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The International Writers Magazine
: US Election Comment: Reality Check 10.23.04

WHY GEORGE BUSH MUST GO
James Campion

'This is a nation in economic recession, at war on several fronts, and as divided socially, politically, and philosophically as its been since the Civil War.'

I do not think George W. Bush is evil. I don’t believe he stole the 2000 election, anymore than JFK stole the 1960 election, or is any more a puppet of big business and special interests groups than anyone else who has held or will hold the office of president. He lied about his doomed war in Iraq because that’s in the job description. Presidents have been lying about military campaigns since George Washington crushed the Whiskey Rebellion of 1794. The worst you can say about Captain Shoo-In is he’s in way over his head. If world events had gone differently for Bush then he might not have made a mess of it, but facts are - and have always been - facts. This president is a bust and he must go.

I’m not saying John Kerry should be president. Maybe he might be a bust too. But we know this guy hasn’t been any good. And that’s what elections are all about. They’re about the incumbent. How’s the guy in charge doing? This is a nation in economic recession, at war on several fronts, and as divided socially, politically, and philosophically as its been since the Civil War. Since George W. Bush was sworn in as president on 1/20/01, the United States has suffered the first foreign attack on its shores since 1812, the results of which has caused his administration to adopt a vicious lean on civil liberties under the guise of national fear and a questionable, if not rabid open invitation to war. Coupled with this ticket for aggression home and abroad, massive federal tax cuts has aided in turning a $230 billion budget surplus into a $445 billion deficit, which has adversely affected the national debt to dangerous record highs and consequently pushed poverty and unemployment rates to challenge The Great Depression. Under the umbrella of this leader of the free world, alienation of several sovereign powers and the United Nations has been unprecedented, and the record of CIA and FBI incompetence has reached cataclysmic proportions, leading to bankrupting the country with asinine government pork like the Department of Homeland Security.

Weak economy and questionable foreign policy, this is why Bust must go, not all this bullshit about him being evil or dumb, or Supreme Court Judges and God and gays and the moral fabric of the nation. This president has had a full term with his party sitting in majority of the House and Senate and there isn’t an economic or military factoid that backs his bid for re-election. It took Bill Clinton two years to implode with a Democratic majority, four years under Bush and a Republican congress has been an unmitigated disaster.
It’s not personal. It’s not politics. It’s there for all to see.

The times define a presidency, and the cold eye of history will mark George W. Bush as a simple cow poke who meant well, believed God aimed him toward the kind of manic impetuosity that turned everything foul and wretched. Mostly, he had the misfortune of circumstance and in its wake revealed a glaring inability to achieve a credible image of world leader. He surrounded himself by the wrong voices in an administration of ill-informed war hawks and big spenders who sold the kid down the river for a taste of the finer things.

George W. Bush has done the best he could. It’s just not good enough.

In the weeks and months after 9/11, the country was truly united and the world sympathetic to America. The president had a unique position to be what he claimed to be throughout his 2000 campaign, a "uniter, not a divider". This did not come to pass. The Bush foreign policy of aggressive tactics may have seemed genuinely proactive for the vengeful flag-waving jingoism that availed the populace back then, but has succeeded in creating a negative international view of the U.S. military campaigns and thus woefully compromised the integrity of this country abroad. This has not only cost the United States over 1,000 young lives on foreign soil and tons of cash, but can only irrevocably harm the safety and defense of the United States in the near future, and is the prime reason why there should be a change at the helm this November.

John Kerry is no prize in the endeavor of uniting anything. His senate record is all over the place and he has shown himself to be a weak candidate in terms of defending any issue, not to mention himself. But looking at this objectively, it is too late for George Bush. Even proponents of waging war on Iraq, and I must count myself as one, need to admit, as I do, that it has been handled poorly at best, and criminally insane at worst. Too few ground troops left to police and rebuild a government in the face of unyielding guerilla warfare with little to no intelligence support has paid too high a price for whatever agenda was proposed in March of 2003. As a result, the American people must hand the president his pink slip and allow him to take one for the team, so, in the end, Iraq will be his mistake, not ours.

Beyond Iraq, we are in it deep. In all due respect to The Left, with Bush gone or not, this nation’s aim to rid the world of terrorism is out of control, and it’s all ours now. But the president has created this lone-wolf imperialistic vision that just cannot stand in today’s post-Cold War economically dependent environment. Whether we like to admit it or not, we are tethered to the world dollar and international trade is forever connected to our future solvency. Proceeding ahead with the damaged diplomacy of this administration is fiduciary suicide. It’s bad business to renew the papers on this CEO. The alternative may not be great shakes, but the current boss is in the red.

Finally, the most glaring fault of George W. Bush has been from day one the absolute disdain for dissent from any voices outside the walls of the White House. Not since the black days of Nixon has the press been so thoroughly jerked around by a president, and in turn, the people left to guess what the hell is going on. Even proponents of Bush must admit there has been a lock down on this administration and a fear of information in the guise of protecting the national interest, and this from a man who barely won the office with no mandate to hang this kind of bitter resolve on.

Once again, I state, for the record, John Kerry is a jabbering wonk. Despite his rallying in the debates he has shown no solid platform, and has run a sophistic campaign of tired Washington rhetoric. It is blatantly obvious he has been tainted by the Beltway Swamp too long. But to turn the table on the Republican argument that the devil you know is better than the devil you don’t, even if you thank George Bush for acting like a shoot-from-the-hip cowboy for the past three and a half years, you have to see clear why now, more than ever, we need him to bow out gracefully and let someone else clean up his mess. He won’t do that of course, but that is what an electorate is for, and, with no faith in either candidate and no personal inclination towards John Kerry, I must urge it to oust the present executive for one who can save face and reverse the karma.

Then what the American people can say to the world and to our citizenry at large is we are not represented merely by our leadership, but by the people, who will watch the new guy like a hawk and if he compiles as poor a record in office as the last guy, he will also be shown the door
.

© James Campion Oct 23rd 2004
www.jamescampion.com

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