While I believe the environment is the biggest reason to vote for Kerry, it seems it is going to come down to the war. I've spoken to Bush voters who seethe over Kerry's anti-war stance when he came back from Viet Nam. I say they're a lost cause, but I like to remind them that they're saying that Kerry did then what they claim he never did, which is take a principled stand on an issue. He was against the war he had volunteered to serve in, and he said so. Bush was for a war--and a draft--he dodged, and still won't say anything about it. Who's the political opportunist on this issue? That usually shuts them up.
Then I ask about the WMD and they try to change the subject. Then I ask about civilian deaths and the fact that we seem to be killing more Iraqis per year than Saddam was killing when we took over. They say it's a lie. Or that some casualties are unavoidable in war. Or that we should just nuke all those Muslims. Then I ask, well, if we should go get bad guys, then I guess you were for our war in Bosnia and Kosovo? Some were, some say it was a Clinton wag the dog, which I just have to laugh at. Then I ask who the next evil dictator we're going to attack is? They say, whoever threatens us (like Saddam did?). And then I get them with the dagger for any "conservative." I ask them what we should spend on this global, neo-con military adventure ridding the world of evil? How should we pay for it? This is a tough one for conservatives. The quick answer is well, we have to pay for it somehow, because if we don't we'll all be dead and it won't matter.
To this I answer, despite my best attempts to show that liberals are much better, calmer debaters who are most interested in facts, with a hearty BULLSHIT! This is the same argument that was used about Vietnam. The domino theory. If we didn't stop them we'd all become communists. Well, we're still speaking English, aren't we? We lost that war, and we're still here, free, with a right wing fascist president threatening our civil rights more than Ho Chi Min ever did.
And I get right in their faces when I say this, because they know they were wrong about Nam. They know it was a bad war, and they know it took balls for Kerry, an officer, to come back here and say so.
But ultimately, conservatives are most worried about money. So, I hit them with this:
COST OF WAR
I check it out daily, so I'm armed with the latest number. I also try to keep up with the number of US casualties (over 1100 dead and over 8000 wounded). I ask these NASCAR nut cases how much would be too much? How many dead would be too many? Is there some limit, some point where you say, "That's it, no evil dictator is worth that much," no matter how much American companies make selling off the country's resources?
They say you can't put a price on freedom. I say, "Like losing in Vietnam would mean the communists would rule the world? Like Saddam was a threat with nukes that could reach us, with drones, and chemical weapons, anthrax, bla bla bla?" What if we put such a burden on the future of this country fighting these neo-con wars that we bankrupt future generations to the point that they can't fight a REAL war when they need to? What if we ignore the environment, social security, and health care to the point that the biggest threat to Americans is from Republicans who want more of them in poverty, stuck competing with green card immigrants for minimum wage jobs, or going to emergency rooms for health care?
In short, this obsessive focus on offense is detrimental. The BS line about fighting them there so we don't have to fight them here? I laugh loudly in their face when they say that. What on earth makes them think a faceless terror group couldn't attack us everywhere? After all, they've been recruiting at record levels! They have plenty of willing martyrs thanks to Bush.
In short, this election is a brainer. Because the no-brainers are voting for Bush.