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Comments

I voted for President Bush because I know him personally [from Midland Texas], know that what he says is what he means and believes and that he will carry forward with the policies that are best for the United States.

I voted for Bush because he is not overly complex. He says what he means and means what he says. He is a man not afraid to act on his convictions and doesn't use polls to make up is mind and act.

I voted for Bush becasue after 30 years of marriage we are the best off we have been in our pocket book. We live on a public schools teachers income. We are not "rich" Yet the Democrats say we are and have raised our taxes every chance. The US has shown that we expect people to live up to agreements they make with us.(Saddam) We have shown we will not enter into stupidly binding agreemnts to make other nations happy at the disadvantage to ourselves (Kyoto.) We have shown we do not need the ICC which will not even give out the death peanalty and we will will prosecute any of our service people and imprison those who break the military code of conduct on our own.

We so far have disproven all the sreeching of the pseudo-intellectual self selected elites in europe and the US. So why do they keep their anti-US-citizen attacks up? The only thing I can figure is would be their hate and envy. It's not what reasonable of logical people who were true friends and allies would do.

First, your observation that "Perhaps that is why so many Europeans are suddenly so conciliatory" apparently doesn't include Chirac. I just read that he has snubbed Alawi, while going out of his way to visit Arafat. So much for conciliation, frog-wise.
Second, I really doubt that "many" Europeans are conciliatory. This is contrary to your website's prediction that the German elites and populace will remain aggressively anti-American.

Now to the question: why did I vote for Bush? From an American perspective, that is a strange question. Why should it be a question at all? We have 2 (mass) parties, each of which will normally attract something close to 50% of the popular vote. Anyone voting for either candidate falls into a very normal category: he/she agrees with about 1/2 (give or take a few percentage points) of his/her fellow Americans, and disagrees with about 1/2(give or take a few percentage points) on the respective merits of two perfectly respectable and legitimate candidates. That sounds like routine democracy at work. Why should this election be any different?

I contend that it should not be, and was not -- not really -- in America. Sure, the stakes and issues this time were higher, and the passions more inflamed (at least in the media), and the turnout higher, etc., etc. The most passionate whackos on either side (e.g., whacko M Moore, but you could probably find counterparts on the fringe right -- the difference being that said M Moore seemed to capture the imagination of the media and the dems, whereas his right-wing counterparts (if such really exist) got no attention whatsoever) were just that: whackos, with no resonance in the larger populace.
I voted for B. I firmly support his entire foreign policy/national security agenda, particulary concerning the GWOT and Iraq. Among the 48/49% of those who voted for K I am certain that at least 80% would be fellow Americans with whom I have considerable rapport and mutual understanding. We might (or might not) differ on, say, the question of whether or not we should have attacked Iraq. It would be a legitimate issue of difference and debate, but not an issue that absolutely alienates us, one from the other, rendering civil debate and mutual understand/respect impossible.

So why ask the question: why did I vote for B? Would you have asked: why did someone vote for K? Would you have have bothered to ask Germans why someone voted for Schroeder? The very question presumes that that there is something "odd" -- something that needs explanation -- for voting for Schroeder, or for B or K. That is clearly not the case: they were candidates of mass parties, expected to attract significant portions of the votes. There is nothing "odd", or in need of explanation, about why anyone would have voted for any of these candidates.

Should this American election be viewed differently? I contend that it should not -- certainly not from an American perspective. This, I think, is the real divide between American and (Old) Europe. To an American, the question is simply the routine question in any election: Given two candidates of two mass parties, it is completely normal, routine, legitimate, etc., etc., for any voter to choose one or the other. One or the other will, in the final analysis, win a (small) majority, and will be President. That is what has happened, and, IMHO, 95% or more of Americans view it from that common-sense perspective.

So why do German, Europeans, or whoever, view it otherwise? The very fact that you ask the question "Why did you vote for B" implies that anyone who so voted needs to somehow explain or justify said vote to Europeans. Bullshit! A vote for B is routine and normal. A vote for K is routine and normal. Very few Americans (super-hyper partisans excepted) would every think otherwise. That some in Europe/Germany may think otherwise is irrelevant to American politics -- but is, I think, deeply revealing about the apparently wide-spread failure of many Europeans to understand America.

This I regret, deeply. I am almost ready to completely give up on (Old) Europe. Old Europe is almost irrelevant to the US, in any serious strategic calculation. But I retain emotional ties to Old Europe. I spent considerable time, as a young and idealistic student, in Germany (a year at the then Technische Hochschule Stuttgart, jetzt eine Universitaet), in the process learning German (Ich kann es immer noch vollkommen verstehen, und einigermassen gut sprechen). I think I understand, psychologically and politically, the rampant anti-Americanism on current display throughout Old Europe. It will, I think, abate, in the fullness of time. But, if it doesn't, I'm perfectly prepared to simply say: so be it, I no longer give a shit about Old Europe.

That sentiment highlights my very latest comment: many in Europe seem to think that (Old) Europe's attitude toward the US is of great importance. I doubt that it is, strategically, long-run. No one seems concerned about the converse Frage: what do Americans think about (Old) Europe? IMHO Americans do not, any longer, care much about (Old) Europe. Does that matter? Possibly not. But it will surely matter more, to the future of global civilization, than what (Old) Europeans think about the US

My 2 cents.

Ben Crain

Wow!! Judging from what I read here about the German media on your site you are definitely behind enemy lines. I might be able to get a Seal team in to pick you up. What a wonderful site you have. I am heartened by the fact that clear thinking people like yourself are making afight out of it. It must be demoralizing to hear that crap in the media day in and day out. I won't watch much of the media here but we do have choices like Fox and the blogosphere and the trend is up. Great work!!

I voted for President Bush because I support him in his bringing the war back to the Islamo-facists who started it. Although it has been many decades since my sister and I lived in New York City, I used to work 4 blocks from the World Trade Center, and my sister used to work in the World Trade Center. I will remember the day that the Twin Towers were destroyed just as I remember exactly where I was when I found out President Kennedy had been murdered. I support President Bush's general foreign policy of considering first the interests of the United States, and those of our true allies who support us in our time of need. I also support his domestic programs of reforming social security so that it doesn't go belly-up when I turn 67; of reduction and rationalization of federal taxes so that the US economy can continue to grow; of fostering reform of education through competition of schools; and of nominating federal judges who will interpret, not alter, the constitution and the laws.

I voted against Senator Kerry because I am a VietNam War veteran of the US Navy. I was over there in 1967 on the USS Fox, DLG-33. I was not a war criminal, druggy, or baby killer. My shipmates were not war criminals, druggies, or baby killers:--and neither were Senator Kerry's shipmates, either on the USS Gridley, or in the Swift Boat squadron. A whole generation of American Veterans were maligned by his lies as president of VVAW, and for years suffered discrimination in employment and in social life because of those lies. I will never vote for a man who craps on his shipmates. Further, Senator Kerry had private meetings with officials of North VietNam while we were still at war, and while he was still a commissioned officer in the US Naval Reserve. I will never ever vote for a traitor.

