Picking a President

I originally posted this as a comment on my friend Ed’s blog, but I figured I’d immortalize it here.

Kerry is a fantastic speaker. I watched one of his speeches on television, and kept finding myself nodding and thinking, “Wow, this is great!”

It was only later, after it was over, that I started thinking about what he actually said. And the truth was–to me, at least–that what he was saying made no sense.

It was all idealism, untested, hypothetical situations about how he would make America better for minorities. A lot of it, on later reckoning, didn’t compute at all.

It was just that he spoke so well.

George Bush can’t speak to save his life. He’s better in one-on-one situations, where he can be casual and random, but even then he slips up. A lot of what he says is rhetoric, too, black and white rhetoric about how we must stop the enemy. He took this rhetoric way too far when he went after gay marriage.

I have never thought, “Yay, Bush!” I have thought it was better to have Bush in there than Gore. And I think it will be better to have Bush in there than Kerry, too.

The truth is that I haven’t been excited about a candidate since the 1996 Republican preliminaries, when Alan Keyes caught my attention. (I don’t even know if I agree with him now, but back then I thought he was amazing. Steadfast, opinionated, and a fabulous orator.)

But I do think that Bush has a proven track record of not backing down, even when it looks like he’s wrong…and Kerry has a proven track record of backing off or completely changing his mind based on any scrutiny, from within or from without. That is a dangerous characteristic for a President. Do we really want someone in office who can be so easily swayed?

Those are my opinions. I suggest ignoring the protestors, heck, ignore all the members of the political parties except the candidates. Listen to what they have to say and think about what they stand for and how they’ve behaved in the past.

Then pick the lesser of two evils.