I’ve talked about this before, but the New York Times’ endorsement of Kerry (Yay!) reminds me of the real reason I dislike our preznit so much:
The president who lost the popular vote got a real mandate on Sept. 11, 2001. With the grieving country united behind him, Mr. Bush had an unparalleled opportunity to ask for almost any shared sacrifice. The only limit was his imagination.
He asked for another tax cut and the war against Iraq.
A person of vision in that office might have taken that day and rededicated this nation to stamping out the poverty and desperation that makes appeals to hatred of America successful in the Islamic world. A person of vision in that office might have gone to the American people and said, “We must sacrifice now, we must make our lives worth living” and called for universal public service, as well as for war.
Instead we got a small-minded appeal to the worst of our instincts, and Sept. 11 became the excuse people were looking for to withdraw from the world, to be afraid of everything, to hate what they didn’t understand and comfort themselves with the idea that we were more under siege on Sept. 12 than we were on Sept. 10, as if the day we realized something was the day it began to exist. We’ve always had those tendencies, but a true leader would turn us away from them. A true leader would encourage us to learn and try to help, not to sit in our houses, murmur about evil, and glare at our neighbors.