I'll go with Louis's answer, but change the ship to the USS Dennis J. Buckley and the time to 1965-1967. It was one tour split into two parts. Neither I, nor my shipmates, were baby killers.

I have many reasons, international and domestic why I supported W.

#2 international reason is that we've been a thorn in Europe's side for 225++ years and I see no reason to stop now.

Backlash Against Big Media, Euro-Snobs, Clearly Played Significant Role in Bush's Re-election
They realize that they have irreparably failed in trying to tear down President Bush and influence Americans.

Failing logic. If the first sentence is true, then the americans have been influenced.

Second point, I strongly agree with Ben. To claim that, the socalled "Big Media and Euro-Snobs" or "angry-left", have had a significant impact on the american election is an astonishingly arrogant view of the general american voter. A view similar to the one the Guardian expressed when they thought they could influence the american voters. You are obviously very exited that Bush won, and feel the need to strike left and right....erh..left and left at those who held a different opinion, but this is bs, this is belittling the american democracy.

And on a final note. Four more years of Bush, can very well widen the cleft between Europe and the US. And this would please the american isolationists and the european "angry-left".

Although I'm not American I feel exactly the same as most of you.

Originally I was even disappointed when Bush was elected in 2000, but the anti-Bush media campaign here in Germany in the course of the Iraq war (especially after Abu Ghureib) was so unbelievable disgusting, hypocritical and hysterical that I never could have imagined it before.

It turned me from an opponent into an outright Bush-Fan within a few months and the news of his re-election were the best since the fall of Baghdad.

I also must admit that I'm really ashamed of the amazing stupid majority in my country who believes all this one-sided bullshit. Their faces alone were already worth nailbiting until 4'o clock in the morning. And now they have to take it FOUR MORE YEARS! :-)))

"For insight, however, I suggest that holidays or other visits to the US not be limited to Boston, New York and Los Angeles."

Well, that's what I did. I've spent more time in the Midwest than I ever cared to do. And that's exactly why Bush and his born again friends scare me.

I am an independent and a classical liberal and not a conservative. I voted for Bush because we need a strong leader who understands that in order to win we have to be on the offensive in the GWOT. I supported bringing Saddam to justice and liberating 24 million Iraqis and giving them the opportunity to establish a free society not only as an end in itself, but also as part of a larger strategy in the GWOT to oppose islamofascism with liberal democracy.

I was deeply troubled by the leftward lurch of the Democratic Party and the dominance of transnational socialist ideology with its ambition of subordinating the American people to the "one best way" approved by the French, Germans, EU and UN, which has proven itself to be a massive failure.

Equally troubling is the ubiquity in Europe of anti-American bigotry and hatred. It is a pattern that keeps reappearing again and again. Many Europeans need to look in mirror and wonder "Why do we hate?"


Arthur Xantos above falls for one of the most repeated historical false information: the Boston Teaparty did not happen because Britain decided to tax tea (it was already taxed) or tax tea higher than before. Actually, the protest occured because Britain had decided to lower the tax on tea. Which would have destroyed the earnings and bussinesses of a large number of smuglers and dealers in New England (same like our Cigarett Smuglers in Germany nowadays). All in all of course the slogan "no taxation without representation" made sense anyway, because lowering and rising of taxes without your ability to be heard is still unjust. But the protest did not come from lawabiding good "burgher" but mainly from clever traders and smuglers.

Yes, I am a wise guy, smart ass....... I know!

Look, you guys don't agree with Bush's foreign policies or his political agenda. That's perfectly fine, but you're not american citizens. You have no say in who we can and cannot elect. Morally? That war in Iraq? It was the right thing to do. Sure, a lot of people are going to die and get harmed in the process. But I'd rather those people be free to enjoy the same freedoms we do. Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Why should WE americans be the only one to enjoy that luxury?

I may not like what people may say about the war, or their political viewpoints.. But I will fight to the death for their right to do so.

Understand? Bush doesn't back down from anything. He knows what needs to be done. Kerry on the other hand went to Vietnam and then came back to badmouth his own countrymen. That's not right. I'm sure you'd agree. I didn't vote for Kerry because he will say anything to get elected.

Simple as that. Bush may not be perfect and he may not be the smartest in the book, but he does get things done. Whether people like it or not, everyone should have the right to live their lives the way they want. That's all we're doing over in Iraq. This Blood for oil bullshit needs to stop.

Backlash Against Big Media, Euro-Snobs, Clearly Played Significant Role in Bush's Re-election...They realize that they have irreparably failed in trying to tear down President Bush and influence Americans.

They failed to influence Americans inasmuch as they failed to get them to vote Kerry. In fact, their attempts to influence backfired.

I guess you are trying to say that that is another form of influence. Maybe so.

First, your observation that "Perhaps that is why so many Europeans are suddenly so conciliatory" apparently doesn't include Chirac. I just read that he has snubbed Alawi, while going out of his way to visit Arafat. So much for conciliation, frog-wise.
Second, I really doubt that "many" Europeans are conciliatory. This is contrary to your website's prediction that the German elites and populace will remain aggressively anti-American.

Fair point Ben. I do think that some Europeans have been shocked into being conciliatory short term. But after the shock subsides they will go right back to the status quo.

I voted for 'W' because he is an honest man who says what he means and does what he says. That wouldn't be enough, but the things he says he'll do: Take less money away from the working people of America, when the war against the Islamofascists, is what I want to happen. I wish he would reduce spending, but no one is perfect.

With Kerry, I have no idea what-so-ever what he would do on any subject, other than raise some Taxes. I could detect no firm beliefs or plans from him.

"WIN the war against the Islamofacists" sheesh, its early here.

Thanks for you site David. My heritage is German, its good to see a sane voice from the old country.

I do believe that the difference between Americans and Europeans is both real and contrived. Religion and faith are some of the real differences. Lack of a real opposition media in Europe is responsible for the contrived differences. I think Europeans need to seek out alternatives to their present avenues of information. I think the reason this is so, is because of the differences in the cost and availability for internet access between the USA and Europe. High speed access is necessary for anything more than e-mail, or limited access to information. Once Europe has more and faster access, your view of America will be different, as you will be able to read how all Americans feel, both on the left and on the right. This is important, just as it is important to understand the Middle East. Read Iraq the Model (iraqthemodel.blogspot.com), healing Iraq and the Mesopotamian, and several of the other bloggers in Iraq to see how these people really feel about Americans, the French, and Europe.

America is leading the world in our fight against Islamofascists. The so called war on terror is really a war on tyranny and a war for representation, Democracy, if you will. Americans have proven that no matter how hard, no matter how many sacrifices we make, we will continue to help Afganistan and Iraq obtain their freedom. This is the only reason for our fight, to save our brothers and sisters from horrible dictators.

@lyssa...
I´m sure that the mid-westerners were also very happy to see you go.....

