What Else Is In Scott's Head?

The blog site for writer Scott C. Smith. Some observations on the world we live in and life in general. And maybe some politics.

Sunday, October 24, 2004

Why I'm Not Voting for George W. Bush

Although the election is still a little over a week away, I, like many others, have already cast my ballot in my state's vote by mail. George W. Bush was never a consideration for me. To be honest, I probably would have voted for any candidate running against Bush. Bush has got to go.

George W. Bush's policy of going it alone has resulted in a huge disaster in Iraq. And as much as the Bush administration wants people to believe that the reason we went to war against Iraq was to hunt down terrorists, the real reason has been conveniently ignored by George W. Bush, Donald Rumsfeld, and Dick Cheney: we went in to find and rid Iraq of WMDs. For whatever reason -- whether it was spectacularly bad intelligence or an administration determined to go to war regardless of the reason -- the war has been paid in blood by the deaths of over 1,100 American soldiers, while thousands have been injured, many never to walk or see or hear again, learning to live with prosthetic limbs or horrific burns. The lives of these young men and women have been destroyed by a president who cannot see shades of grey -- his world is a black and white, either-or world where you're either with him, or against him. The war has also cost the lives of thousands of Iraqi civilians, and our occupation of that country has created an insurgency dedicated to our destruction. Almost daily targets are bombed, our troops are under constant attack, and Iraqi forces assisting the U.S. often end up dead, as was the case this weekend when insurgents attacked a convoy of unarmed Iraqi soldiers, killing 50.

Perhaps the biggest blunder of the Bush administration was allowing Osama Bin Laden to escape. The man that George W. Bush once said would be captured "dead or alive" could be anywhere.

George W. Bush has not apologized to the families of the dead troops who were sent to Iraq to find WMDs, nor has he apologized to the American people on how we were so very wrong about WMDs.

Back home, Bush's domestic record is almost non-existent. Bush's one and only domestic program has been tax cuts. That's it. Since Bush took office, the economy has lost a total of 821,000 jobs, both in the private and public sectors (the figure is higher if you do not take into account public sector jobs).

The number of people living in poverty since Bush took office has increased by 14%, for a total of 35.9 million Americans living in poverty, while 45 million, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, lack health insurance.

The administration's passing of the U.S. Patriot Act is another reason for concern. I can understand the need for law enforcement agencies like the FBI and CIA to be able to share information, but other provisions of the act potentially violate civil liberties. Conservatives like to say "What rights have you lost?" but I'm more concerned with the possibility that certain situations will result in violation of civil liberties. For instance, if I were to go to a library and check out a book about Osama Bin Laden, law enforcement could request my record with no search warrant. If a book is available at a public library, I should be able to check it out without fear that the feds will come knocking on my door, asking questions about why I checked out a particular book. Law enforcement officers can also infiltrate organizations like churches, mosques or synagogues, again without a warrant, in an effort to gather intelligence. Also troubling is the power of the Bush administration to declare someone, even U.S. citizens, as "enemy combatants" in the war on terror, effectively removing all constitutional protections one would normally receive. No access to a lawyer, no speedy trial, and the authority to hold that person in custody indefinitely.

There are many other troubling aspects of the Bush administration, too many to list here. Bush's presidency has been a colossal failure, and he does not deserve a second term.


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