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November 01, 2004
Time to decide
Dale Amon (Belfast, Northern Ireland)  North American affairs

It seems like everyone has announced their decisions now: even Megan McCardle. So it is my turn... well, actually that isn't really true. You see, I had to vote about two or more weeks ago to make sure my absentee ballot made it to Pittsburgh by October 31st so my decision cycle was a bit tighter than most.

It is not so much a difficult decision as a painful one. I have had to do something I have never done in my life. I started off Clean for Gene putting up posters when I was still a high school student; friends were out for McGovern... and then the LP came along and made me feel comfortable voting, something I had not really felt in the earlier elections.

I have election after election been perfectly happy voting straight LP. Even if I did not see my candidate take an oath, I at least knew I agreed with what they stood for.

Unfortuneately, this year I again became, in Marshall Fritz's words, 'Politically Homeless'. The LP stand on the current war has left me in the unfamiliar and awkward feeling position of selecting the least of three evils.

Do not get me wrong. There is really only one of the three candidates whom I really loath and it is not Badnarik.

I also a worry this election might be another squeeker, something I was not expecting. I believed it would be a runaway. That appears not be the case. Votes do matter more than usual this time.

It really came down to a no-brainer though. I have voted for a Republican for President for the first time in my life. I don't agree with George Bush on many issues, but I do indeed agree with him on the war and the war cabinet is one I quite like. There is a minor plus that all the right people are totally off the wall and over the top insane about the prospect of him winning.

There is an undertone of religious intolerance against his obviously sincere and deep faith. I do not find this distressing despite my own total non-belief. I am a pure physical scientist, but just because I do not see need to posit a supreme being does not mean I do not respect those who do. I feel George is a good man and honourable. I simply do not buy the rantings of the left or even of some of our own. Disagree with him if you must, but please do not descend into ludicrous accusations.

I do not like some of his domestic agenda, but for the exact opposite reasons the Kerry side is against it. On the other hand, he has managed a number of political shuffles that appear to be one thing but whose outcome was not really that bad. The cloning research 'ban' appears to have been little more than a ban of state funded research, something no Libertarian could argue with.

But that is all secondary. We are in the middle, not merely of a war in Iraq, but of a global war on whose outcome our very lives may depend. I am too close to technology not to realize how much evil can be done by a small number of dedicated followers of the dark side.

I endorse George W. Bush for President of the United States.


I don't understand the need for 'a foolish consistency' in politics. Often, I find myself agreeing with only one or two issues in a party platform. Designed, as it is, to appeal to the broadest possible consitituency, a platform can't be all things to all people. I'd no more consider voting a straight ticket than I'd consider biting my hand off. Beside, specific issues change year to year and the solutions required change -- at least, I think they do. I voted for Gore in 2000, for Dole before that, for Clinton before that, and for Reagan before that. In each instance, I made the best decision I could based on my appreciation of the issues and what I perceived to be the character of the man involved. Character weighs heavily in the equation. Far heavier, indeed, than party loyalty or so-called intelligence.

There's no need for anyone to explain why they're voting for George Bush. Like Rudolph Giuliani and Winston Churchill, he's proved himself an able leader in confusing times. Bush doesn't have to be perfect. Leading is damned hard and the bitch of it is that very few people criticising from the sidelines have a clue as to what is involved. Even when you do it poorly, it's a thankless task. To do it well is a talent beyond the capability of most.

In keeping with my philosophy, I'm voting for Barack Obama for Senator of Illinois (a Democrat) and George Bush for President.

Posted by ahem at November 1, 2004 03:15 AM

Welcome to the light side! I disliked Bush's decision on the stem-cell issue too until I realized Bush stopped only gov't funding.
btw: Megan's wrong in her decision-making post about the corporate tax bill. There was a small amount of pork but a lot of technical corrections, as Kevin Hassett write in a piece in

Posted by Liberty Lover at November 1, 2004 03:17 AM

Lets see why George Bush is so attractive as a candidate:

1) Supports anti-gay marriage amendment.

2) Spends tax money like drunken sailor, including the largest percentage increases in non-defense spending in decades, and the creation of a record deficit.

3) Claims that it is fine to throw US citizens in jail indefinately without trial or right of counsel on the President's say so.

4) Got us involved in a stupid war in Iraq on the pretext that Saddam Hussein had WMDs (false) and had something to do with 9/11 (also false).

5) Said war having now cost the lives of tens of thousands of innocent Iraqis, or perhaps even more.