@everyone else....
I voted for Bush because of many reasons

1. I´ve been very satisfied with what he´s done these last few years.
I didn´t vote for him in 2000. I had allways voted democrat. But those days are over.
2. Bush says what he means and sticks to it. So what you see is exactly what you get. you couldn´t say that for Kerry.Bush beleives in people and not groups. He went and placed black folks in two of the most powerful posistions in the american govt. And there´s no way in hell you can call that pandering or tokenism. That showed a lot of guts and character.
3. What Kerry did when he came back from Vietnam was/is totaly stomach churning.
4. Just take a look at all of Kerry´s big shot friends and supporters (SHUDDER!!!!)
5. The Dems have gone so far to the left and the lunatic fringe that it´s scary.
6. The way the press has carried on over here!!! I´m sick and tired of all of it! If one more idiot asks me who I´m voting for (or now who I voted for)and then after I say "Bush" they look at me as if I just admitted to sodomizing handicaped children I´ll probably have to open up eine dose Arschtritt!!!
7. LOOK AT ALL OF THE PEOPLE WHO HAVE A PSYCHOPATHIC HATRED OF BUSH!! I don´t just judge a man by his friends. I also judge him by who his enemies are.

@ Lyssa

"I've spent more time in the Midwest than I ever cared to do. And that's exactly why Bush and his born again friends scare me."

Feel free to spend your next vacation in Ibiza and sun your titties with the other chubby, middle-aged, hedonistic Euro matrons.

@ Pat

"Actually, the protest occured because Britain had decided to lower the tax on tea. Which would have destroyed the earnings and bussinesses of a large number of smuglers and dealers in New England"

Take it from a born-native Bostonian: The Colonists protested Parliment's
implementation of special tax on Boston. This tax paid for the garrisoning of 10,000 British troops in Boston. The colonist thought that neither hostile Indians nor the French were any longer a threat to Boston and 10,000 troops in Boston were excessive.

Your version is the British revisionist look at history. You should always stay on the side of the winner, never the loser;

I'm German, so please excuse any weird sentence construction and bad grammar...
I'd call myself a liberal (who can't stand Micheal Moore, by the way). But what I cannot understand about the other liberals is that many of them seem to have lost their grip on reality. First, I can't understand all the whining about Bush being reelected. Should have been fairly obvious from the start, he lead ia all polls. I'm no big fan of him either but it was an election of the American people...they choose their president, why should I care? But many of the other liberals see themselves as some kind of all-knowing moralists who have to advise the poor Americans on whom they should vote. Aahhrggghhh!!
I may not have supported the war on Iraq. But I have a serious problem with other liberals who declare America as a nation of insane murderers or some other bullshit. I also find it interesting that ultra-liberals seem to have no problem justifying every single palestine suicide bomber (sorry, did not know how to spell it properly...). But when it comes to Israel's 'wall' they scream something like "Holocaust" at the top of their lungs. They deny Israel even the simplest means of self protection - I can't understand that even if my life depended on it. It obviously works! And if a wall is all that is needed to stop the endless killing down in Israel and palestine that should be fine with everyone... The palestine farmers with fields on the other side of the wall can surely live with some problems because of that if it means that they are in no immediate danger of death. Or Israel could buy their fields so that they could look for new land on the palestine side of the wall. I hate the liberal 'holier than thou' attitude as much as I hate the people who demand for a nuclear strike against all Arabs to stop Islamofascism.

But I see some changes in the view of things here in Germany. Maybe that's just in my surrounding but I think people start to overthink their view on America again. I talked to a lot of people at my university and most of them are as pissed of with Antiamericanism as I am. There is still hope! I'm so angry if I have to hear someone tell another one how Bush is the source of all evil. He's the american President - if he indeed were evil you guys would be in Washington in no time to kick him out of his office!

Sorry for my rambling, just had to get it out of me...
Sarah


EUROPE!

Talk to the hand!

Wow, who would have thought that a bunch of spoon fed welfare whores would cares so much about the US election? And now we have a washed up ex tech support phone chimp with an aged MCSE certification penning an open letter to the American people as if he were emperor for the moment.
Let me explain a few things to the euros here and those who reside other than the US-
What exactly are you capabilities as a country, individually?
You stand by and watch the arab rape of sudan.
You stand paralyzed and impotent within just this last decade as Yugoslavia came un-glued. You are still looking for two of the most wanted generals while both write books from their location. That's impressive "eu" action at it's finest.
You delusional fools prop up your welfare states with your saddam dealings, your desire to arm china and your coddling and fellating of arafat while he collects your millions is a modern disgrace.
We in the US see the world's most famous welfare basket case lashing out at the US over the Iraq invasion SOLEOY to keep it's funding for the french state alive in the oil-for-bribes UN bullszhit. Yet 15,000 people die in france when the weather gets warm and all the spoon-fed prik children care not for the elderly. You selfish pieces of human filth.
You talk about the overt religiousness of the US (not knowing what the f*ck you are talking about) but yet you then install foot baths in german courts so muslim felons do not wash in the urinals.
You institute shiria banking in the UK to pull in more funds from the bearded freaks of this world.
Film directors are slain like goats in broad daylight on the streets of THEIR OWN country by asylum seeking welfare sponges. Can you understand why those in the US laugh in your face now? Can you understand why with such childish impotence and exhibiting behavior shown by those in the "eu" especially and which is normally reserved for pussies- why we truly do not give you a second thought accept to laugh?
Other than many of the recent french follies, the srtangest and backward ironic itme was seeing 13 german mayors come grandstanding and preening to the US to beg the US to keep her troops in germany whilst thier little leader schroeder demanded US troops leave Iraq. Whats the matter with you people other than just brain rot? There has to be more to your collective malaise.
I live on the beach on the west coast. I am not religious and have a true european blood line of which I used to be proud. Yet I voted hungrily for Bush. I have traveled all about the globe, though europe will now have to pay ME to visit if ever I had a desire at some time to watch un-employed clowns sit in a cafe smoking delicious Marlboros all day while waiting for their welfare check. You pathetic fools really resemble the hookah smoking imbeciles who sit idly in a Cairo cafe watching the world go by and complaining about everything from the comfort of your governmental crutches affixed to your limbs.
Looking at the nihilistic and impotent and childish priks within the "eu" today- one simply has to realize that all the great brains fled your fetid and rotting continent over the last centuries leaving nothing but you fools behind. Just listen to all of you! HA!
In order to stay off your inevitable decline from personal responsibility you import asylum seekers who happen to be muslim and drool for your welfare checks and then plot to warp themselves over your society and smother it.
You mindless and arrogant priks have walked off the deep end into the pit of pathetics.


You are proud that you were able to tease "the Europeans" and the "leftist media"? Isn't that a bit childish?
Are these really the reasons why you voted for Bush?

@karsten

I voted for Bush, but not for those reasons,
but they were a DAMN FINE side benefit.

