The only real debate that I want to actually watch betwen the two leading candidates is the Town Hall debate. This is the debate where the average Joe gets to ask questions directly of the candidates. I want to see how the candidates think on their feet.
Well, that ain't gonna happen.
Both Bush and Kerry have agreed to modify the campaign rules so that the Town Hall debate will require the applicants to submit their questions ahead of time, and if they deviate from the questions in any material way, the moderator will disallow the question.
What the hell has our country come to?
I can see Bush not wanting to think on his feat. It's not his strong point. I had hoped Kerry would have a substantial advantage with this particular skill, but I have not seen anything that shows it.
Cripes, I want to believe that my candidate has mental agility. I want to believe that she can think quickly and act decisively. And I have no faith in either Bush or Kerry. I think they are both puppets. And frankly, that frightens me. I don't like being manipulated, and I can feel the strings being pulled-- I just don't know who is doing the pulling.
I am against the war in Iraq. Or let me clarify: I am against the reasons that were used and the decisions that were made to invade a sovereign nation against the U.N. authority.
I am not against the troops. I think that they should be given the support that they need to do their jobs. I have friends in Iraq and Afghanistan, and I very very much want to see them come home.
And I am not in favor of pulling the troops out of Iraq. At least not yet. Despite my best wishes, we have troops over there and we are providing the infrastructure that is holding that country from total chaos. Pulling out now would drop that country into a pit of hell which would spark a conflagration in the middle east from which there would be no recovery.
Iraq knows brutality. They know rule by force. For generations that has been their leadership. And it has been strong enough to maintain a balance for a long time. Now the Bush regieme is in there trying to create a "kinder, gentler" Iraq.
You can't change overnight what generations of brutality have made.
And even if you could somehow wave a magic wand and make Iraq a gentle, peace-loving nation, the neighboring countries would eat it alive. And Iran has nuclear weapons.
We cannot leave Iraq. We have pulled the pin on a live grenade, and now we have to hold it until somebody else can be found to hold it in place. And nobody else wants to touch it.
And this will keep sucking away at our budget until we collapse like the former Soviet Union.
We cannot maintain a presence in Iraq for the generations that it will take to significantly change how that region operates. And if we pull out before there is something strong in place, the whole region will implode and start WWIII.
Meanwhile, Halliburton is making millions.
We have this mythical "War on Terror", which is an excuse to take extreme measures against an enemy that has no name and no face. This is exactly the same tack that was taken with the "War on Drugs"-- declare war on a nameless, faceless enemy, and use that to provide a sense of unity amongst your people.
Except that the War on Terror has more dire consequences. At least with the War on Drugs, you could only be branded an enemy of the state if you had something to do with drugs. Now you are an enemy if you disagree with the current regieme.
When you can brand anyone who doesn't agree with you as a "terrorist" and suspend their rights, you have debased the very principles upon which this nation was founded.
Bush wants to make the "Patriot Act" permanent legislation. While I agree that there needs to be some method of providing tools to protect our nation from terrorist activities, I believe that the Patriot Act as it stands gives far too much unchecked power to the government and is directly in violation of the Bill of Rights.
Our nation is made up of people, not of governmental entites. We need to provide protection for the people in such a way as to allow them the freedoms to which that small piece of paper entitles them.
I don't have an answer to that dilemma. I think there is one that can be worked out, but it will take time.