With the presidential election approaching rapidely, it is important for me to express why I am voting for Bush. Most Christians feel that Bush is the "Christian vote," however, I do not neccesarily think that simply becuase he is "pro-life" and "pro-family," makes him the "Christian vote." Thus it becomes neccesary for me to explain why I am voting for Bush. This is best done by publishing a conversation I had with my friend Lissa. Lissa is a senior at Purdue University in West Lafeyette, IN, and in her own description is not a Christian, a environmentalist, and a democrat. I have always enjoyed Lissa's and mine friendship, as we are both honest, straighforward, and passionate, yet at the same time, we are able to communicate in a mature fashion. (One side note: this was a conversation over AOL Instant Messanger, so please excuse the spelling and grammatical errors.)
Political Conversation with Lissa
Lissa: Ok, even though you have made your decision, let me make one last appeal to you about John Kerry:
i am always interested in that...
Lissa: (I feel as though its my duty as an environmentalist and a democrat )
Lissa: i know Iraq has basically dominated this campaign, and will decide votes for alot of people, even me
Andy: unfortunatley...but true
Lissa: but the fundamental difference between the candidates is not just a war or specific decisions relating to the war: its just the difference between democrats and republicans-the difference between every pair of candidates in every election:
democrats believe in more government and republicans believe in less-that is to say democrats believe in social welfare programs while republicans believe in free markets
Andy: exactly...i am glad someone else recognizes that
Lissa: so you have to decide not only on iraq, but the SET OF IDEAS you want to be behind the decisions made in iraq
Andy: you would not believe the answers I get to the differences between dem. and rep.
Lissa: anyone who takes a basic political science class is taught that-those people who say republicans create an america responsible for terrorism and the liberal extremists are just uneducated in my opinion
you cant be THAT extreme about things and have honestly looked at both sides, ya know?
but you just have to think about this: bush is quicker to use force than kerry would most likely be
kerry i have no doubt would support a war on terrorism, but just do it in a multilateral way
Andy: i'm listenting...
Lissa: and the U.S. is without a doubt the most militarily powerful country in the world-but i think with that power comes a GREAT need for restraint (which has its time and place as well-obviously a quick response was needed for osama, but bush messed that up too-he didnt even deploy enough troops to do it-he sacrificed efficiency for quick response, and just put people over there without completely thinking out his plan of action)
while kerry i think has more of that restraint, but its combined with the knowledge that he does have the best military in the world at his disposal and i doubt he would refrain from using it if he found the cause just
i just think bush has a faster trigger finger than kerry, and he pulls the trigger at the wrong time
so the question isnt the USE of force, both candidates agree on that, its just the responsibility with which you use it.
ok, i'm done now
Andy: ok give me one second...i'm in class so i'm trying to take notes and talk at the same time
Lissa: lol ok
read it, get back to me on your opinion
Andy: i've read it all...ok...here's goes...
first of all...your first observation about the difference between republicans and democrats is both accurate and explains the reason why ultimately I am a republican...
Lissa: fair enough
Andy: while i disagree with a lot of rebulican policy (i.e. tax cuts)...when it comes down to it, I believe a government should be as small as possible and let things work them out for themselves...
the exception of this comes to when the public is unable to accomplish a goal that can only be truly aided with the support of a large entity (i.e. the american government)
this is why i support social security, welfare, and most importantly international aid (becuase despite as 'poor' as we think our poor are here in the states, that compares NOTHING to the poverty there is outside of our borders)
Andy: now...as you said it with military, i am going to say it with money, with great wealth comes great responsbility...i believe...whether it is on a micro-level (my own life), or a macro-level (the american government), I believe we are blessed only so that we can bless others...which means we need to take the insanely large GDP that we have and be doing more to end poverty, oppression and starvation on this world as diplomatically and monetarially as possible
now...this is where it comes back to your question...
