Conservatives for Bush

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I
know the temptation is still there, the “lesser of two evils” argument
that may yet favor President Bush over John Kerry. Many Christian
conservatives are not only tempted, they are enthusiastically on
board.

And
when I mean “Christian conservative” here I mean neither neo-conservative
imperialists, nor the apocalyptic “Religious Right.” I refer rather
to those who believe in Constitutional, limited government, hold
to a non-interventionist foreign policy, and oppose the income tax.
They believe that wars must be declared by Congress. They believe
most federal departments should be scrapped, and may even oppose
the federal War on Drugs.

Here
are some reasons I have uncovered why so many Christian conservatives
still support President Bush.

  1. He
    is a Christian. So was Jimmy Carter. How many Presidents
    did not profess to be Christian?
  2. He
    is pro-life. It is ironic, however, that this President
    can kill pregnant women and other civilians abroad whenever
    he wants, but is virtually powerless to protect the unborn at
    home.
  3. He
    is opposed to gay marriage and supports a Federal Marriage Amendment.
    But it’s not a vote he casts or a bill he signs into law. The
    amendment process by-passes the President.
  4. He
    is for tax cuts. But not corresponding budget cuts, thus
    actually raising taxes on everyone through the inflation tax
    and burdening the next generation. This is immoral.
  5. I like
    the guy. I concede this much – if our nation actually
    operated under the Constitution and the office of the President
    was far less important than it is now, I’d agree that he might
    be an amiable, harmless enough guy to enjoy having as our President.
    Instead, he is the most powerful man who ever lived, and has
    often abused that power.
  6. He
    isn’t Clinton. Neither is John Kerry.
  7. The
    Supreme Court is at stake. How do we know? Old people don’t
    die as quickly as they used to. Besides, short of the election
    of a miraculous filibuster-proof Republican Senate, there’s
    no chance that a Republican President will be able to nominate
    strict constructionists to the federal bench.
  8. We
    must support incremental changes. The Republican Party is
    the realistic alternative for gradual change in the direction
    of smaller government, they say. So endorsing a President who,
    operating most of the time with an all-Republican Congress,
    enlarged government at the greatest rate in 35 years, is our
    last, best hope? When is it appropriate to stop supporting Republicans?
    If John McCain gets nominated? Michael Bloomberg?
  9. Third
    Parties want to have everything at once.  To be a “purist”
    and vote third party can only make things worse by handing the
    election over to the enemy, they say. But that’s not true. The
    political strategy of defecting to the Libertarian or Constitution
    Parties, costing Bush the election and forcing John Kerry to
    deal with Iraq and a Republican Congress, is as realistic a
    political strategy as any. It may embolden conservatives and
    libertarians to kill the neo-con cancer in the party and clarify
    its values for 2006, 2008, and beyond. Christians who say “incremental
    change,” then turn around and act as if a one-term Kerry Presidency
    will doom Western Civilization for good. But if we are to be
    patient and be satisfied with incremental change, what’s wrong
    with waiting two years, four years, or more?
  10. The
    President has been courageous and steadfast in the War on Terror.
    But has he been right? Has he exercised sound judgment? Why
    hasn’t he fired anybody for intelligence failures and poor prognostication
    about Iraq? Is not the “War on Terror” just an excuse to broaden
    the federal governments powers at home and abroad? And is that
    consistent with conservative principle?

The
case for Bush just does not add up. This is not suggesting that
anyone should vote for Kerry. But the purpose of voting is not to
get into guessing games and political calculations. One vote – your
vote – is not going to swing the election, as
Charles Hooper recently pointed out
. So if you vote at all,
it might as well be for who you would prefer to be President. It
is not your fault that we have a two-party monopoly in our country.
And it is also not your responsibility to support it in any way.
If more people actually voted for who they want, rather than for
who they think has the best chance of winning, we would actually
honor the principles of democracy better, and at the same time keep
the two power parties, who crave your votes, accountable.

For
a conservative or a libertarian to vote for Bush today, is to render
these movements to even greater irrelevancy. If voters do not register
their disgust with the Warfare State, Welfare State, and Police
State this election by defecting to a third party, then they never
will. Thirty years from now, they will still be making excuses for
Republican Presidents. And they will have forgotten what conservatism
and libertarianism meant.

October
13, 2004

James
Leroy Wilson [send him mail]
lives and works in Chicago and is a columnist for the Partial
Observer
. He also has a new blog, “Independent
Country
.”

James
Leroy Wilson Archives

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