International Impact of US Presidential Elections
If I were not one, I might dislike Americans. Even though most of us never think about it, our election will influence the entire world, not just ourselves. Yet many of us will cast our vote without consideration of what this means for the rest of the world. No one likes for their fate to be, even partially, in the hands of others. How much more so this must be when one's fate is tied to a ruler of another land? I do not believe we should ever give non-citizens a vote in who we elect as our sovereign leader, but I think it important for voters to judge the impact their decision will have for others besides themselves.

Much of what Donald Rumsfeld calls "Old Europe" would prefer John Kerry to be our next president. They are very unhappy with President Bush and miss President Clinton. North Korea, Russia, China, and many Middle Eastern rulers would privately (or not so privately) cheer should President Bush lose in November. Folks who are either satisfied with the status quo, or at a minium, don't want the boat rocked too much.

When I thought about those who supported President Bush, I thought about those who have fresh memories of oppression. Those in Eastern Europe, who remember the heavy Soviet thumb, are rooting for President Bush. Many Iraqis, who have seen family members tortured by Saddam and his goons, fear the US could withdraw from Iraq as quickly as the Spanish should Kerry win. These too are rooting for President Bush.

I was motivated to write this post after receiving an email from a friend of mine. It has been well circulated, but originated with a man who tells of his experience at multi-denominational convention for pastors.

I recently attended the National Pastors Convention in San Diego with several thousand pastors from many different denominations. During one of the general sessions, the Master of Ceremonies introduced a pastor from Uzbekistan. He had traveled the farthest to attend the convention. I don't remember his name, and even if I did, I know I couldn't pronounce it. However, I do know this: I will never forget this man.

Right away, I liked him. He was humble, sincere, and gracious. He apologized for his broken English, though I thought he spoke very well. As the MC interviewed him, he began to share about his ministry in his country that borders Afghanistan. He talked about the church he pastors of a few hundred people. He also shared how it is illegal in his country to be a Christian. You see, his church is an "underground" church. Amazingly, his city also has 3 "underground" Christian schools. He talked about how the Christians have been arrested and even killed in his country.

Then, as the interview was about to end, he began to speak very urgently and passionately. He said something to this effect: "I would like all of you to know that my church and the Christians in my country are praying that President Bush will be reelected."

I was stunned. I knew that this gathering had to include many pastors from all over the political spectrum and I was certain this would not go over well. Immediately, there were murmurings and rumblings throughout the audience and the MC seemed a little uncertain about what to do next.

However, this pastor would not be denied. Grasping the microphone firmly in his hand, he continued, "The officials in my country are afraid of President Bush, so they don't persecute Christians as much. Under Clinton it was very bad for us. Many of us were arrested, put in jail, and some were killed. With Clinton, it was very bad. But under President Bush, it has been so much better, so we are praying for him." [boldness added]

The murmuring ended. It was suddenly very quiet. The MC paused. Then he just asked us to stand and pray for this man and we did so with great passion.

Choking back tears, I was immediately struck with this realization in my heart: this coming election was not just about me or my church or my country. This coming election would affect the entire world. And while there are many Christians and churches in this country that may not support our current President, there is a group of Christians halfway around the world who are desperately praying for his reelection.

All of the sudden, the election became something very different for me. It is not just about the economy, gay marriage, or weapons of mass destruction. It's about the persecuted church around the world. As believers, what issues should be more important to us? This transcends politics. This is about the Kingdom of God! For which Christ suffered and died, and for those believers in other countries who are suffering and dying as well.

I was also convicted in my heart about praying for our President. And I wonder, which church is praying more fervently for him: the persecuted church in Uzbekistan or the prosperous church in America? It makes you think.

As the Apostle Paul said in Hebrews 13:3, "Remember those in prison as if you were their fellow prisoners, and those who are mistreated as if you yourselves were suffering."

Remember, this election is not just about us. It's about them.

Rev. James Lair
Resurrection Lutheran Church
Senior Pastor
Church of the Living Christ
Ojai, CA

Before posting this story, I looked up the Church of the Living Christ and called to verify the email. The woman who answered the phone verified that Rev. Lair had sent out his notes from the convention and provided additional verification.

So another group of oppressed people are literally praying for President Bush's victory this November. Come November 2, I will think of the oppressed people of the world, including the brave pastor from Uzbekistan, when I cast my vote for President Bush.

