The Fearful Voter
There's this post over at Buzzmachine that has me shaking my head this morning. I'll cut and paste parts of it here:
Your fears about Bush are (for the most part) about what he would DO that would be wrong. He would appoint right-wing judges; he would work to reverse Roe; he will, and has, worked to pass a Constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage. Stupid, divisive, wrongheaded moves all to pander to his Evangelical base.
By contrast, you are afraid of what Kerry would NOT do. You fear he would NOT act against our enemies without the imprimatur of the French. That he would dither....
For the most part, what you fear from Bush cannot be implemented by the President alone. But what you fear from Kerry CAN be.
Everything you fear from a Bush II administration, I do too. But he won't be able to do it -- for the most part -- without significant help from Congress.
By contrast, there is no power on Earth that can force a Kerry administration to bypass the UN when it's necessary. There is no provision for Congress to sidestep the President and send troops.
Then Jeff adds this to the mix:
It's ever-more fascinating to me how everything in this campaign is analyzed in the negative. We vote to keep the other guy out of office. We vote to stop something from happening. We don't vote because we're enthusiastic. We don't vote because we want to accomplish something but just prevent something.
If this is the way the American electorate is viewing this election then the negative campaigning has taken over and people are losing their good judgement. We need to vote for what a President will do and not against what he might do. We need to realize that Congress will provide its required system of checks and balances over whomever gets elected. We need to pick a direction we want to go in and vote for it, not against it.
We know what direction Bush wants to take the country in because he's been doing it for four years. We've got much lower taxes, a huge budget deficit, we are at war in Iraq, we've got most of the world really irritated with us, we've got efforts underway to make gay marriage and abortion illegal. If that's the direction you want, then vote FOR Bush.
We also know what direction Kerry will take the country because he's been in congress for a long time and he's been campaigning for well over a year with a platform that's available for anyone to see. He'll roll back the Bush tax cut, he'll cut the budget deficit, he'll stick it out in Iraq because he has to, he'll work to repair the issues we've got with the rest of the world, and he'll protect a woman's right to choose. If that's the direction you want, the vote FOR Kerry.
But please don't vote against the negative "worst case" image that both campaigns are creating of these two guys. As Franklin Roosevelt said, "The only thing to fear is fear itself."