Why I Can't Vote for Bush, Kerry, nor Nader
By Marty Nemko
I have serious concerns about George Bush, most of which stem from his religious zeal:
· Like a Crusader, Bush invaded Iraq despite worldwide opposition. The results of that hubris are profound. He’s stirred a hornet’s nest of terrorists who are now swarming around us hell bent on our destruction. Meanwhile, he has ignored the more significant threats such as the tons of unaccounted for nuclear material making their way around the world’s black market. In addition, there’s the opportunity cost of the $200 billion Iraqi invasion. To think, how much improvement in health care, education, child care, elder care, and scientific research could have been bought with that $200 billion? (In fairness, conservatives argue that liberals likely would have spent the $200 million on military adventurism. They point to the Clinton years’ military incursions into Bosnia and Somalia.)
· Bush opposes government funding of embryonic stem cell research despite near universal agreement among the scientific community of its importance. More broadly, more than 4,000 scientists including 48 Nobel laureates, 62 National Medal of Science recipients, and 127 members of the National Academy of Sciences have signed a statement, Restoring Scientific Integrity in Policymaking, accusing the Bush administration of widespread and unprecedented "manipulation of the process through which science enters into its decisions."
· Bush opposes a woman’s right to choose, something I strongly support.
· Bush is leading the charge against gay marriage. I believe that two people willing to accept the additional commitment and legal responsibilities of marriage should not be precluded from doing so because of their sexual orientation, especially because for many, homosexuality is a genetically-based characteristic.
· At least in the bites the media chooses to show us, Bush appears frighteningly unintelligent.
· Bush is too beholding to corporate interests, which results in policies contrary to the national interest. His energy policy was precisely what the energy companies wanted. No surprise—the biggest donor to his 2000 campaign was Enron.
Bush’s tax policies transfer wealth from the poor and middle class to the rich, an acceleration of a long trend. Since 1960, the wealth gap between the top 20% and the bottom 20% was 30 fold. Four decades later, it is 75 fold. Taxes generated from payroll taxes have tripled while those from corporate income taxes have fallen 60 percent. This is causing increased pain for the already overburdened middle class family, in which two incomes may or may not cover basic expenses and leaves little time for key quality-of-life enhancers such as family time, recreation, and voluntarism. For many, skyrocketing housing and college costs have been backbreakers.
In addition, it is unclear whether transferring wealth to the wealthy yields sufficient trickle-down to justify the pain imposed on the middle class. Yes, adding capital to corporations stimulates investment, which in turn, creates improved products and more jobs, but much of that wealth simply gets socked away in personal stock and bond holdings that redistribute even more capital to wealthy individuals, exacerbating “The Two Americas” John Edwards talks about. In contrast, a tax cut for the middle class would largely get pumped right back in the economy—they buy the many things they otherwise could not afford to buy.
And fundamentally, there is something wrong with a country in which some people have more money than they could spend in five lifetimes and others are homeless, even if those homeless people have not been model citizens.
I cannot vote for George Bush.
Alas, I have even greater concerns about John Kerry.
During the campaign, to get the swing vote, John Kerry makes himself sound like a centrist, but as the saying goes, judge a person not by what he says, but by what he does.
Every year, the nonpartisan National Journal ranks senators’ voting records. In 2003, John Kerry’s voting record ranked him as the #1 liberal with a score of 96.5, higher even than Barbara Boxer and Edward Kennedy. His vice-presidential nominee, John Edwards, ranked fourth at 94.5. This is the fourth year that Kerry topped the list, most among US senators.
Here is why I believe America would be worse under a liberal administration. The following trends are already well in place as the result of liberal efforts. These will only accelerate under Kerry, and of course, accelerate even faster under the even more liberal Nader.
· Most liberals abhor racial profiling, whether in traffic stops or airport searches. That makes you and I more at-risk of being a victim of every crime from vehicular homicide to terrorism. Only liberals could insist that, in airport screening, equal attention be paid to aged Asian women as to young Saudi males. While silent on the issue of racial profiling to the general public, Kerry makes his position clear in a document his campaign sent on August 3, 2004 to the Pakistan American Public Affairs Committee: “Sen. John Kerry knows that racial profiling…must be prohibited."