@karsten

I too voted for GWB. I am writing the reasons why and will post those later.

I live in a red state. Had I actually believed my vote for Kerry would have made him President I would have voted for him.

The reason for that would have been twofold and they would have been the only reasons, as he represents nothing that I can relate too or support or believe.

First it would make the euro’s happy. I would have liked to have seen that. You could all run around and be happy.

Secondly and the most important reason is that it would have put tremendous stress on france and Germany and the french and Germans. You people would have one difficult decision to make about Iraq and supporting the US. With GWB, you do not have to readdress that decision and for the most part things can continue as they have.

I for one would not for a New York minute believe you would put forces on the ground in Iraq. This would of course come as a huge shock to many of Kerry’s supporters. The results of this shock would be a final unwinding of the trans-Atlantic alliance. It would mean the end to NATO and an even lesser respect for the UN. It would mean the US could finally move forward and so could the EU.

I consider both of those goals could have been accomplished with Kerry in the WH. I do not think they will with the election of GWB.

So good news and bad news. You and those like you are pissed off and upset that GWB is going to around to lead America for 4 more years. The trans-Atlantic alliance is still intact whatever that means or whatever meaning that has.

Fair and balanced. You decide which one is more meaningful to you and your future.

You are proud that you were able to tease "the Europeans" and the "leftist media"? Isn't that a bit childish?
Are these really the reasons why you voted for Bush?

I think that definitely contributed to many peoples' vote Karsten.

sheesh Pato, you need to quit holding back. Let us know how you feel about the Eurotrash? ROFLMAO

My comments to the many European newspapers who are expressing their dissatisfaction with the results of the election in the USA:

You should be aware that the progressives do not have an exclusive franchise on intelligence. World events are complex and the understanding and reaction to them requires an honest discourse between those who have varied opinions. We are probably not sharing the same view of the world at this moment, but let me assure you that we do not think that we are perfectly correct. We do believe, however, that the world is more likely close to our understanding of it than the way others see it. In addition, we are resolute in our determination to respond to these events in what we believe is an appropriate way. I am speaking of the international challenge presented by Islamic Fundamentalist Terrorists.

I am one of the ones who has come to the conclusion that this is a serious threat that should be dealt with now. I do not expect to be able to move to the correct solution in one easy step. I think that there will be errors and difficulties. I would hope that others who view these events and our response to them will take the time to consider that we are acting in good faith and with good intentions to counter a threat that may not be apparent or understood either by ourselves or our critics.

You should consider that I was strongly opposed to the invasion of Iraq, that I was an early supporter of Howard Dean, and sent him a generous contribution in the beginning days of his campaign. Furthermore, I opposed the Viet Nam War, and refused to participate in that conflict. For me to support the election of President Bush required a lot of thought and study. I am confident that I have made the right decision. If I am shown wrong by the march of events, then I will admit it and support another solution. For now, however, I believe that he represents the best leadership that we were offered and that is why I voted for him, even though I think that he has made mistakes, and I expect to see him make some more. I do believe, however that he offers the best chance to get it right eventually. I respect those who disagree, but not those who are so ignorant as to demonize this President and those who have supported him.

ps: I live in California, so my electoral vote was given to Kerry, but I contributed to the popular vote for President Bush, which is now recognized to be a significant and historic majority.

Tom,

Well written.

I suppose you could call my vote for Bush the choice between the lesser of two evils. I could easily have voted for a Democrat this time. I don't demonize Bush the way the left does, but I'm well to the left of him politically, and I've disagreed with much of what he's done during his first term. I voted for him, though. It honestly still surprises me that the Democrats could have picked a candidate I simply couldn't support, even over Bush, even though I have no illusions whatsoever about the nature of some of his right-wing supporters. The party really shot itself in the foot this time. Its leadership and activists were clueless. They've been listening to each others rants for so long that they really weren't aware that veterans like me (and the Swiftboat Vets) might object to a candidate with a history of opening private negotiations with the enemy in time of war, and of comparing people like me, who put themselves in harms way in Vietnam, to Genghis Khan, and then refusing to apologize for it. Astute people on the left realized this. Martin Peretz, for example, pointed it out very clearly in "The New Republic." The Party wasn't listening. Some have said Vietnam happened too long ago to matter; it's ancient history. I strongly disagree. It is simply not true that the actions of people when they were young have no correlation to the kind of people they become when they're older. That's doubly true in the case of Kerry, who couldn't bring himself to apologize for his actions in the Vietnam era. As a result, I could not trust him. He said lots of fine things about staying the course in Iraq, strengthening the military and the country, etc., etc., but I simply didn't believe him. I had no reason to believe that the Kerry of 2004 was fundamentally any different from the Kerry of 1971.

Kerry and the rest of the leadership also revealed their complete cluelessness when it comes to Europe. The media in Germany, France, and, for that matter, in many other European countries, have been successfully peddling hatred of the United States for many years. They have continued to do it because the European public greedily laps it up. This did not start with Bush, who has served as a convenient fig leaf for the hate mongering of the European media, but was, if anything more virulent than it is now under Clinton. No way was I going to vote for someone who evidently wasn't even aware of what's been going on the last ten years, and actually wants to reward these avowed enemies of the US by sucking up to them.

I have no regrets about voting for Bush, even though I dislike virtually everything he stands for. If I did have any doubts, I could quickly dispell them by checking out blogs like the Daily Kos and reading the comments of Kerry's core constituency on the left. They demonstrate their great love of democracy by making baseless claims that the election was "stolen" using the evil Diebold voting machines we've seen referred to in SPIEGEL, without the faintest shred of real evidence to back up that claim. A lot of them want to run off to Canada. Good riddance! These pathetic elitists demonstrate their deep love of the people by ranting about how Bush was elected by slack-jawed yokels and brainwashed minions of Rove. So long, democracy, if people like that ever gain real power. Our democracy will become one of the "people's democracies" some of us were familiar with before 1989. They honestly believe that the people will buy into their "progressive" nostrums if they only explain them more carefully. If the Democratic Party in the US wants to win, it needs to launch this "Michael Moore" wing of the party. These people are a much greater threat to our democracy than the evangelical Christians to whom they falsely attribute Bush's victory. I am pro-choice, in favor of separation of church and state, pro gun control, and I strongly opposed going to war in Iraq. I was still an ardent supporter of Bush in the election. My decision had much more to do with the nature and character of Kerry and the type of people he attracted to his cause than it did about any positive traits I associated with George Bush.

@joe

I am not pissed off. I just asked some questions to understand what's happening over there (in the US).
Since the start of the IRAQ war the American-German relationship has drastically changed. Until then the general populace was pro-American and most of the Germans felt some kind of affinity to the USA. You know what happend since then.
I surf this blog and try to find out, what has happened to the once adored USA. Was it just a misapprehension over the last 50 years that Germans and Americans are made of the same wood or has indeed something changed? I'm listening to what is said on the board here and try to draw a conclusion.
I realize that the German media is biased, but it is way to easy to just blame the German media for the transatlantical frictions.


