying that he would have excused himself from the classroom and attended to the matter.  Ah, another one of many Kerry fallacies.  Mr. Kerry himself has said that he and other Democrat leaders were unable to think for 40 minutes between the time the second plane hit the WTC and when another plane hit the Pentagon. 

How's that for action!  Mr. Bush in the same amount of time had written a three-page statement, formed a makeshift command post at the school, telephoned Cheney, FBI director, New York governor, his chief of staff, communications director, and spokesman, and taken are of business while Mr. Kerry was sitting there wondering what flavor of ice cream was his favorite.” 

Needless to say (or so I thought), there is a difference between the President of the United States and a Senator.  Bush has been criticized for sitting in the classroom for 7 minutes after hearing that the nation was under attack because certain defensive measures can only be authorized by the President.  Although Cheney apparently filled in, and I'm not sure how he did this legally unless he decided Bush was unfit to command at the time, supposedly only the President can give the authorization to shoot down a commercial airplane.  What Bush did the rest of the day, while he was being flown all over the country, was just his job, which he took at least seven minutes too long to begin. 

On the other side, a Senator on that morning had no power to do anything at all.  From what I understand, most of them were scattered away from the Capitol.  So I'm not really sure what this letter writer would have rather had him do. 

“Sorry, folks.  If you elect this charlatan for president, then shame on you.  Castro, Arafat, Hussein, Jong-Il, Khamenei and terrorists want John Kerry to win.  Wonder why?  Perhaps they know more about Kerry than you do, though some of you do share a similar feeling with these fine humanitarians: hatred for President Bush.” 

Yes, I suppose I do wonder why, since I've never heard anything that would give anyone this impression.  Maybe this guy just believes in the saying, “The enemy of my enemy is my friend.”  In this case, Kerry opposes Bush, as do all of those “fine humanitarians” the writer listed.  On the other hand, I think most of the world opposes Bush, which would mean there are plenty of reputable people who support Kerry. 

No, I take that back.  “The enemy of my enemy is my friend” is a dumb phrase no matter how you spin it. 

So I guess if Kevin Moore is bewildered by Kerry supporters, I am bewildered by how so many of the people who support Bush because he's tougher on terrorism and security are still so afraid that they're willing to let the country crumble behind them as long as we keep converting the nation into a huge Fortress of Solitude.  Our President may be a wannabe cowboy, but he's no Superman.

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