 
 
Comments

Thank you for this post. I never considered the election from this view point before. I suppose I was ignorant enough to think what we did here in the United States didn't really affect anyone outside of our country. Well, I voted for Bush the first time, and I intend, and have always intended, to vote to Bush again.

Posted by: Maranna | 05/08/2004 - 03:03 AM

I live in London, and "Kerry for President" bumper stickers are beginning to show up... This foreign support cuts both ways. I hope that President Bush wins re-election, because I do not trust Kerry on the international scene at all.

However, I am not a US citizen, so I will not try to influence matters. I will not forward around pictures of Kerry looking like a waffle, as those on the other side forward pictures of Bush as a chimpanzee. I will not excoriate Americans in public, as I have in my turn, being Italian, been excoriated by complete strangers for electing Berlusconi. I will not celebrate in the streets when Bush wins his second term, as I hope will be the case - I will simply breathe a sigh of relief.

Bush is not a saint, but he is the best candidate for a hard job at a difficult time. I wish him well.

Posted by: Dominic | 05/08/2004 - 05:24 AM

I'm not even a Christian, and this post touched my heart. Thank you for putting this information out.

Posted by: Harvey | 05/08/2004 - 10:03 AM

My #1 reason why I'm voting for W - the world fears him.

#3 - It'll drive the Euros off the cliff and I'm popping the corn.

Posted by: Sandy P. | 05/08/2004 - 06:56 PM

I'm glad you verified the story - but was it prudent to publish this pastor's name????

Better you had verified it and stated that you left it unpublished out of concern for his safety.

Posted by: rkb | 05/09/2004 - 06:35 PM

RKB,
Excellent point - I wish I had thought of this and I'm glad you brought it to my attention. I have just deleted the Uzbekistian pastor's name from my post. I have also emailed the site where I obtained his name and raised the same concern with them.

Posted by: Don Quixote | 05/09/2004 - 08:35 PM

I've often been critical of Bush re: Uzbekistan, because I'd thought that it looked like he was giving Karimov a pass on his pathetic human rights record because of the strategic value of Uzbekistan.

It's amazing to read something that suggests the Uzbeks themselves aren't seeing things that way.

Thanks for posting this.

Posted by: Gib | 05/10/2004 - 12:59 PM

I just finished a 10 day vacation in Europe. Young single women in Germany are now aware of a "left wing press" more than they were a few years ago. Since that is the first step in becoming conservative, I think Europe is going to get more conservative in the next few years. The Germans are not anti-Bush like the media wants them to be. Think of how our media tries to make it seem like all Iraqis hate us. It simply isn't supported by the facts. Don't go believing that Bush is all that unpopular in Europe. Even many liberals over there understand that their nihilism is supported at its base by the US Army.

Posted by: Jennifer Peterson | 05/10/2004 - 02:40 PM

There may be something else going on. The "youth of Old Europe" realize they are about to get an enormous financial burden dumped on them by their elders. The populations of Germany in particular, also Spain and Italy (France has a slightly better "populaton loss") are dropping and the age curve is lurching to the older end of the curve. Germany for example will lose between 1/2 and 3/4 of it's current population in the next 50 years _if_ it can keep its current rate of immigration. (ie the population of Germany in 2050 is likely to be only about 30% of the current number).

There will be almost no one left to pay all those pensions. And if Germany can't convince lots of people to immigrate to help pay thepensions of 70 and 80 year old Germans, if instead those Immigrants go elsewhere, China, Vietnam or the US, the population loss, and the burden on the few who remain, will be worse.

The young single women of Germany (and elsewhere) are starting to read their Voltaire and "pay attention to their own gardens." That faint rumbling in the distance is the Social Compact breaking up.

Posted by: Drew | 05/10/2004 - 03:57 PM


Great you choose to show Uzbekistan, of all countries, as your example. Uzbekistan is led by an even more vicious Dictator then Iraq already is, the difference is however that Bush fully supports this Dictator. Awarding him $500 million in aid to beef up his already notorious secret service known to boil [1] opponents alive.

If anything shows the evils of the Bush administration its support for this Dictator does. There are many more of such examples of Bush supported Dictators being awarded for torturing people.

Think about it when you re-elect Bush, you've become an accomplish.