Tom Clark,

Well written.

"I am confident that I have made the right decision. If I am shown wrong by the march of events, then I will admit it and support another solution."

However, don't expect mature reciprocity here in Old Europe: doesn't sell magazines well.

I voted for Bush because I have lived in France for nearly 10 years and, while I respect their choices, I would not in a million years wish this system on my home country.

Ignorant American? Don't think so.

David-

Great site. Hope to be back to Germany/Europe in late 05. Just in time to drop off my wife and head back to the "box". (Iraq/Afghanistan)

Sarah-

It is good to hear a calming voice. I have spent over 5 yrs of my adult life in Germany (89-91 and 98-01) and saw many changes. I can remember patrolling through a small village near Trier during my first tour, when an old lady came up to me. She was so happy to see an American. She proceeded to thank me profusly for freeing her from Nazi tyranny and then defending her against the Commie Bear. It was humbling, for I was barely there long enough to watch the Wall fall. But it was what I represented to her. Her liberator and her defender.

I received many of the same accolades from French, Luxembourgian, and Czech senior citizens. I wasn't there, but I represented the men who were.

In mid-91, the city of Pirmasens held a "welcome home" parade/fest for the soldiers of the local kaserne. I was marching in the front rank when I distinctly caught the eye of an elderly gentleman in the crowd. He most likely faced my countrymen years before across rifle sights. Yet he gave me a nod of appreciation and respect. Later at the fest, several Germans approached to comment how embarrassed they were that German forces had not helped free Kuwait.

Right after 9/11 my wife called me from Czech to ask what does this mean for us. (We had just gotten married 8/11) We were at war. You could hear the silence as the rest of the world held it's breath, awaiting America's response. Very quickly, liberals warned of restraint while the majority of nations sent notes of sympathy, or as I like to say, "Wasn't us, it was those guys" notes. All of my in-laws wanted to know what we would do next? Who would we nuke first- Baghdad or Paris?

Once Afghanistan was selected as the first target in the GWOT, the media pundits declared it couldn't be done. We would face the same fate as the Russkies. With British and Australian SAS at ourside, we freed 15 million people from the Taliban. Where were the French or Germans, since they were our allies.

Then we have the Schroeder elections. He barely got re-elected on an anti-Bush campaign. He almost lost to a Bavarian Conservative. Obviously the same values that got Bush elected for a second time are shared by many in Germany. I usually felt welcome in many parts of Germany. Every now and again I got some dirty treatment, but I received the same all over the world, to include here in the US. IMHO there isn't so much a gulf between Europe and America as much as there is a gulf between rural and urban. Between those who believe in self-determination and those who think the government should baby-sit them.

I voted for Bush in 2000 for NO other reason than John McCain endorsed him.

After 9/11, Bush's amazing speech to the Congress, and my agony of whether or not i should help a United States further the expanse of Globalization, i decided to throw in my support with George W. Bush.

Since that time, ive seen that leader meet every promise he made in his 2000 presidential campaign except for one. And that is nation building. George W. Bush bucked countless years of Republican Isolationist and Realist tradition and led an aggressive war at Islamic based terrorism. He went for the root cause: the culture, and that is why he went into Iraq. Iraq was the cultural D-Day of the War on Terrorism. And the terrorists know it.

I also voted for Bush, because i happen to LOVE Donald Rumsfeld and the Neoconservatives. In order to warge a war on the "Gap" as Thomas Barnett defines it one MUST also wage a revolution in the "Core" the industrial complex of nations that make-up the Global Economy. When Rumsfeld called out "Old Europe" and true to form Old Europe proved his cynicism right when France and Germany played Bismarkian politics with the invasion of Iraq by lying to America and intimdating the new inductees to the EU, America really woke up to the post Cold War world. This does not mean France or Old Europe is evil, it just means Americans, 51% of us at least, are a whole lot less naive.

I am a Conservative capitalist by nature, but this election cycle i was voting for one issue: the War on Terrorism. My vote was a vote of approval of the Bush Doctrine in relation to the Gap, and also in relation to the revolution of the Core. The subcontext of this debate Domesitcally and Internationally is a fight over a Socialist styled Core vs. a Capitalistic styled Core. And that is just as important in getting right, as is taking the fight to the terrorists and reforming their culture.

Also, George W. Bush is a true man of God. In that i only mean, i can see true individual humility in his being and his words. Bush is not a theocrat out to convert the world...he is just a true believer. And i feel so much sorrow that Euros cant see or appreciate that in any way. Morality is a pipe dream...true spirituality extends beyond the earthly topics of politics, and in the end we are all God's children, not French or American. There is something dead in Europe...and it is America's job to inspire you again...this Bush supporter can only hope.

Bush's War on Terrorism is not about an American Empire, its about Globalization...and both Europe and America have a stake in that future.

I voted for George Bush because I support his policy of taking the fight to the enemy and not waiting for them to act first.
No other issue matters more to me than the fight against Islamic terrorism.
That his re-election has ticked off most of Europe is a delightful fringe benefit but nothing more.

In approximate order of priority, I voted for W. because -

1) John Kerry's history of fabricating events to support his point of view does not speak of a man who should run a lemonade stand, much less a country.

2) He has never sufficiently apologized for the reprehensible denigration of men who served our country, or the lasting damage it has caused.

3) I never once had any indication that Kerry understood what we're fighting in the WOT, therefore he was doomed to fail in its execution. I have no doubt that Bush understands it, and will prosecute it effectively. Having watched this thing grow for decades, I've wanted to see its destruction for too long to put it off for another four or more years; it needs to go forward now.

4) I voted against the American left as much as I voted against Kerry. They've gone stark raving bonkers, sputtering incoherently from inside a populist bubble, and they can't be permitted a win. Ever.

5) I know Europe well enough to know that if they want us to do something, it's a bad idea.

Bush had pros and cons as a candidate, but Kerry had too many negatives against him for those to matter.

Contrary to the assumptions of BushHaters worldwide, I did not vote for Bush due to some slavish devotion to war, fanatical conservatism, bigotry, homophobia, or admiration of cowboy hats. A vote for Bush is, in fact, a complicated sifting of priorities and assignment of relative values to various issues - not least, of course, being 9/11 and the subsequent invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq.

Though Europeans, and perhaps much of the world, liked Bill Clinton, most of America was appalled and disgusted by him, and had no intentions of allowing yet another amoral dilettante to pretend to protect us. Clinton may have been good for the EU, but he was bad for America. And since he was President of the US, NOT the EU, he failed in his sworn duties.

Americans may be more puritanical in their views than other nations, but we feel the US Presidency is a deadly serious business, not to be defiled or made light of by shenanigans. And I'm not only speaking of sexual antics. The person who holds the most powerful position in the world has as his first duty to protect America and promote US interests. That this policy is so shocking to the rest of the world is a puzzle. Are not the leaders of ALL nations charged with the protection and nurturing of the country they lead?

