Friday, October 29, 2004

And the Nation Holds Its Breath

Four days before the election, and the nation is holding its collective breath. There is the obvious suspense as to how the election itself will play out. Conservatives and liberals both have a lot to lose in this election. We have two presidential candidates who are almost completely across the ideological spectrum from each other and this has served to galvanize voters, legal and otherwise, as almost never before. I encourage readers to read Ted Cruz’s commentary on National Review (referenced through the title of this post).

As those following security news are already well aware, there also hangs above us the threat of a large scale terrorist attack intended to sway the election in favor of Kerry. Spain’s democratic process suffered a blow from terrorists who got exactly what they were hoping for – a socialist, pacifist prime minister who is almost guaranteed to do the barest minimum necessary to address terrorism in any form (save against abortion clinics or minorities). Since the terrorists already hate us and since a Bush presidency would be much harder on them, they would be foolish to not do anything they could to influence our elections.

Likewise, other nations are holding their breath. North Vietnam, Iran, and Syria have high stakes in the outcome of our election. As evidenced by Libya’s acknowledgement and cessation of their nuclear efforts, an aggressive U.S. foreign policy is bad news for rogue nations willing to procure and wield WMDs. Kerry’s idea of foreign policy and his history of hostility towards the U.S. military would work well in these nations’ favor.

Afghanistan and Iraq should also keep an eye on our election. The opposition forces in these nations still have considerable power and would surge back quickly at any perceived weakness or hesitation in our military, such as awaiting global approval before taking any aggressive action. If we pull our forces out before these fledgling democracies are ready, which is likely to happen under a Kerry administration, all the battles will have been in vain.

Back home we have up to five Supreme Court justices who may be retiring within the next four years. The president will be responsible for replacing these retirees out of a pool of what he considers to be ideal candidates. Several high profile cases have made their way, or are making their way, up to the Supreme Court. The endless 2000 election recounts were halted by a 5-4 majority of the Supreme Court. It isn’t unrealistic to assume this could happen in future elections.

Domestic policy will be strongly influenced by one of two individuals with diametrically opposed political and moral leanings. Bush is conservative almost across the board and Kerry is one of the most liberal senators in history. Each of them will attempt to shape their cabinets in what they see as an ideal image, and these cabinets will push America in the direction they deem best for the nation as a whole.

So much is riding on the next four days. So much will ride on the subsequent days, weeks, or even months afterward while all the lawsuits run their course. And it’s just so tiring. I personally can’t wait until the election is over, and I want it to be over in a clear, uncontestable manner with no sustainable charges of fraud or disenfranchisement. That’s a pipe dream, I know, but I want it to be clearly over and I want Bush to win. The stakes are too high and a Kerry presidency would be disastrous for virtually everything I, as a conservative Catholic, hold dear.


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