Even at this late stage, it is tempting to excuse some voters for being undecided. Issues that appear stark carry offsetting qualification.
Economy. Bush is the first president since Herbert Hoover to preside over a loss of jobs during his term. True, but he did inherit some of the causes and 9-11 did happen. The president doesn't have much control over the job economy although it is clear that a better allocation of his tax cuts would have helped considerably.
Kerry flip-flops. Yes, but what politician doesn't? Mr. Bush has had his share, reversing himself on climate change, Constitutional Amendment against gay marriage, and, most tellingly, the reason for rhe invasion of Iraq.
Viet Nam service. Kerry fought with honor, but why hit us over the head with this 35 years later? Bush avoided combat and probably shirked some of his military duties. But, so what? Thousands of now admirable Americans did the same or worse.
Terrorism. The President leads the polls on this issue. But it is unlikely that either candidate would outperform the other in this continuing battle. Both will work hard at it, backed up by the agencies of government.
However, there are some issues so clear that it is difficult to understand how anyone could remain undecided at this time.
Iraq. No question that the President misled us on the necessity of this invasion and that the post war plans and execution have been woeful. Polls show that 40% of Americans still think that Saddam Hussein was involved in 9-11. It is doubtful that so many are so ignorant Having created this false impression, the administration had a duty to dispel this illusion held by those not paying much attention.
Environment. No question that this administration has been hard on the environment by reversing previous policies and adopting policies that favor business and developers.
Judicial Appointments. No question that another four years would enable Mr. Bush to appoint right wing conservatives to all court levels, including the Supreme Court.
Economy. No question that this president has created a monumental deficit that will burden our children and grandchildren.
Health Care. No question that this administration has prevented importation of cheaper drugs from Canada and use of our government's bargaining power to obtain lower prices.
Cultural Issues. No question that President Bush's policies threaten a woman's right to choose in the United States and cause suffering and death for women around the world. Four more years would bring further inroads on the separation of church and state, and hamper the use of stem cells to fight major diseases.
The issues are on the table; they're not going to change. Whoever is still undecided needs to make a choice. Do pro-life beliefs, worry over a threat imposed by gay marriage, and desire to have prayer in schools override other challenges to our country? Does the diversion into Iraq demand that Bush be punished or can we admit that either candidate will endeavor to turn it into a success and continue the fight against terrorism?
Whoever is still undecided needs to make a choice. Do pro-life beliefs, worry over a threat imposed by gay marriage, and desire to have prayer in schools override other challenges to our country? Does the diversion into Iraq demand that Bush be punished or can we admit that either candidate will endeavor to turn it into a success and continue the fight against terrorism?
These questions are not new and should have been resolved weeks ago. It's well past time to choose.