Americans understand that it is simply impossible to protect US interests and NEVER offend or anger other nations. Believe me, we do feel angst over such situations even as we are determined not to harm ourselves, or let harm befall us, in order to please others.

Americans are fully aware of our power and that our policies affect the world, but we are sick and tired of twisting ourselves into a pretzel in attempting to make everyone 'happy'.

Though other nations' "power and influence" may pale in comparison to the US, they nonetheless affect the world is ways as significant as any for which the US may be responsible.

Just look at how North Korea, a pit of poverty and despair, has the most powerful nations on alert. Look at Syria, home base to multiple terror organizations. What about Afghanistan, homebase to the Taliban and Al Qaeda. Afghanistan's actions started this whole "war".

Why were there no massive demonstrations against Saddam that demanded he abide by UN resolutions so as to avoid war? HE was the one who has waged ground wars over and over again.

Americans are sick and tired of being blamed for every ill that has befallen mankind.

Americans don't fool themselves into believing we went into Afghanistan or Iraq for humanitarian reasons, though we wept with pride and joy when women were released from their imprisonment and cast their votes; when children were released from Saddam's children's prison; when sovereignty was turned over to the Iraqi people. When President Bush rec'd word that the Iraq handover had ocurred (during his Nato meeting), how did the world miss his face lighting up with delight at the news?? Is that the reaction of a man who invaded Iraq for his own personal gain?

Those were wonderful collateral benefits that happened when we invaded Iraq as part of a global strategy to defeat terrorism, and President Bush said as much in his address to the UN General Assembly. But he continued on to say that only with personal liberty and prosperity will hatred diminish, for it is fueled by despair and hopelessness.

Americans agree. We'd much rather bring the world along with us into prosperity through diplomatic means and trade agreements. We are NOT a war-loving people. We have never gone to war for the purposes of securing new lands for ourselves. Any "occupation" by the US took the form of standing guard over the nation in question while it labored to birth liberty. We also poured money into those countries, and others, propping up economies until they could stand on their own.

Just as we are now doing in Iraq and Afghanistan. In Afghanistan, American soldiers took it as their honor and duty to literally place their own bodies between new voters and those who would kill them. OH! Such evil from "spawn of the Great Satan"! How can the free world bear such 'evil' actions by Americans??? The NERVE of those arrogant Americans! Placing themselves in the line of fire so others can be free!

Historically, America ended "occupations" once those infant nations were on their way to self-sufficiency, and even then, continued to stand guard. We do this because we understand that a peaceful world is only found when individual liberty is married to the rule of law.

Americans clearly see the hostile hypocrisy of Europeans. We cannot understand WHY non-Americans expect the same power and prosperity we enjoy when they reject the formula that led to our success.

We feel that if non-Americans would rather do things their own way, they should certainly do so, but then they should be content with the less-than-spectacular results of their preferred policies and stop crucifying the US and trying to bring us down out of envy. Do they not understand that if the US economy were to fail, the whole world is plunged into a nightmare?

Americans have long been sick of the 'faux' hysteria and outrage expressed by non-Americans, even as we struggle to accommodate literally MILLIONS of emigrants to our "evil" nation; even as we watch other economies collapse; other governments collapse; other nations collapse - all under the weight of their own flawed policies.

We grind our teeth at charges of bigotry and intolerance and greed as we look around our cities and note the myriad colors, languages and heritage of the average American citizen working hard and living peacefully. We do not fail to note the numbers of foreigners living in and taking advantage of the superior living conditions, education, job opportunities and medical care offered by America.

In the US, every month brings holidays and celebrations from the various traditions and heritages of our citizens. Homogenous is the last thing Americans are and hegemony is the last thing we STRIVE for.

No, we are not perfect, but we are far from being the "Great Satan".

President Bush has showed America he shared values with the majority of us.

*We will no longer tolerate attacks on Americans or on our homeland

*We have a right to protect ourselves

*We have the right to be a nation

*The government is not our parent and as such, Americans must individually control their own destinies

*The government exists to protect America and to protect OPPORTUNITIES for Americans to individually prosper

*America wants a culture of life, not death

*America wants a culture of decency, not hedonism

*America wants excellence in our school system

*America is not ashamed to be America

*Foreigners will not dictate to America

*Terrorists will not dictate to America

*We will help those who ask us for help

These goals may not all coincide with the rest of the world, but then they are free to pursue their own goals (so long as they don't result in terrorist attacks and the like) as we also claim that right.

John Kerry promised that he would place America's fortunes in the hands of those who despise us.

John Kerry demonstrated he was more interested in the opinions of foreigners who despise us than the opinions of those he wanted to lead.

John Kerry promised to insitute policies that would allow terrorists to attack us again.

John Kerry made contradicting statements on important issues, often literally within hours of each other, over and over again depending on what special interest crowd he was speaking to at the moment. Proving he either had no core beliefs or that he was willing to pander for votes.

John Kerry's documented 35-year history of hurting our military made him ABSOLUTELY unacceptable to become Commander-in-Chief of the US Armed Forces when we have soldiers currently at war.

John Kerry's wife was considered crass and vulgar, with suspect loyalites, and Americans wondered about the judgment of a man who would choose such a woman as wife.

Hatred of Bush was expressed with so many outlandish accusations and with such fierceness that any rational discussion of the issues was impossible. John Kerry supported the vitriol and even participated in it.

John Kerry tried his best to suppress free speech with threats of lawsuits while Bush made no move to do so against the dozens of organizations that worked so tirelessly in disseminating hateful screeds against him.

If ever Bush supporters questioned or disapproved of Bush on any issue, any misgivings were overshadowed by the fear of America being ruled by people who demonstrated their vicious hearts; demonstrated their willingness to say anything, do anything, to win; those same people who saw no contradiction in holding a sign calling an end to violence while they beat up their opponents!

Europe would have served their interests better by refusing to follow in the footsteps of our extreme Left. Childish tantrums have no place in the governments of this world and the American people might have been able to trust Europeans more (thus being less afraid of Kerry) if they had demonstrated they were capable of adult behavior and that their fondest wish WASN'T to bring down the US.

For a very entertaining send-up of the cultural gulf in the US, visit Iowahawk. It's geared toward the New York Times crowd, but you'll see the same incomprehension as in Europe. As for me, I'm a lot more comfortable in a Wal-Mart than in Hermes or Cartier. Bush is too much a big-government guy for my taste, but Kerry was a textbook example of a limousine liberal. Maybe his economic plan was to provide an heir/heiress for each of us to marry.

I voted Bush, and it was not a hard decision.

I'm certain that elections here are similar to elections in Europe. Everyone is pretty clear on where the incumbent stands. It's up to the challenger to clearly articulate where he/she stands and why that stance is better than the incumbent's.

Kerry failed to do this. In addition to failing to do this, Mr. Kerry couldn't reconcile his 20 year record in the U.S. Senate with this campaign rhetoric.