6) Said war also having been run with spectacular incompetence.

7) Supported steel tariffs.

8) Supports textile tariffs.

9) Mangled the only thing he did even half right, a tax cut.

10) Anti-abortion, and likely to appoint supreme court justices who will overturn Roe vs. Wade

11) Created large expansions of the foolish semi-socialized medicine program.

12) Vastly enhanced the powers of federal police agencies to violate individual rights without any notable increase in security.

13) Participated in the federalization of things like airport security, creating vast increases in bureaucracy without notable improvements in security.

14) Vastly increased funding for the drug war.

I could go on and on.

Any libertarian voting for Bush is deceiving themselves beyond my capacity to describe. I can see opposing Kerry. Kerry has very little going for him. But support Bush? That's just nuts.

Posted by Perry E. Metzger at November 1, 2004 03:28 AM

As another resident of Pittsburgh, attending your alma mater's robotics institute, I hope that our combined votes tip the scales of the PA electoral vote :)

You can see my reasons to vote here.

On a related note, you can see my brother's reasons here. It's related because he also lives in PA, and is actually somewhat undecided. I've thought for at least a month that the person for whom he decides to vote will most certainly win.

You can get updates on his position here.

Posted by Ivan Kirigin at November 1, 2004 03:57 AM

It's not really Bush's leadership I don't like it's his lack of focus on the long range. I think the funding cut for stem cell research was nearly as bad as banning it. Unfortuatly I believe it might lead to some non-profit organizations and schools withholding funding to stem cell research for fear of offending coservitive donors and alumni. Also I am hacked off that he left the most promising feild of nanotechnology (scan page two of this article) out in the cold and instead focus their funding on scientists who are producing nanotech sunblock. And that's just the science stuff.

I'll probably vote for Kerry but I don't like him much either. I do believe he can fix some of the domestic problems Bush has gotten us into and I don't think he as big a pansy when it comes to Iraq or national defence as he's made out to be.

Posted by Andrew Robb at November 1, 2004 04:12 AM

How does the state look from Pittsburgh, anyway? It doesn't look very good on this side: I'm a suburban Philly resident and it would appear that the Democratic machine is going to do the same thing it did four years ago- run buses into ethnic neighborhoods to farm likely Kerry voters, partially on the taxpayer's dime.

Posted by HitNRun at November 1, 2004 04:23 AM

Crazy. So Bush has only let 3,000 people be murdered by terrorists when he had adequate warning to stop it. What's your standard for great wartime leadership, then? 3,500 people? 4,000? You like his War Cabinet? Why? Abu Gharib turn you on? Highest levels of terrorism in 20 years not quite high enough for you? Telling us the war will pay for itself and that we'll be greeted like liberators close enough to the truth for you? Telling us they KNEW where Saddam's nuclear weapons were hidden didn't bother you?
I respect religion also, except yours, which is some kind of bizarre belief that Bush has these vague character traits such as "strength" and "clarity" which mean jack against a few dedicated people with nuclear weapons. Here's Osama bin Laden, THREE YEARS after he killed 3,000 fellow Americans, on my TV mocking my President. My President is a joke to terrorists around the world. They aren't dead or in jail. They aren't even scared. They are mocking him. They don't fear him. Which means they might come after us.
This coupled with John Ashcroft's new version of America in which he's reading your credit card receipts, library book list, the websites you like to visit, etc. You're a funny libertarian.
You're going to lose this election. On the bright side, you will be much better off for it.

Posted by Cody at November 1, 2004 05:01 AM

What I hope for is an about face if President Bush is re-elected.

That means a sudden redirection of focus away from healthcare spending, risky (as far as criticism from the democrats) tax cuts, and department cleansing. I doubt, however, that he will follow through with anything that radical. Bush doesn't particularly strike me as a radical political figure.

In the future, the Republicans will need a more radical candidate and stop pandering to the center. The democrats are guilty of the same. Either that, or honest to goodness real libertarians (in the IRS destroying, income tax destroying, regulation destroying sense) need to get up off their asses and convince people that electing a democract or republican is not the answer. We have the internet. We can organize much better than ever before. All it takes is a small voice in every major city of the country to change things.

Posted by Random Wanderer at November 1, 2004 05:05 AM

I don't care what Bush has done or not. It's sufficient for me to notice that pornographers (child ponographers at that), satanists, abortists, and the like, HATE Bush, in order for me to like the guy. If his enemies are of such kind, I want nothing to do with them.

Posted by Miguel at November 1, 2004 05:21 AM
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