See Post 1
I would agree -- I want a leader that is able to admit his faults and move on. However, I do not see Kerry as that leader. He does not admit his faults and move on; he just changes his position. A good example of this was in the debate last week. He flip-flopped on his stance with the war in Iraq: first, it was a war we shouldn't be in; then, it was imperative that we be in the war. Another good example was his voting in the Senate on the $87 billion war supplement. He claimed in the debates that he would not vote to send people into combat without them being well-armed and protected; yet, he voted against the monies to buy protective armor for our soldiers. He claims to be behind our men and women in the military, yet he turned on his own "band of brothers" in Vietnam and called them rapists. He is not consistent, at all. See http://media1.streamtoyou.com/rnc/100104v1.wmv. Also, see http://www.gop.com/RNCResearch/Read.aspx?id=4285 for his voting record. You may be surprised.
I do want a leader that will stand up for his constituents. That requires someone who is involved in government. Kerry's voting record in the Senate shows that he has missed over 70% of the votes on issues over his 20-year career. You can't be a leader and be absent at the same time, in the same way that you cannot be a father and be absent at the same time. http://www.gop.com/RNCResearch/read.aspx?ID=4500
I do not see Bush as smugly self-righteous. I see a man of conviction, yes. I see a man who does not back down on his convictions. Now, I agree, you can be convicted and be wrong about things in life. The Christians were convicted during the Crusades, but their actions were wrong. But, I do not see where Bush has acted this way. He made the decision (with Congress' backing, mind you) to go to war in both Afghanistan and Iraq (and anywhere else we were threatened) to protect the U.S. The war with Iraq was not fought on the premise that "we're going to war because Saddam Hussein has WMD's". Now, if you get your information solely from the American media, that's what you will hear. If you dig into their sources, you will find that they are twisting truths into a lie. We went to war, because Iraq was linked with Al-Qaeda. If you believe the line that the 9/11 Commission said there was no link between Iraq and Al-Queda, then you are believing a lie. Read the report -- it states that there were ties between them. But, the media does not show this -- they twist truths into a lie. Iraq and Afghanistan have far-reaching consequences that will play out in our lifetime. By removing Osama bin-Laden and Saddam Hussein, and by setting up democracies in those countries, you are changing the mindset of the center of the most volatile location in the world. I don't see that as empire-building; I see that as an intelligent strategy in a war. We have not come in, bombed, and left, as most countries would. No, we're re-building those countries into a better future for their citizens. The same as we did in Japan. The same as we did in Germany. Neither of which are our empires, strangely....
I agree that it is the government's responsibility to look out for the protection of all people in the United States; that includes the born, the unborn, the heterosexual, the homosexual, the average person, the wealthy and the poor. However, I do not believe that ANY racial group in the US should have special rights and privileges; if a group of people decide that they want to become a new "race", that does not give them the rights of racial groups. Homosexuality is a lifestyle choice made consciously by people; it is not a genetic defect, and has never been shown to be so. Therefore, homosexuals are not a "race", and they are not guaranteed civil rights and special rights as a group. Yes, they do have human rights, and they are to be respected as people and citizens of the U.S.; their socially-deviant behavior is not. If people suddenly decide that humans can unite with animals or adults can unite with children, should we support this in the U.S.? This is the direction we're headed -- view history, and research the gods Molech, Baal and Aphrodite. This is no different than a group of people deciding that murder is OK, and so we should protect them and make it legal to murder (oh, wait, have we done this?). I also do not believe that ANY people group should be able to control the media as much as homosexuals (and their agenda-pushers) do. If someone wants to be a homosexual, fine; that is their lifestyle choice. But, I and my family do not need to know it, and we certainly do not need to have it shoved down our throats at every opportunity. Now, should we love them? Yes. But (cliche answer), love the sinner, hate the sin. We cannot invite people with unrecognized or un-dealt-with sin into positions in the church where they have influence. Invite them to church -- YES! Christ ate with the sinners and tax-collectors. He met them where they were at...but not to keep them there. He lifted them up out of their sin with loving confrontation and accountability, to be better people.
The unborn should be protected, because they are children. An amazing statistic was presented to me the other day by our church's pregnancy resource center. Of the women that visit the center, looking for counseling on getting an abortion, 70% change their mind once they are shown a sonogram of their child. Why? Because they see (usually for the first time) that the child is alive and is a "child", not a "thing". On the topic of the Federal Marriage Amendment (FMA), I am very much for it. Here is my reasoning. Marriage is defined as the union between a man (male) and his wife (female). Nature reinforces that, most religious establishments endorse that, and our culture was founded upon that. If you read throughout history, you will see that, when this foundation of civilized society is abandoned, the culture will spiral downward to its end. This was true for the Sodomites; it was true for the Canaanites; it was true for the Romans; and, it will be true for the U.S., if we do not change our path. Those who do not heed history are doomed to repeat it.