Many other people will cite things like Mr. Kerry's service in Vietnam and his later protests against the Vietnam war. I don't fault them for basing their voting decision on this. But for those of us who are too young to remember Vietnam, it came down to choosing between two candidates, one of whom didn't articulate a position beyond "You hate Bush. I'm not Bush. Vote for me".

I posted this on Usenet a couple of days ago in response to a foreign poster. I apoligize for the cut-and-paste plagarism, but I said what I felt so completely and at such great length that I thought there would be little point in banging it out again. So here you are, for whatever it may be worth.


> Not so fast: George W. Bush, the President of the United States of
> America (and otherwise my favourite), exclaimed after 9/11 into the
> microphone, for the whole world to hear: "Islam is peace!"

Yes he did. The timing and the context of that particular declaration would probably be difficult for you to imagine. It was three days after I watched three thousand of my people get murdered on live television, and the whole country's nerves were frazzled. It wasn't fear. We weren't scared. What there was... was absolute uncertainty. And the thing we were most uncertain about was: how are we going to react to this internally? There had already been a handful of hate crimes against Muslims and random Sikhs. This did not help soothe our nerves.

One of the properties of a good leader is to appeal to the good in his society, and help enable it to overcome its hangups and get through times of crisis. And this is what he did. He was telling us "Look, folks, get a grip,we are Americans, the residents of the world's largest refugee camp, we are good folks, and we are not going to inflict a Kristallnacht on our Muslim fellow citizens. Remember who we are. Chill."

As an Al Gore Dem I recall it very clearly as the moment I began to like and respect him, and was unutterably relieved that he understood what was at stake and could appeal to that which was good and upright in us. He was not mouthing PC rhetoric. He was not throwing a political bone to the Arab world. It was for domestic consumption, and it had the required soothing effect. None of this meant that we were not looking at Muslims and mosques with a jaundiced eye. We were. The rest of us ex-refugees were wondering what fucking side they were on. We had heard horrifying, infuriating tales about Muslims in Philly and Houston and even New York celebrating. But we knew whatwe were *not* going to do.

That was a very, very big hump for us as a society to get over, and I've probably done a half-assed job of explaining it, but there you are.

Oh, and yes -- I voted for him the second time around, even though I live in California and knew it wouldn't make a lick of difference, and I didn't go to sleep until I knew he'd won. I know now that the war against the Islamic Klu Klux Klan (for that is basically what it is, irregardless of what chapter you're talking about) and their good-ol-boy kill-the-n*ggers-I-mean-the-infidels Muslim supporters (for that is basically what they are) will go ahead. I know that we will tough it out in Iraq and take the best possible shot at midwifing the first Arab democracy. I know that the pan-European nationalists who love to grind the axe of their pride on my nation's skull have just gotten a very big thumb put in their eye. So have the narcissistic faux-liberals in every Western society whose sense of narrow political propriety is more important -- to them -- than the lives and welfare of fifty million human beings. That brings a faint smile to my face, because I despise such people more deeply than I can describe.

But honestly, today I feel more than anything a mild but physically palpable sense of relief, as though we had just dodged some sort of bullet. Just as I did when this President stepped up to the podium some three-odd years ago and looked very gravely into the camera and reminded us of what we must not do,lest we destroy our myth of ourselves.

I voted for Bush for the simple reason that he represents all that made this country the greatest on Earth. He's plain-spoken, direct, honest and savvy.There's none of the pseudosophistication,self aggrandizement or intellectual cowardice that marks the John Kerrys or Euro-snobs.

The war in Iraq was necessary and brilliantly executed. Europeans wouldn't know that, of course, and they wouldn't know that the strategy behind it has set fascist Islam on its butt. We here are safer for it. It also helps Europe deal with its growing civil war, but I guess you can't have everything.

Bush made us strong again by forcing the nation to confront two things: external evil and snide European condescension. We are relearning self sufficiency, right from wrong and above all, the courage to do what's right.

That's why I voted for him. It also felt good to pull that lever (the machines worked fine, BTW) knowing that the French, Germans, Spaniards and leftist Brits would be howling in rage the next day.

@Karsten

Read Kagan 'Macht und Ohnmacht.' It was supposedly required reading in Brussels.
And I respectfully disagree with you..
I started to sense anti Americanism in 2000, well before W was on the scene.
my german was not good enough before that to really notice, maybe it started earlier.
W had little to do with it.

I voted for Bush because Kerry's an arrogant, obnoxious poseur. I do have misgivings about the President (though I have always supported the WoT and Operation Iraqi Freedom), and as recently as June I was backing Kerry. But, as the campaign wore on, Kerry showed himself time and again to be an asshole in as many ways as humanly possible. Say what you will about Bush, at least he's likeable. And the rantings of the MSM and Michael Moore didn't help my dislike of Kerry either.

The yardstick for a presidential candidate shouldn't be, "How bad is the current president?", but rather, "Is this candidate better than his opponent?" By this yardstick, the obvious answer, in Kerry's case, is "HELL NO!"

I've traveled to almost every country in Western Europe. I was in Germany a few days after 9/11 as they lectured me that, "9/11 was really bad, but the U.S. sort of asked for it."

What the world needs right now to defeat Islamic terrorism is a little less talk... and alot more action.

So I voted for George Bush. Somebody's got to get the job done.

For all the so called intellectuals in Europe you would think that they would understand what their own history teaches.

Appeasement doesn't work and it leads to only bigger problems in the long run.

Moslems brought death to Europe in the form of war before.

Heck, they could read their own newspapers and see it happening again today.