· Liberals, to a far greater extent than conservatives, believe in "distributive justice": from those with the most to those with the least. That means redistributing from those with the greatest potential to improve society to those with the least. Not a good formula for improving America.
In 2003, there were 138 Senate votes on social issues, Kerry voted the conservative position 0 times. Earlier, he even voted against a mere 16-hour-per-week work requirement for able-bodied welfare recipients.
This is not to say that Bush is against distributive justice. His flagship domestic program is No Child Left Behind. Nice slogan, but what it means a huge reallocation of effort in the schools from those with the greatest potential to profit to those with the least. Bush has partially funded it. Kerry would fully fund it.
· Most liberals encourage or at least ignore reverse discrimination, which, despite liberals’ public statements to the contrary, is rampant in the workplace as well as in colleges. Liberals appear to value diversity over even merit. Nothing is more devastating to a society. Having less qualified people in our elite colleges and prestigious jobs results in worse goods and services for all of us: worse nursing care, medical research, more error-prone airplane flying, cars that break down, worse customer service, everything. And reverse discrimination engenders a quiet fury among the countless more competent people who are turned down because they are of the "wrong” race. Liberal guilt only goes so far.
Of course, Kerry and most liberals never admit to supporting reverse discrimination, only affirmative action as outreach. But even Kerry’s on-the-record position is more radical than most. In a March, 29, 2004 interview in the Wilmington Journal, Kerry said, “I support it (affirmative action) now and I will always support it in the future (emphasis mine).” John Kerry filed a brief in favor of reverse discrimination in the landmark University of Michigan reverse discrimination cases, Gratz v. Bollinger and Grutter v Bollinger, while the Bush administration filed a brief in opposition.
· Liberal politicians are heavily influenced by entities supporting uncontrolled immigration such as the National Council of La Raza and the Mexican American Legal Defense Fund. The results, apparent already in areas of California, Arizona, Texas, and New York, are serious and promise to become devastating:
In growing numbers of public schools, classes have become filled with illegal aliens who, in addition to speaking limited English, havea constellation of physical and socioeconomic problems. This renders it extremely difficult for legal residents, especially average and above average students, to get a decent education. Why? Because liberals have spearheaded laws and policies that have made it illegal for schools to even ask if a student is a legal resident, mandates that illegals be educated free at taxpayer expense, that they be placed in the same classes as native English speakers and, perhaps most remarkable, that part of the day be taught in Spanish. As a result, Anglos may learn a little Spanish, but less of everything else. Can you imagine if Americans illegally entered Mexico, demanded that their children be educated in the Mexican public schools for free and that they be taught in the same classes as Mexican children, and in English? They’d rightfully be laughed or thrown out. Yet, that’s what’s going on with illegal aliens in the US.
Our health care system is becoming overwhelmed by non-paying legal and illegal residents, dealing with everything from their gunshot wounds to drug-resistant tuberculosis. A number of hospitals in the above states have already had to close because they were forced to provide care for so many non-paying users. To address the problem, liberal legislators have pushed through a law giving $1,000,000,000 to hospitals to care for illegal aliens, at a time when 43 million legal Americans don’t have health insurance.
The crime rate among illegals is extraordinary. According to an article in City Journal, in Los Angeles, 50-65 percent all fugitive felony warrants are for illegal immigrants. One in seven inmates in California state prisons are illegal immigrants, serving time for crimes other than being in the US illegally. California taxpayers alone spend $500 million a year on incarcerating illegals. And statistics don't begin to tell the human tale of the pain and loss that comes from each robbery, each rape, each murder.
Amazingly, liberals even back candidates who support "La Reconquista,” the defacto returning of the American Southwest to Mexico. Co-founder of the Mexican American Legal Defense Fund, Mario Obledo, to whom President Clinton awarded the US Presidential Medal of Freedom boasted, "California is going to be a Hispanic state. Anyone who doesn't like it should leave."
John Kerry, in a 50-minute speech on June 29, 2004 to La Raza's national conference, said, to great applause, that within 100 days of taking office, he would propose a citizenship path to illegal aliens.
George Bush is not much better. He has proposed yet another “guest worker” program, which would make immigration laws even more difficult to enforce than they are now.
