Some of you are probably asking yourselves some obvious questions. Namely,
“Why is Hawkins writing a column encouraging conservatives to vote for George Bush? It’s not like they’re going to vote for Kerry right?”
That sort of sentiment is often expressed and it is in part, true. Most conservatives would rather put a “I Love Michael Moore” tattoo on their arm than pull the lever for the Massachusetts liberal and the left-wing trial lawyer in November. However, if conservatives are less than enthused about getting George Bush back into office, what they may do is sleep in, watch TV, take a long lunch, basically anything under the sun rather than showing up on November 2nd and pulling the lever in a voting booth for George Bush.
But that my fellow conservatives, would be a serious mistake.
Some of you may disagree and can probably reel off a litany of George Bush’s grievous sins against his conservative base. There are steel & lumber tariffs, rampant spending including pouring money into the much despised National Endowment of the Arts, signing Campaign Finance Reform, the bloated Medicare Prescription Drug Bill, his willingness to sign the Assault Weapon Ban, & his immigration plan.
Ok, first of all…wait, do you need some time to blow off some steam before we go on? I’ll wait….no, it’s fine, trust me, I understand. I’ve thrashed Bush for all of these things myself, so I certainly can’t blame anyone else for doing the same thing.
However, when I think back to all of these disappointing decisions that Bush has made, I always view them in light of one very pertinent question,
“On which of those issues would John Kerry better represent my interests as a conservative?”
The answer is always, “None of them”. Think about it…wouldn’t John Kerry sign the Assault Weapons Ban too? Kerry would have signed Campaign Finance Reform as well, right? What about the Medicare Prescription Drug Bill? Heck, the Democrats favored a BIGGER package than Bush did. You may not like Bush’s immigration plan, but Kerry is openly promising to put America’s illegal immigrants on the “path to citizenship” in his first 100 days. So what would you gain by having Kerry in office?
The only plausible reason I’ve heard conservatives give for voting for Kerry would be controlling spending via divided government. The theory being that the Republican controlled House and Senate would oppose every new spending proposal Kerry sent down the pike in an effort to deny him political victories. I used to buy into that idea myself — until I watched Republicans in the Senate and the House go hog wild for the last four years spending our tax dollars at every opportunity.
Also, remember that triangulation, the art of stealing the opposing parties issues to deny them political victories, has now been fully accepted by the GOP. What that means is that if John Kerry were to propose “Hillarycare Redux,” this time it’s entirely possible GOP in Congress would look to implement a smaller version of it, instead of just fighting to kill it outright as they did in the nineties. In other words, there are no guarantees that divided government would produce the blessed gridlock P.J. O’Rourke envisioned when he said,
“The mystery of government is not how Washington works but how to make it stop”.
Moreover, we should remember that W. has delivered the goods for conservatives on more than a few issues. First and foremost, how about the tax cuts? You think we would have seen those under a John Kerry presidency? More importantly, do you think we’d KEEP THEM if John Kerry became President?
How about the Partial Birth Abortion Ban that is now law or Bush’s support of the Federal Marriage Act, our only chance to stop left-wing judges from running roughshod over the will of the American people and imposing gay marriage? What about Kyoto and the International Criminal Court? Any conservatives sorry that Bush had no interest in those treaties? Then there’s Reagan’s dream of a nuclear missile defense that is finally being implemented, albeit it in a rudimentary form, this year thanks to George Bush.
Hasn’t the Patriot Act torn down the ‘wall’ between the CIA & FBI that helped make us vulnerable to terrorism? Hands up, who misses the Taliban? What about Saddam Hussein? Anyone sorry Libya got out of the WMD & terrorism business or that Bush helped break up a worldwide nuclear weapons ring operating out of Pakistan? How about the 2/3rds of Al-Qaeda’s leadership we’ve eliminated or the 3000 Al-Qaeda foot soldiers that have been captured or killed? George Bush stepped up to the plate and made those things happen.
Furthermore, you should never, never, never, forget about judges. Because liberalism is so unpopular, the Democrats count on getting activist liberal judges to implement their agenda over the protests of the voters (perfect example: gay marriage in Massachusetts). Because the Senate Republicans have wimped out, the Dems have managed to block a number of Bush’s judges, but Bush has gotten 198 of them through and given that 7 of the 9 Supreme Court Justiceswill crack 70 by 2008, it’s entirely possible that the winner of this election could significantly change the balance of the Supreme Court. Who would you rather see picking 3 or 4 new Supreme Court Justices over the next four years: George W. Bush, an imperfect conservative or John F. Kerry, one of the most liberal members of the Senate?
On top of that, we live in a dangerous world. Iran is racing towards nuclear weapons. If the only way to stop the “Death to America” mullahs in Iran from getting nukes is a bombing run, would we want George Bush or John Kerry to make that call? What about North Korea? Do we want George Bush, a man they know will use force if necessary, to negotiate with them to get rid of their nuclear weapons, or do we want a “Jimmy Carteresque” figure like Kerry dealing with them? In a world where Al-Qaeda wants to strike in the US with weapons of mass destruction, can we trust that a dove like John Kerry is up to stopping them from making an attack that would make 9/11 look like a trip to summer camp?
If we conservatives stay at home in November and allow a man to get in office who thinks that winning medals in Vietnam more than 35 years ago makes him qualified to be our next Commander and Chief despite his horrible record on defense issues, then we’re practically begging for more 9/11 style bloodbaths on American soil. The War on Terror is serious business and our country desperately needs George Bush to lead the fight for the next four years.
Last but not least, remember that there is no such thing as a perfect candidate. Yes, it would be fantastic if we had a combination of Victor Davis Hanson, Sean Hannity, & James Lileks running for President…but, we don’t. Instead we have two men contending to be our next chief executive. One of them is a man who isn’t ideal, but does for the most part serve conservative interests. The other choice is a politician who flips and flops, but in the end has a voting record at odds with almost everything conservatives believe in. So there may not be a flawless choice on the ballot for conservatives, but there is a clear choice and it’s vitally important that we make it at the ballot box on November 2nd.