Bush's barriers to the White House
By Henry Lamb
web posted June 14, 2004
George Bush's vision that someday, all people should be able to
choose and control their own government is sufficient reason for
terrorists, communists, devout socialists, and many Democrats to
hate him. What is more difficult to understand, is why many
conservatives who share his vision, have found reasons to
Perhaps the most bizarre scenario now circulating is the idea that
George Bush heads some kind of secret society of international
intrigue that orchestrated the September 11 attack, to prepare
Americans to accept the Patriot Act. Now that the homeland
security apparatus is in place, another pre-election attack is
being planned, to justify the final take-over of America by
military and police forces under Bush's control. Once America is
under control, so the theory goes, the global advance will spread
from Iraq, across the Arab world, and to final global conquest.
Nearly as ridiculous is the notion that the entire Bush family, all
the way back to Prescott, is the instrument of Satan, on this earth
for the purpose of propagating evil. Evidence offered in support
of this notion is Bush's college affiliation with the "Skull and
Another reason offered to urge conservatives to abandon Bush is
the idea that Kerry should be elected so he can hasten the
transformation of America to socialism so that conservatives will
see how bad socialism really is, and "wake up" and throw the
bums out, once and for all.
Similar to this reasoning is the idea that the White House should
be held by the opposite party in control of the legislative branch -
in order to promote gridlock. The idea that no legislation is better
than any legislation is appealing to many people.
Then comes the "lesser of two evils" argument that urges people
to vote for a third party candidate, or to stay at home, since
neither major candidate rises to their ideal. The ever-present
third party appeal fails to recognize that if its argument cannot
persuade the major party from which it departs, it has even less
chance of persuading a majority of the electorate.
There is also a wide array of "Because he has not..." done any of
a variety of specific things that people think he should have done.
There is an equally wide array of "because he..." did a variety of
things that people think he should not have done.
Collectively, the conservatives who gravitate to one or more of
these ideas constitute the greatest barrier to Bush's second term.
Perhaps these people should take a lesson from Ronald Reagan
who told a trusted ally: "I'd rather get 80 percent of the goal than
to ride off the cliff waving a flag."
Conservatives who choose to stay at home, or vote for a third
party candidate may well be riding off the cliff while waving
whatever flag they follow. Regardless of the arguments
advanced, the next president will be either a Republican or a
Democrat. No third party candidate has the support that
Ross Perot had in 1992 - 19 percent. Still, all Perot could do
was spoil the reelection of George H.W. Bush, and send the
nation into eight years of policies bitterly opposed by the very
conservatives who abandoned the Bush ship to vote for Perot.
Even though there is a significant minority of people who
sincerely believe that there is no difference between the two
candidates, there is a vast difference. The difference that matters
is not in the details of any particular program, but in their
distinctly different visions of the world, and America's place in it.
Based on his rhetoric and record, John Kerry believes that the
United States should be a compliant member of the global
village, under the authority of the United Nations. He has never
repudiated his 1970 statement to the
"I'm an internationalist. I'd like to see our troops dispersed
through the world only at the directive of the United Nations."
Based on his rhetoric and record, George Bush believes that the
United States should lead the world in the defense of freedom,
acting in the interests of the United States, with or without the
United Nations. Bush says:
"Americans are a free people, who know that freedom is the
right of every person and the future of every nation. The liberty
we prize is not America's gift to the world, it is God's gift to
No honest, objective person can examine these two candidates
and conclude that there is no difference between them. One or
the other will be the next president of the United States.
Henry Lamb is the executive vice president of the Environmental
Conservation Organization (ECO), and chairman of Sovereignty
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