Fasten, fit closely, bind together.

Tuesday, November 02, 2004

NDot Prediction 

Bush 281, Kerry 257.

Goes a little something like this:

Maine's 2nd Congressional District: Kerry
New Hampshire: Kerry
New Jersey: Kerry
Pennsylvania: Kerry
West Virginia: Bush
Ohio: Bush
Michigan: Kerry
Wisconsin: Kerry
Iowa: Bush
Minnesota: Kerry
Florida: Bush
New Mexico: Kerry
Nevada: Bush
Colorado: Bush
Oregon: Kerry
Washington: Kerry
Hawaii: Kerry

If it's anything different, it's my man snatching up Pennsylvania, Minnesota, Wisconsin, New Mexico, Hawaii or some combo of those. In which case, a Bush landslide - despite what you've heard - is not out of the question. (Bush 331, Kerry 207???)

Why am I so confident? Sure we're split right down the middle; with all the swing states there are that could go either way, it looks on the surface like it might as well come down to a coin flip.

But I've just been thinking this morning about our history as a country and how in the past Americans have been faced with a choice between cynicism and the acceptance of failure and the difficult path of resolutness in the face of grim and challenging times. As American voters, we have been told before that we were failing and that our enemies were something that needed to be tolerated and lived with. Cynicism was at the heart of the those who told us that we could not defeat Communism, that a Cold War was unwinnable - just as it is at the heart of the argument that the people of the Middle East do not yearn for or cannot cultivate Western freedoms, that a world that breeds terrorism cannot be rebuilt, and that we are not succeeding.

In 1864 a cynical military veteran ran against the first Republican president and told the American electorate that we were losing in our struggle to unite the country, that the president was a warmonger who had dragged us into a war we could not win and was committing us to failure - that he could get us out of it, if only we were willing to give up our stubborness.

Today we are asked by a calcuating senator for our votes and a smiliar surrender of our steadfastness. Over his career he has voted endlessly to cut military spending and undermine efforts to win the Cold War. After the first attack on the World Trade Center, he voted to cut intelligence spending. He believes and has written that Yasser Arafat - for whom terrorism is a means of politics - is a "statesman." Having argued for and voted to authorize action to remove a widely perceived threat and certified madman, he voted cynically and for political purposes not to fund that effort. He has said that he wants to fight a "more sensitive War on Terror" - though he has remarked also that he sees our struggle as a "law enforcement" matter and not a war, and that he wants to return our national conscience and way of thinking to that of Sept. 10, 2001 - when terrorism was a "nuisance."

We cannot do this.

An intelligent Bush opponent recently asked in a Billiken comment, "Isn't is OK for a politician to change his mind?" and on such a point he is certainly correct. The problem on this day, Nov. 2nd 2004, is that our American leadership is sought effectively by a man for whom Sept 11, 2001 did not change his mind. He has said so himself, saying the day "did not change him much." He is inarguably nostalgic for the days when an international, deadly threat was growing but we did not have the stomach to face it, when he was content to cut our intelligence funding without political repurcussion, when Saddam was in power, when women in Afghanistan were being brutally repressed by an Islamic terrorist supporting regime instead of at the polls electing a pro-American democrat.

The alternative in this election is a flawed man for whom Sept. 11, 2001 made all the difference. He is a swaggering, fiscally irresponsible Texan. He barely won election, and half the country hates him. He doesn't speak english very well. He smirks sometimes. At times has been devastatingly ineffective at explaining his position and leading an unconvinced country to believe in it.

It is understandable that half the country does not feel he represents them or fights on their behalf - indeed, when I listened to his final rally speech last night I realized that George W. Bush is fighting for one small, specific group, but it's not "the rich" or "oil barons" or "Halliburton" or whatever cliche one might want to insert there. The people Bush is fighting for consists of that small group of workers in hard hats that stood on the rubble of the World Trade Center and yelled to him, "Whatever it takes George! Whatever it takes!" Those people - that is his constituency, when you get right down to it.

For "whatever it takes" has been exactly what the man has done.

John Kerry said this year during a rally that the Hollywood liberal elite, who minutes before were making making lewd jokes and fuming, incensed speeches were the "heart and soul of America." I believe at this turning point, this grim and difficult year 2004, there is much more to those men in hard hats, digging up the remains of their countrymen but searching for optimism as they called our to the president, that is the heart and soul of our country.

So today the president gets reelected, I have no doubt - just as that tall, bitterly opposed and mocked president was in 1864. Why? Because we have been asked to give up an important struggle - most recently by a failing terrorist mastermind in a cheap video recording - but it is our nature and our historic tendency to firmly refuse to do so.

And so.... 281 to 257, I'm sticking to it.

Tomorrow you'll see tears from Michael Moore, Barbara Streisand, Tim Robbins, Osama Bin Laden, George Soros, Kim-Jong Il, Yasser Arafat, terrorists, New York Times journalists, Saddam, Anti-Bushocrats, the Got, St. Nick and many more. Smiles from NDot, Laura Bush, Wall Street, Curt Schilling, Rudy Giuliani, Tony Blair, a majority of the soldiers in Afghanistan and Iraq, people who hate terrorism, and Hillary Clinton.

That's why I love America.


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