There don’t seem to be many undecided voters left, but there are (or until quite recently were) many undecided bloggers. I’m not sure why bloggers are more baffled than the average citizen by the choice between Bush and Kerry. Maybe they are just overthinking this.
One theme I see expressed by some of the agonizers is uncertainty about whether the election of Kerry would force the Democrats to become more serious about the war on terrorism and foreign policy in general. I would have thought that to wonder about that question is to answer the question of which candidate to support, but I guess that’s just me.
Natalie Solent, one of my favorite British bloggers, isn’t baffled, at least not by our election. She writes:
Don’t mistake my dislike of long, intense campaigns for indifference as to the outcome. True, I am fairly indifferent to the outcome of the coming British election. On one side we have the Prime Minister. Useless on every issue bar one, splendid on that one. On the other we have Michael Howard. I originally wrote John Howard, and that says it all. But, oh boy, I’m riveted by the US election.
Consider me a September 12 gal. On September 12 2001 there was no downside for those planning the next terrorist spectacular. You too can humble the Great Satan and win undying glory! Now there is a downside.
And I thank God – literally thank God – that the guy in the White House who started work on making that downside on September 12 2001 was a sunny-tempered frat boy who is President, at least in part, because his Daddy was. Peter Briffa’s column said that professional politicians irritate. That’s only half the problem. The other half is that they are all a particular type of person. Bush is close enough to that type to function but doesn’t really belong. I am aware that he can be a ruthless political operator. (He can pick ’em, too, a useful skill.) But in important respects his values are more normal than is normal in his milieu.
I will go further. I thank God that Bush is a believing Christian who takes seriously the obligation to love his enemies. He didn’t limit himself to making a downside for terrorism, necessary though that was. (Not that most of his opponents would have done it.) Instead he did what idealists claim to want: he set out to tackle the injustice and oppression that are the root causes of terrorism.