Friday, October 29, 2004

What's at stake in this election

Much of the focus this election cycle has been on the race for President of the United States and rightly so. However, there is much more at stake than who is going to be our Commander-in-Chief for the next four years. Although much of the media attention has been on the latest attacks President Bush and Senator Kerry have launched on each other, it is time to step back and look at the bigger picture.

We are a nation at war. This war we are fighting is different from any other war we have faced before. Consider this quote from Charles Colson who served in the Nixon White House at the height of the Cold War:

During my days working in the White House, I often came home feeling nauseated after meetings about national security. You’d feel that way, too, if you’d spent the afternoon hearing about possible nuclear attacks, first-strike survivability, and the policy of Mutually Assured Destruction (MAD), which shaped every decision we made. I used to come home and tell Patty, “I don’t know if I can take this, because we are making decisions that could, by one miscalculation, obliterate this country!”

Now consider: The entire MAD policy assumed that leaders on both sides of the Cold War—the Americans and the Soviets—were reasonable, rational people. Today it’s a totally different ballgame. With Islamic fanatics, you don’t assume that they are rational. You assume, based on their behavior, that they’re irrational—that if they get their hands on nuclear weapons, they’re willing to use them.

I have come to the sobering conclusion that we are in greater danger of a nuclear strike today than we were during the Cold War.

Colson makes an excellent point. During the Cold War, both sides understood the capabilty of each to destroy the other. That understanding is what restrained both sides from acts of aggression.

The question facing us this Election Day is this: Which candidate is best capable of protecting the United States from further attacks?

For me, the answer is obvious. President George W. Bush has clearly demonstrated his ability to lead our troops in the battle against terrorists. By waging successful campaigns in both Afghanistan and Iraq, he has shown that he understands the threat of terrorism and the necessity to eliminate the threat before the terrorists have a chance to attack us again.

However, who we elect President is just the beginning. We also have important choices make regarding who our Senators and Representatives are going to be. These choices are crucial because the members of Congress are the ones who will be charged with carrying out the vision that the President sets for our country.

In Virginia's 9th Congressional district (where I live), we have been represented by Democrat Rick Boucher for 22 years. Our local paper, the Bristol Herald Courier, endorsed the Congressman's re-election bid. In their endorsement, they cite the numerous government funding programs that the Congressman has been able to secure for the region. They failed to mention the fact that our Congressman also voted against funding for our troops, some of which are from our region. I pointed this out in this letter I wrote to the editor. Congressman Boucher has repeatedly voted against major defense initiatives. The logical conclusion that can be drawn from reviewing his record is that he does not make national security a priority. His record is typical of many Democrats.

This election is about more than just who we choose to be our president for the next four years. We need to also elect Senators and Congressmen who are going to support President Bush in his ongoing effort to keep our nation safe from global terrorism. We must choose carefully in all the votes we cast. If anything has been made clear in this election cycle, it is that Democrats cannot be trusted to keep our nation safe. As a result, we need to do all we can to ensure that Republicans are elected.

UPDATE: Osama Bin Laden has emerged to release this videotape and attempt to insert himself into our election. Charles over at Little Green Footballs nails it: Vote as if your life depends on it.

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