Fact is, any attempt at amnesty for illegals is corporate welfare. Any jobs that currently are done by illegals could be done by legal residents if only the corporations paid more and provided better working conditions.
In 30 years, we will look back and shake our heads wondering, “How could we, without protest, give away large parts of our country, our culture, let alone to people whose home countries were hardly an inspiring role model, marked by corruption, choking pollution, and poverty.”?
· Most liberals disdain assimilation. As Harvard Law Professor Alan Dershowitz put it, “assimilation is a way of coercing Muslims, Buddhists, and Shintoists into violating their conscience."
Instead, most liberals advocate for, or at least condone, ethnocentrism, each race and ethnic group with it’s “what’s-in-it-for-me” mentality rather what serves the common good. Such liberal ideology ignores the fact that worldwide, countries with strong ethnic subcultures invariably war, whether it’s Serbs and Croats in the former Yugoslavia, Hutus and Tutsis in Africa, Arabs and Jews in Israel, Arabs and Blacks in Sudan, Protestants and Catholics in Ireland, Hindus and Muslims in India.
Assimilation to a common American culture has prevented all this, but today’s liberals are tearing that all down, supporting everything from school textbooks that emphasize the race and ethnicity of heroes and villains, to separate college graduations for different ethnic groups, to liberal politicians sacrificing the common good in order to appease ethnic advocacy groups such as the NAACP and Mexican American Legal Defense Fund. Government has even created its own segregationist entities, for example, the Congressional Black Caucus and Congressional Latino Caucus.
· So many liberals intone, "It takes a village," it could be their motto. That principle ends up being disempowering to people, whether they’re welfare recipients or trust fund babies. Although the liberal mainstream media paints “rugged individualism” as Neanderthal and simplistic,a system that requires able-bodied people to mainly pull themselves up by their bootstraps or suffer consequences ultimately leads to greater overall self-efficacy and standard of living than the it-takes-a-village system liberals insist on.
· Liberal-driven laws and policies grossly distort the definition of fairness. How unfair that California has a law that allows illegal aliens to attend even its most sought-after public universities, Berkeley and UCLA, thereby denying admission to legal residents. (Dick Durbin, D-Illinois, has introduced legislation to make it nationwide!) Even more unfair, because of the reverse-discrimination brand of “affirmative action” in practice today, the admitted illegals have worse grades and test scores than the rejected legal residents! And in the ultimate outrage, the law allows illegals to pay in-state tuition! That means that a legal resident of Arizona (usually with A grades) must pay 400% more to attend Berkeley than an illegal alien (who may have just B grades.). This speaks to the power of the minority lobby--playing endlessly on liberal guilt, with John Kerry being the poster boy for it.
How can liberals say they're fair when they live by a policy of "from those with the most to those with the least"-- except when it comes to men. If women have a deficit--for example, they’re "underrepresented” in science, they get a panoply of programs to "right the wrong." If Blacks do anything poorly, endless costly and usually ineffective programs are funded to "right the wrong." But when men have the deficit, even the ultimate deficit--theylive six years shorter than women, there being more than four widows for every widower—not only is there no effort to right the wrong, there are 15 separate federal agencies addressing women’s health, none for men!
· Liberal leaders demonstrate remarkably hypocrisy. John Kerry calls himself an environmentalist yet three big gas-guzzling SUVs sit in his garage. Liberals expressed (feigned?) outraged which Dick Cheney said a “bad word” in response to a liberal senator who had been excoriating him relentlessly, yet uber-liberal Hillary Clinton said, "You go, girl!" when Teresa Heinz Kerry told a reporter to "shove it!" Liberal members of Congress sing the praises of affirmative action but have passed a law exempting themselves from it. Liberals extol diversity but in their personal choices, avoid it like the plague. Did the Clintons send Chelsea to the local diverse public schools? No, they had her whisked away to the tony Sidwell Friends private school. Liberals claim to celebrate intellectual diversity, but dare that diversity veer right of center, for example, saying that, in practice, affirmative action often ends up being reverse discrimination, and epithets such as "racist," and "fascist" often come flying. When Hillary Clinton carpetbagged her way to diverse New York, she chose to live in Chappaqua, one of New York’s whitest enclaves. Limousine liberals such as Barbara Streisand and Bruce Springsteen sing for policies that would help the poor and then leave in their stretch limos for their $20 million mansions. If they were sincere, is it unreasonable to ask that they live in a mere one million-dollar home and donate $19 million to the poor? To ask Streisand to sell just a fraction of her fabulously valuable pink diamond collection, which would save thousands of homeless people? But no. Babs needs plenty to choose from when she’s dressing for the Academy Awards. It's easier to just sing for an hour.