Lissa: i agree alot with that statement
Andy: as I have traveled the world and spent time in the middle east (Jordan & West Bank) and starving nations (i.e. South Africa)...one of the largest obsticles to America (or NGOs) aiding those that are starving and oppressed is the fact that government won't allow us to...I know...it sounds ridiculous...but despot government are a LARGE problem to us being able to take care of the AIDS problem in Africa, or starvation in the Middle East. Now this in of itself does not justify using force...which is why I say we need to restrain from invaiding Sudan, and Saudi Arabia...
however, with Iraq, my perspective on this is that this was not just Bush pulling the trigger...but rather years and years of a despot dictator that oppressed millions of his OWN people (take the millions of Kurds he killed in the northwest region of his country), launched SAMs on Israel during the first Gulf War, and the list goes on an on and on about the horrible atrocities that this man has done...and in my case, I cannot sit idlely by and continue to let a dictator do that...and when force is neccessary, i think force should be used...especially when force is used by the other leader to control and threaten his people
now two questions must be asked...
one...do I support us invaiding every dictator of this world to end oppression
the answer to that is no...the circumstances have to be right that includes the outcome of the war will reap a better life-environment than before the war...
which is why i think invaiding governments in africa would not work...
the other pre-requisite is that the government we are taking on has used force on both within and outside of their borders
now i know this is not why bush went into iraq...and i think for the most part...he was wrong to into iraq based on his reasoning...but as a person who supports the global alleviation of suffering to a region dear to my heart like the middle east...I can't help but support an action that I feel will ultimately lead to a better Iraq for the Iraqi people...even if it has to go through some growing pains (i.e. war) to get there...
i have one more thing and then i'll shut up...
Lissa: no this is good stuff
the best argument i have heard for the war so far
Andy: President Clinton was one of the best "international presidents" we have ever had...his diplomacy with Europe was phenoniminal...and I think that he was the leader of this nation in the time and season that he was because given the current world situation...he was what america needed...but two things that I must observe...one..obviously people hated us on a massive level even when clinton was in power which is evident simply by the fact that Al Qaida was planning these attacks long before good ole-W was even thinking of running for office...so having good diplomacy with Europe does us no good it certain very hostile regions of the world...my other point is that this world is no longer the world President Clinton was in charge of...I wish it were...but its not...and given the current predicament the world finds itself in...I think we have reached a point where diplomacy and sanctions will no longer work, and we have to start looking at more aggressive options in order to end suffering and persecution as well as securing our homeland security
so to answer your question...in my opinion...I think the more responsible use of force would be to secure Iraq and say to the world we will no longer stand by and accept oppression
there i'm done
the most valid argument i have ever heard for becoming a republican
no one has ever come so close to convincing me
Andy: well...that's good...considering i'm a pretty "weak" republican given the fact I'm for taxes and welfare programs
well i should say the best justification to the war
Andy: the more important thing in my mind is not whether your are democrat or republican...but rather that you are sticking up for people that can't stick up for thesmelves...and ultimatley I get that from the fact that 1 out of ever 16 verses in the New Testament tells us to do that
i would NEVER have thought like this had I stayed in Southwest Allen, grew up the son of Attorney and never met Christ...i would have become a wealthy doctor...want huge tax cuts so i could keep my money...and not really care about those outside of our borders
Lissa: that is seriously so great
Lissa: can i put that in my away message?
those last two statements?
because they seriously just made my day
Lissa: if you say no b/c its personal
Andy: ohh heck no...nothing i ever say is "personal"
ok awesome- because people like you are why i enjoy christians
and dont enjoy the christians who use it to judge people
Andy: well good...there are enough christians out there that people don't like...its good you have some that you do
Lissa: true that
Andy: don't get me wrong...judgement has its place...for example...i am making a judgement on Saddam's leadership by saying he is oppressive...
Lissa: right, and that's fine
Andy: we have to be able to call a duck and duck
Lissa: we have to make judgements
Andy: now from my perspective that doesn't mean that "God hates gays," but I still feel, from the same scripture i pull my allieviation of suffering beliefs, that homosexuality is wrong as well...and I have to stand just as boldly on that...as I do for sticking up for the poor (sorry to use a totally clich example)
Lissa: no thats fine
i completely understand that
the whole thinking homosexuality is wront
Andy: well lis...it was totally a pleasure to to talk to you...i have to get goign because class is over and i am sitting in this classroom all by myself
thats quite the vision
Andy: but you have a great day and I look forward to other conversations like these
Lissa: me too!
Andy: i know...i am all alone...in a corner...crying
Lissa: have a wonderful day!
Andy: you too