Thursday, October 28, 2004

Kiss me: I voted

I did my civic duty tonight, in time to get my ballot in the mail and to the County Registrar of Voters before Tuesday. KJ and I have been permanent absentee voters since her cancer treatment started four years ago, at which point it was a major hassle for her to get out to the polling place. We liked the convenience so much that we made our absentee status permanent. One of these days, hopefully, they'll develop a sufficiently secure system for online voting.

Since I'm not the least bit secretive about it, I'll tell you how I marked my scorecard.

For President and Vice President: John Kerry and John Edwards. (Yeah, like that was a major surprise to you.) I have no particular enthusiasm for Senator Kerry — indeed, I think he's the Democrats' flimsiest candidate since George McGovern in '72. But as I've written before, Presidents get elected either because they're perceived as a Cool Guy (i.e., Kennedy, Reagan, Clinton) or because they're Not the Other Guy. George W. Bush is one of the scariest Other Guys we've had to face in a while — he's an unintelligent man who has no apparent desire to get any smarter, or to surround himself with people who are. He's unflinchingly rigid, incapable of changing his mind about anything even in the face of overwhelming evidence that suggests he should. He's also defiant about admitting his mistakes, which in my opinion is one of the worst qualities a leader can possess. When Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote, "A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds," he could well have been referring to the little mind of Bush 43.

President Bush has been wrong about just about every major decision he's been called upon to make during his nearly four years in office, both internationally and domestically. He gives every indication that he'll continue that pattern if reelected. If you or I were employees who erred as frequently in judgment as the President has, we would be fired. I believe that the President should be held to the same standard, and should face the same consequences. For the failure to destroy Osama bin Laden while the iron was hot, for the horrendous miscalculations in Iraq and the 1000-plus American casualties and the near-universal alienation from the world community those miscalculations engendered, for an economic policy that has resulted in the only net job loss in American history, for handing the keys to the kingdom to incompetent ideologues like Dick Cheney and John Ashcroft, George W. Bush deserves to be fired.

I share this for informational purposes only. (I'm a blogger. It's what I do.) I don't expect you to follow my lead. I'll still like you just the same even if you negate my vote all the way down the ballot. (I'll think you're ill-informed, and possibly mentally challenged, but I'll still like you.) But if you're not an absentee voter, and assuming you're registered in your jurisdiction, please go to the polls on Tuesday and vote your conscience — or at least vote the way that least disturbs your conscience. The choices may all suck, but these are the choices we have. Be thankful that you live in a country where you have a choice at all.

And by the way, for those tempted to think I'm a merely a yellow-dog Democratic hardliner, think again. I voted for the Republican candidate for State Senate in California's Third District. From everything I've read about him, Andrew Felder is a fiscally conservative, socially moderate, and straight-shooting kind of guy. He'll do a good job if elected. I'm also no admirer of the Democratic candidate, Carole Migden, a San Franciscan gerrymandered into and essentially carpetbagging in a district she knows little about. In our heavily Democratic district, Felder has little chance of winning, but I hope he does.

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