· On war/peace issues, liberals typically replace realism with wishful thinking. Despite millennia of empirical evidence to the contrary, liberals approach the world with certitude that the kumbaya way is the right way—if only we’d reduce the military budget and teach peace, we’ll save lives. The foolish invasion of Iraq not withstanding, clear-eyed research such as Ernest Mattoon’s Berkeley Ph.D. dissertation which reviewed 2,000 years of history, finds that countries that spend little on defense ultimately end up losing more lives. On reflection, this makes sense: Aggressive countries (and now, terrorist groups) know that liberal, pacifist nations are more vulnerable than the armed-to-the-teeth, don’t-mess-with-me countries, so those aggressor entities can attack with impunity. Liberals fail to realize that while the average Joe and Jane are peace-loving, leaders, power-hungry by definition, often see reduced armaments not as a sign of humanity but an opportunity for aggression.
· Most liberals treat environmentalism not as a science with risks and benefits, but as a religion. For example, it is well known (even reported on the liberal environmentalist NPR show "Living on Earth") that efforts to reduce car driving will have near zero effect on global warming. Barry McCahill, former official with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration wrote in an August 16, 2004 San Francisco Chronicle op-ed, such measures “are akin to using an eyedropper to drain a lake.” Yet, in many areas, such as the state of California, liberal environmentalists have wrested control of transportation planning refuse to build freeways to try to torture people out of their cars by making them spend precious extra hours sitting in gridlock, even where mass transit is unavailable or would require a multi-hour commute. Those liberal transportation planners tighten the noose further on the commuter by converting ever more lanes to carpool lanes even though they sit empty--people find carpooling just too inconvenient--thereby exacerbating the gridlock.
All of the above leads ever more highly talented people to hide from all this liberal-created mess. They move to low-tax, low-illegal immigrant states or leave the country, witness the growing offshoring trend. When expanding, ever more US companies are doing so in other countries. The brain and money drain will continue under another Bush administration, and accelerate under a Kerry Administration.
So, I can’t vote for Kerry, Bush, nor Nader.
I’m voting libertarian. Why?
· A libertarian believes in a government that minimally invades our lives. A libertarian president wouldn’t have attacked Iraq, wouldn’t be pushing laws that create corporate welfare, wouldn’t try to prohibit gay marriage or a woman’s right to choose, or try to censor cable television because you're too dumb to decide what your family should watch.
· Today, the government takes every dime we earn from January 1 through mid May. The Libertarian Party believes in minimal taxation, viewing taxation as stealing—the tax laws force us to give almost half of our income to pay for services many taxpayers feel are inappropriate. To boot, those services are provided by the government, a monopoly, and therefore inefficient. And such heavy taxation is moving ever more people from the middle- and working class toward poverty. Witness the unprecedented rise in personal bankruptcies.
While I support minimal taxation, it does have a significant liability: It requires services to the poor to be funded by volunteerism. I fear that, as generous as we Americans are, that unhireable people’s even basic needs extend beyond what Americans would voluntarily pay for. There are too many people in this country, even among just the legal residents, who are incapable of competing in our ever more competitive society. These are people whom, without government assistance, will likely suffer a life than no wealthy nation should allow. I believe that basic housing, food, and health care is a right.
The choice isn’t crystal-clear, but in balance, I feel most comfortable voting for Michael Badnarik, the Libertarian candidate for president. For more on the Libertarian Party, go to lp.org.
Some say that a vote for a third-party
candidate is a squandered vote. I believe the opposite. The chances
of my one vote for Kerry or Bush being the margin of victory is
infinitesimal, whereas one more vote for a Libertarian more
significantly strengthens the electorate’s statement that
neither major party is serving us well.
© Marty Nemko 2004-2018. Usage Rights