I am a lifelong Democrat who voted for Bush because
1. The Democrats shamelessly politicized the Iraq war- e.g. calling it the "wrong war at the wrong place at the wrong time" - when both Kerry and Edwards voted for it - in fact regime change in Iraq was US policy under Clinton. Also falling under politicizing the war: the reaction to Abu Ghraib (Ted Kennedy saying that Abu Ghraib had opened under new management), calling Allawi a puppet of the US, calling our actual allies a coalition of the coerced and bribed etc etc. - all of this with apparently not a care that it might embolden our enemies and get more of our soldiers killed. Shameless!
2. Kerry was a liberal dove (with a long, weak record on national security) whom the Dems thought they could pass off as a centrist hawk because he fought in Vietnam. The truth is he never wanted to go there and got out of there as fast as he could and then used his service for pure political opportunism, proceeding to trash his fellow soldiers, and playing a major role in undermining the image of the US military for a generation - and now expects to be Commander in Chief?
3. Kerry has shown consistently bad judgement in matters of national security - including meeting with Viet Cong representatives in the early 70's, voting against Gulf War I - when we had an excellent coalition, and totally underestimating the consequences of withdrawing from Vietnam - he thought only a few thousand Vietnamese would be killed. I don't want to see that bad judgment exercised in Iraq.
4. Kerry does in fact flip-flop. He appears to have no real convictions. During the campaign he was on his cell phone getting advice from so many people that he became confused. This kind of nuance and willingness to hear all sides has its limits. Eventually you have to know what you stand for in order to lead others.
5. I was sick of the Monday morning quarterbacking on the war. After the fact he could have done every single thing better. Give me a break. He never offered any realistic plan - other than this ridiculous lie that he would get the "allies" on board. Everyone knows that France and Germany and Russia were basically bribed by Saddam through the Oil for Food Program to keep us out of Iraq and eventually undermine the sanctions. Obviously they were never going to come on board just because Kerry speaks French!
6. Michael Moore without a doubt. Its one thing for a guy to make a movie filled with a bunch of anti-American bile and lies - its another thing for the candidate for President to give the guy a front and center seat at the convention. Let me see here - Kerry was basically a traitor during Vietnam. Moore is basically a traitor during the Iraq war. There's the two of them together at the convention! No thank you!
7. Kerry put a ridiculous amount of faith in the UN when the UN is obviously totally corrupt. Besides the Oil for Food scandal, there's the lack of any action in Sudan and there's the constant Israel bashing. The UN is full of a bunch of despots having equal legitimacy with democracies. I think its a good thing that the Palestinians are defeated and are imploding from within. Its the only hope for them to give up their dream of shoving Israel into the sea and build a better society for themselves with all the money and support they get from the international community. I didn't trust Kerry not to cave in to UN Arab pressure on Israel.
8. The deficit is huge but Kerry's economic plans showed no indication of rectifying that.
9. I was sick of the sheer hysteria and vitriole directed towards Bush by the Democrats and the Europeans: Bush Lied! Bush=Hitler etc etc. It was utterly ridiculous. Bush didn't lie - he was mistaken about WMD - as were Kerry, Edwards, Clinton and practically the whole planet! I don't want to reward this kind of insanity with a vote. I was also outraged by the fact that the main stream media was obviously in the tank for Kerry. The Democrats had completely free speech throughout this whole process - including the blockbuster film Fahrenheit 9/11 but they threatened to sue the Swift Boat Vets and they succeeded in shutting down the broadcast of the anti-Kerry documentary Stolen Valor. Plus there was Dan Rather, the New York Times etc etc. I'm not going to reward this kind of crap with a vote lest they think they can continue to get away with it.
10. Finally I did not want to see America pull a Spain. It would have had 10 times the impact. It would have emboldened al Quada and jihadists throughout the world would have been celebrating in the streets. I chose instead by my vote to give hope to the many silent Muslims in the Middle East who do want democracy and know that a strong American leader who doesn't give a damn what the world thinks - is their best shot at it. That includes the pro-democracy forces in Iran, the Iraqi bloggers such as Alaa at the Mesoppotamian, and progressive Muslims everywhere who want to be free from tyrrany.

As there were really only two choices in the election, and I could live with most of either man's policies (slight lean toward Bush though due to Kerry's waffling on WOT), I decided to make my decision based upon the company each man keeps: his friends/supporters; and his enemies. These then are the two areas I evaluated to decide where my vote would go:

1) I asked every Kerry and every Bush supporter I knew (about twelve of each) the following question: "Name your candidate's top ten accomplishments". Bush candidates averaged three to five items. None of Kerry's supporters could name a single accomplishment beyond 'three purple hearts', and only two did that. Even more tellingly, all but one of the Kerry supporters 'went off' on Bush (hitler, chimp, stupid, murderer, satan, liar, the usual stuff...), and went on to trash Bush's supporters as (... you know the routine) in what appeared to be their frustration at not being able to answer my question. Kerry's supporters were ignorant of simple facts (Kerry actually has a mediocre record of achievement in the Senate), and blazingly hateful. Bush's supporters were less ignorant of basic facts about their candidate, and displayed only one case of dislike for Kerry's supporters, no case of hate/dislike for Kerry himself. In ascking the question I was not really interested in their actual answers - but in *how* they answered the question. The tone and tenor of the answers from each group spoke volumes.

2) Like someone above, I measured the worth of each candidate's biggest enemies. Bush's number one enemy in my opinion is Michael Moore. Kerry's number one enemy in my opinion is the 'Swift Boat Veterans for Truth'. In my opinion, Mr. Moore got incredibly lucky at making a movie aimed at the fringe-left zeitgeist and capitalizing on it by taking their money in exchange for doing a very good job of preaching to the choir - as we say in America. He is the most effective propagandist alive. I have to admit I have a grudging admiration for his ability to fleece the ignorant - while calling them "stupid", and "dumb". But that is all I admire. He uses facts carefully couched in his context to support outright lies. When pressed he resorts to the "it's comedy, you don't fact-check comedy" routine. He's a master at separating certain weak-minded types from their money. SBVT from all I can tell do have an axe to grind against Kerry. I can't say whether they are completely truthful, but I can say that they are not outright liars and my sincere belief is that most, if not all of them, grind an axe that has an arguable basis in truth. If nothing else, they believe they are telling the truth. Mr. Moore knows he is not telling the truth.

So, based upon the perspective gained from others in item one, and gaining clarity on my own feelings about each man's enemies and what I felt that said about the man - I voted for Bush. It was not even close.

PS: Having been in both America an Europe during Reagan's tenure as president, I find interesting parallels with attitudes toward Bush and Reagan. (Who I initially despised, but grew slowly to admire.) I remember distinctly the vile hate for Reagan. The left just *knew* he was going to start WWIII and bring on global thermo-nuclear war with the USSR - because of the religous right and because he knew the US would win (again according to the left). I grew to realize that Reagan probably feared nuclear war more than anyone, but he had the vision to understand that bold, clear action was needed to avert said war. As has been said - the more things change, the more things stay the same.

Matt: "Once Afghanistan was selected as the first target in the GWOT, the media pundits declared it couldn't be done. We would face the same fate as the Russkies. With British and Australian SAS at ourside, we freed 15 million people from the Taliban. Where were the French or Germans, since they were our allies."

German forces were fighting in the war. And now we have 2250 soldiers there. We may not blazon it out very loud, but we contributed a lot to the successful election.

http://media.militaryphotos.net/photos/Allied_Germany
http://www.einsatz.bundeswehr.de/einsatz_aktuell/isaf/fotos/foto_isaf.php

Imagine the United States as if it were a football locker-room. Various players jockeying for leadership on the team. They've just lost a big game to an inferior opponent in a shocking way (Sept. 11 2001) and the recriminations are starting. The guys on the team are losing faith, starting to question themselves. Many of them are thinking "we're not good enough, we're gonna lose the next game..." Team members start mailing it in during practice. But the quarterback (GWB), while maybe not the smartest on the team - but certainly not the dumbest - keeps focused on the task of winning games. He throws a few interceptions, fumbles a couple of times, but leads the team to some tough victories. The winning streak starts and the team starts believing again.

John Kerry was the guy getting pantsed after practice.

You feel sorry for the guy getting pantsed, but you sure as hell don't want him leading the team.

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