[1]http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article3943.htm

Posted by: Sander | 05/10/2004 - 07:19 PM

Re: Sander's Post -

It's interesting that the argument against standing up against tyrrany is that we don't do it enough. Especially when the policy they would support would decline to take a stand at all! Electing Kerry would signal the US surrender in the struggle to bring freedom and demcoracy to the world. Should we follow the French's example from Algeria?

Posted by: Coop | 05/10/2004 - 09:02 PM

I have two responses--

1) In light of the torture allegations of Iraqi prisoners by American soldiers, it's problematic to insist that Bush is the Defender of Oppressed People Everywhere. These photographs of US GIs posing during these atrocities undermines all the values of freedom and human dignity that this war in Iraq is supposed to instill in the Middle East.

Since Bush is Commander-in-Chief, he bears at least indirect responsibility for these atrocities, particulary since it appears the torture is not an isolated incident, but instead systematic and may indicate a breakdown in the command structure to control the brutal treatment of prisoners. It remains to be seen whether anyone in the command structure encouraged this brutality.

Today's Washington Post http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A15492-2004May10.html highlights a Red Cross report that describes excessive force by US soldiers that "appeared to go beyond the reasonable, legitimate and proportional use of force required to apprehend suspects or restrain persons resisting arrest or capture." The Red Cross report claims that between 70%-90% of the detainees were arrested by mistake.

One thing that struck me listening to the hearings with the Armed Services Committee today was the uncertainty at the top levels in the command structure on how the Geneva Accords applied to the prisoners--if they didn't know, how could the soldiers? Furthermore, Rumsfield's declaration two years ago that the Geneva Conventions didn't apply to Al Aqeda, doesn't look good in light of this scandal.

So, how is this in any way a sign of the humane policies of the Bush administration?

I think the fracas about Iraqi prisoners is another indication about the poor policies of this administration. They were wrong about Weapons of Mass Destruction, wrong about the amount of troops needed for Iraq, wrong about the response of many ordinary Iraqis and apparently unable to control the treatment of detainees by our troops.

2) Human rights are used by the Bush administration when it is politically convenient. I think that's the point that Sander was trying to make.

One of the justifications for invading Afghanistan was to liberate the women. Three years after the invasion, the situation for women has not really improved. An October 2003 report by Amnesty International http://web.amnesty.org/library/index/ENGASA110232003. The report quotes a statement from Colin Powell in 2001: "The recovery of Afghanistan must entail the restoration of the rights of Afghan women. Indeed, it will not be possible without them. The rights of the women of Afghanistan will not be negotiable." The report chronicles the continued failure of the Afghani legal system to protect women from domestic violence and other violations such as forced marriage.

For something a little more recent, the Feminist Majority Foundation http://www.feminist.org/news/newsbyte/uswirestory.asp?id=8407
cites May 4, 2004 Agence France Presse article of three Afghani girls poisoned as punishment for attending school. Feminist majority claims to have documented 30 attacks on girls' schools since the fall of the Taliban.

So where is the outrage from the White House about the continued oppression of Afghani women? Why is there silence?

Posted by: Szdfan | 05/11/2004 - 04:01 PM

Jennifer,
I'm glad you and Drew have pointed out reasons for not writing off Old Europe's future support (and I am also guardedly optimistic about much of Old Europe except France). Medienkritik is a source I like about German politics.

Sander,
I tried to look up your link, but I received this message: This Account Has Been Suspended. Please contact the billing/support department as soon as possible. Wonder if it was part of Air America ;-)

However, even without reading the link, I agree Bush could do a lot more than he is currently doing regarding these dictators. I'll comment more on this in my response to Szdfan.

Szdfan,
The short answer to your questions is Coop's response. However, let me address both of your issues in slightly more detail.

1) Yes, the prisoner abuse by a few American soldiers is a major setback to our goals. I think the question about whether or not the Geneva Convention applies is a red herring though; no matter what the answer to that question, what these few soldiers did was clearly wrong. There were a few silver linings to this. A) President Bush's apology was broadcast throughout the Arabian nations they are not used to leaders apologizing for anything and his apology and assurance that the guilty will be punished may actually convince many people who would not have been reached otherwise. B) This was a horrible event, but let's keep it in perspective. Under Saddam (and his sons), Iraqis who irritated their tyrants were sent videos of their wives being raped. So while I am not excusing the actions of those Americans who abused Iraqis in any way, the actions were relatively tame compared to what the Iraqis are unfortunately accustomed. The Wall Street Journal had a quote from one of those abused. He is deeply ashamed and does not want to stay near his neighbors. Yet he would love to come to America. That last sentence says a lot and still gives me hope that Iraqis understand that a few bad soldiers do not represent American values.