Well, apparently, I'm rich. According to Kerry, that is. I received President Bush's tax refund 2 or 3 years ago, at a time when we desperately needed it. This year, we will receive a tax cut on our federal income tax, which is also much needed. Without it, we will have a hard time building a house. Sound trite? Not really -- we're employing people and keeping the economy moving. True, I do not make minimum wage, but I also make substantially less than "the rich". I also tithe each paycheck. So, after taxes and tithing, I'm taking home about 60% of what my salary is. Somehow, I don't feel "rich". Kerry rails against Bush's tax cut, and yet the economy has been strengthened by it. Ask any economist with an unbiased viewpoint! Giving the people back money in their pockets to spend is the fastest way out of a downward economy. Giving people tax breaks helps them and the economy grow. Starting more social programs with increased taxes only enslaves people to the government. True, some people need these programs to get back on their feet; that's what they were designed for, and I'm all for that. However, most people on government programs never come off them. Why? Why should they? They get a free paycheck from the government for doing nothing. There is no incentive to get people off of welfare, and there should be. (II Thess 3:10 - "For even when we were with you, we gave you this rule: 'If a man will not work, he shall not eat.'") I do not believe it is the government's job to watch over the poor -- that is the church's job (James 1:27 - "Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world."). I really do believe in President Bush's program to give government funds back to churches and social organizations that help the poor. Interesting point: two presidents in the past have helped people by empowering them -- and yes, the country went into a deficit as a result -- F.D.R. and Ronald Reagan. Both were great presidents with lasting results.
An aside: Contrary to what the Dallas Morning News recently reported, the middle class income has risen over the past 2 years. The wealthiest incomes have dropped, and more people have moved into the "middle-class" from the "lower-class". Doesn't seem like such a sour economy to me. Under President Bush, the economy has grown.
I would be interested in the indictments on Bush and the environment. As far as I know, the two big things the "tree-huggers" don't like are drilling for oil in Alaska and the Kyoto treaty. The first topic (Alaska) is a no-brainer. We use oil; we will continue to use oil. Oil drives our economy, literally. However, we keep shooting ourselves in the foot by becoming more relient on outside oil than on our own (did you know California is the highest importer of foreign oil in the U.S.?). Drilling in Alaska would not harm the environment, with the current methods of drilling. Sure, there's the possibility of disaster; there was the possibility of disaster in going to space, too. Should we have done it? I would love to have a hydrogen car, but that's not feasible right now. Maybe it will be in the future, and there are companies working towards it. I agree that the government should put its resources towards this end AND towards cleaning up where we can. However, a treaty like the Kyoto Treaty would do nothing but put American businesses out of business. It was not designed to clean up the world; it was designed to put false restrictions on (mainly) U.S. companies. Why would a president sign something that would put his own country out of business? Does that make economic sense? All companies are created to make money; and, public companies have to show that they're making money to look good in the stock market. That's capitalism in the U.S. If there are gains to be made in alternative fuels, they will have to be shown to make money fairly quickly, or no company will take on the task. It's not the government's responsibility to run the day-to-day affairs of companies. However, providing tax breaks for hydrogen/electric cars is something I am all-for, for early-adopters. And, you do get a tax break for owning a hybrid or electric car now. I'm sure you will for an H-powered car, when they are viable vehicles.
The U.N. has a place. It was designed as a place to come together and work out differences before going to war. However, it has failed in its usefulness, and it has become a country-club where dictators pass money around. Just look at the oil-for-food scandal. This type of universal-governing body is a nice thought, but it is very difficult to play it out in real life. Human beings are not basically good in our nature. We are of Adam, and we are born into sin. Kerry's take on world politics scares me. He has a very elementary grasp of world politics: he thinks that, if he becomes President, France and Germany will all-of-a-sudden work with us and the U.N. will become our greatest ally. I think that's a little optimistic, don't you? I don't think France or Germany or the U.N. cares who the President of the U.S. is; they have made their choices and are sticking with them.
I do not know enough about Nader to comment on him. But, we are very much a Democratic/Republican party country. I would love to see an independent run and win, but I doubt it will happen -- that is the way of life here. What usually happens (as did in 1992), is that the 3rd-party candidate only upsets who wins, and we end up with a president elected with only 40% of the vote.
I have not heard about Kerry's health plans, so I cannot comment on them. However, his vice-president is a lawyer who specializes in healthcare class-action suits, and he's become very wealthy doing so (he's "the best", so to speak, in his field). So, tell me, how is Kerry going to get health care expenditures down when his buddy is busy driving the costs up? The real solution to the healthcare crisis is to curb the frivolous lawsuits that keep causing everyone's costs to go up and causing doctors to quit the field. The doctors I know are scared into submission anymore, for fear they'll be sued for making a wrong assessment. But, heaven forbid that they spend more than 10 minutes with each patient! Remember, they're a company that has to make a profit, too.
Alright, I'm definitely getting carpal-tunnel now! But, I hope my answers were clear. If you need clarifications or research to back up my points, let me know, and I'll send it.