2) Human rights are used by the Bush administration when it is politically convenient. I think that's the point that Sander was trying to make.

I can understand this perspective. It is a bit unfair, but only a bit. For my part, I wish Bush would quit codling dictators and be much tougher with them. However, there are two important considerations to keep in mind.

A) We don't know what Bush is doing in the background. If he is doing it properly, we may never know. However, indirect reports, such as the one provided by the Uzbekistian pastor, indicate that Bush is positively influencing the behavior of even the worse tyrants.

B) Come November I will not be comparing Bush vs. an ideal president who would deal with tyrants as I desire. In November, I will be comparing President Bush vs. Senator Kerry. Going strictly by Kerry's Senatorial votes and his campaign promises about how he would rule (and not by my impression of his character), this is no contest. Bush wins hands down.

I think Bill Clinton was a much better president that Senator Kerry could ever become. And yet, according to those like the outspoken Uzbekistian pastor, tyrants fear Bush and act better (not good, but better) than they did when Clinton was president. Since I cannot vote for an ideal candidate, I will simply vote for the one out of my few options who I believe will best protect the oppressed. Out of these few options, the best candidate clearly seems to be President Bush.

Posted by: Don Quixote | 05/11/2004 - 10:28 PM

Szdfan,

You are given the choice between better or worse.

Because you can't have perfect you throw out better in favor of worse.

This is not sound policy. It is suicide.

Posted by: M. Simon | 05/13/2004 - 03:03 AM

I do not understand how Szdfan can even *pretend* that her conclusions were not pre-ordained by a simple hatred of Bush. She engages in the child's game of assuming near omniscience/omnipotence on Bush's part and then blames him for a failure to see (omniscience) and act to halt (omnipotence) every human rights violation.

It takes an adult perspective to understand, as M. Simon points out, that our choices are usually between horrid and merely bad. By choosing the least-worst option Bush does indeed save actual lives compared to the only alternatives offered. To whatever extent possible, he also advances the cause of liberal democracy. But this isn't good enough: Afghan women may now have greater legal rights but Afghan men still oppress them, Uzbeki Christians may feel a great weight lifted from their shoulders but the Uzbek leader still murders opponents (in keeping with millenia of human behavior).

When you consciously refuse to recognize that we are imperfect creatures trying to advance liberal ideals in the face an implacable enemy, when you scream "LIAR" and "TYRANT" whenever the inevitable failures occur, you simply discredit yourself. How sad.

There was a day when I avidly espoused and supported the liberal project. Now it seems clear that the ideals of the project are simply smokescreens for a deeper, anti-democratic hunger for power.

Posted by: WildMonk | 05/13/2004 - 10:36 AM

While we are all entitled to our opinions, I would like to state for the record one undisputible fact--I am a man; not a woman. I have been a man as long as I can remember and if you asked my wife, she would agree that in fact, I am a man. :)

Wild Monk--you write that the pursuit of human rights "are simply smokescreens for a deeper,
anti-democratic hunger for power." Would you please explain what you mean by that? How is posting my opinion on a blog an anti-democratic activity? What kind of power do I personally have to gain by quoting human rights reports in this discussion?

I don't deny that I dislike Bush and I don't see anything shameful about it. I mean, aren't we all biased in some way? I think the outrage that many Conservatives feel about the Left's dislike (and okay, hatred) of Bush is kind of dishonest. It's kind of how politics are played--I doubt that the Republicans calling for the impeachment of Bill Clinton were in love with him before the Lewinsky scandal.

But the fact that I have a bias doesn't change the fact that I have legitimate concerns about the President's rhetoric on human rights, particulary if I can back my concerns up with legitimate sources.

I of course agree that the crimes committed by the Hussein regime are worse than what happened in Abu Ghraib. No question.

I am concerned, though, that the actions of Saddam or al-Qaida are being used by some conservatives to downplay the torture at Abu Ghraib--"Look, we're not so bad, we only X, we didn't do Y." I find that kind of argument morally dubious. The fact that terrorists committed worse atrocities than these soldiers, does not justify or resolve the Americans. The "At-Least-We're-Not-al-Qaida" argument seeks to diminish the accountability for this disaster--what we did was not so bad, because we're not "evil" and somehow US policy gets a free pass from judgement because of that.

Saddam Hussein and al-Qaida cannot be the standard that we judge our own behavior on. If we as Americans are willing to accept this, I question our sense of morality and humanity.

I am of course pleased that the allegations being investigated and that at least some of the perpetuators will be charged and court martialed. But this is not a victory for the American system; it's either a failure of the military command structure to communicate the values and laws it claims to adhere to or it is something more sinister--that someone in the chain of command ordered or at least encouraged this behavior. This is a preventable tragedy that should not be spun into a sign of American superiority.

The point I was trying to make in my last post was not that America should not stand up against
tyranny, (Alas, I agree that it doesn't do it enough) but that what this President says and what he does about human rights are two different things. Beyond 9/11, one of the major justifications for the invasion of Afghanistan was the liberation of women and other human rights issues. Two-and-a-half years after toppling the Taliban, little has been accomplished on that front and in some situations, the problem has gotten worse as the local warlords have increased their hold on the country.

According to the same Amnesty report I cited in my last post, the Afghani Government is not only to weak to offer "effective protection of women's rights to life and physical security, and itself subjects them to discrimination and abuse" but that women continue to have legal protections. The Afghani penal code offers no clear definition of rape, permits "honor killings" and has no clear ban against underaged and forced marriage. Yet the President, who claims to have sent troops to Afganistan to (at least partly) bring human rights to the region has not put any public preassure on Karzai or the Afghan government to legally protect women. It's as if after the Taliban fell, the issue didn't exist anymore. I don't have any exact quotes, but the President has claimed that Afghanistan is now "Democratic" when the reports by NGOs in Afghanistan don't match his statements.

There is of course no way to know whether Bush is doing "anything behind the scenes." But it's a moot point--because as far as we know, he may be doing nothing at all. It's just speculation.

What I do have to go by are reports from NGOs like Amnesty and Human Rights Watch who are on the ground and document the abuses still being committed in Afghanistan. And I have the silence from the White House.

I don't know a lot about the situation in Uzbekistian. While I am of course happy if the Christians there are recieving less persecution, I do have to wonder why the anecdote from a single pastor is the ultimate "proof" that things have improved. That's not a lot to go by and I'm surprised that the testimony of one individual is the measure of success of US foreign policy.

I don't expect a perfect President--I am not that naive or idealistic. However, the current state of human rights in Afghanistan gives me little hope that the Administration's policies in Iraq are going to be much more effective. I am not quibbling about little details--this is a major failure on the Administration's part to deliver on their rhetoric.

I am curious--at what point, am I allowed to question the rhetoric of the Administration? At what point am I allowed to ask whether or not the President is speaking the truth and whether there may be ulterior motives behind his policies? Why is it so threatening to ask these questions?

Thanks.

Posted by: Szdfan | 05/13/2004 - 03:30 PM

I realized I made a grammatical mistake in my last post (I am an imperfect human as well)--the end of the first sentence in the paragraph on Afghani women should read, "...but that women continue to have limited legal protections."

Posted by: Szdfan | 05/13/2004 - 06:47 PM

Szdfan,
For my part, I am pleased that 1) you question whether or not President Bush is doing what he claims and 2) that you are backing up your points with references (even if I strongly doubt the objectivity and conclusions of groups such as Amnesty International). I have long shared your concerns about President Bush and Afghanistan although at least he is making limited progress there and gave the issue some publicity in his 2004 State of the Union Address. However, since Afghanistan is of little strategic value, I believe President Bush is not going to spend the resources needed to rebuild the country. In fact, unlike Iraq, President Bush has turned over a large portion of the job of rebuilding Afghanistan over to the UN (which is the same as committing it to failure in my view of things, but I have a very low opinion of the UN). Am I happy with my president on this issue? No. Do I think you have valid concerns here? Yes.

However, the main point (which I believe was why folks like M. Simon and the WildMonk responded so vehemently) is that in November we will not an option to election someone who will be tougher on dictators than President Bush imperfectly manages to do. Instead, we have a choice between President Bush and someone - based upon his own statements and actions - who will not instill fear in dictators. Given that choice, I will be voting for President Bush this fall. Not because he is perfect, for he certainly is not. But, because I believe he will do a much better job helping the oppressed than John Kerry would.

This is not just my opinion or that of most of those commenting here. I believe it is the opinion of anyone that does not have a strong bias against President Bush. This quote is from Ray Newton in an email to Best of the Web:


If a pollster asked me if I approve of the job Bush is doing I would have to say no. Too apologetic, not strong enough.

Do I approve of his handling of Iraq? Again no. Need to get tougher.

Do I approve of his handling of the economy? Again no. Too much spending. Too much appeasing the Dems. Tax cuts must be permanent.

For all of these reasons Kerry is a much worse choice.


Do you disagree with this? Do you think Kerry would be tougher on dictators than Bush? This is a much different question than could Bush be doing a better job?, but it is a much more pertinent question for American voters.

Posted by: Don Quixote | 05/14/2004 - 08:26 AM

I apologize for not responding sooner. As you know, life sometimes gets in the way and I wanted to take the time to give a decent response.

The point I was trying to make in my previous posts is that, based on the situation on the ground in Afghanistan, I do not believe that George Bush is serious about human rights. He uses human rights for political convenience, yet his policies have done little to instill human rights in Afghanistan and I am not optimistic about Iraq. It's not a question of "imperfection;" I don't see anything substantial being done by this President to support the argument that he is out to help the oppressed.

I don't believe that John Kerry will be as "tough" on dictators as President Bush. I don't believe that Kerry will rattle the saber as much, and while that may not scare as many dictators, I do hope that Kerry will follow a more rational foreign policy.

I realize that the response to my last sentence will probably be along the lines of that it's "suicide" not to follow Bush's doctrine of pre-emption or the current path in the War on Terror. However, I don't buy the argument that if Bush loses the election, "the terrorists win." As horrific as terrorism is, it is a highly ineffectual means to exercise political will. No established government or nation has ever been destroyed through terrorism. Despite almost 100 years of terrorist activity, Northern Ireland is still part of the UK, terrorism has not created an independent Palestein, Russia is still in Chechyna, despite bombs and hostage situations in Moscow; bombing abortion clinics and shooting doctors has not ended Roe v. Wade.

I'm not saying, that we should not be vigilant, increase security or engage Middle East, but bulldozing the Middle East into submission is not the answer, particulary since the invasion of Iraq has made the terrorist threat worse, not better. I have not seen any evidence that proves that Al-Qaida was in Iraq pre-invasion. As the Nick Berg dramtically video shows, they are certainly there now.

Bush led us into this war under false pretenses. The WMD that supposedly posed a clear and present danger have yet to be found. The administraton's own weapons inspector, David Kay, even stated during the Senate hearings in January that "we were almost all wrong." Kay goes on to say that he doesn't believe that analysts were preassured to support faulty intelligence, but the troubling notion remains that at the very least, this Administration was really, really, really wrong and it doesn't say much about its leadership ability. This is not just an "imperfection," but a major failure in judgement and has unneccesarily endangered our soldiers.

Elections are on many levels referendums on the performance of the incumbent and whether voters want current policies to continue. Either fairly or unfairly, November will be about Bush's policies, not John Kerry.


Don Quixote writes that "anyone that does not have a strong bias against President Bush" will believe the current president will believe that Bush will do a better job against dictators (and by implication, terrorists) than John Kerry. That's an interesting statement I'd like to respond to.

First of all, we don't really know how Kerry will deal with this issue. Of course many Republicans are pointing to Kerry's Senate voting record and while that shows that legislators will often vote different ways on the same issue depending on the bill, it's not really an accurate indicator of how Kerry will perform in office. To be honest, we really don't know until a candidate is actually in office on how they perform. I don't think anyone predicted in 2000 that Bush would have led us into a second Gulf War (anyone remember "humble" foreign policy?).

According to a Fox New poll, Bush and Kerry are tied at 42%. The Washington Post has them tied at 46%. Now I believe that poll numbers are about as effective in predicting electionn results as reading tea leaves. However, these numbers do indicate that the country remains divided in roughly half. Since I know from my own experience, that the vast liberal conspiracy does not extend to 50% of the country, I conclude that there are a significant amount of people in the center, who are not rabid Bush haters, that do not support Bush's policies. So I'm sorry to quibble, but I don't think support for Bush is an automatic, logical conclusion. I also wouldn't say the same for the opposition of Bush.

Furthermore, I could turn that statement around--any one who doesn't have a strong bias for Bush would conclude that his policies were disasterous for the country.

Posted by: Szdfan | 05/27/2004 - 04:17 PM
 
 
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