Tuesday, November 02, 2004[posted by jaed at 2:17 AM]
If Kerry is elected to the presidency of the United States today...
(This is related to something I wrote in comments at Allah is in the House a while back:)
I will not cheerlead American diplomatic defeats, express hope for American setbacks, or look on anti-American protests with creamy satisfaction. I also will not exaggerate American losses or use them to attack the president for the sake of attacking. I will not take the position that as long as Kerry is the American president, I'm anti-America.(Criticism is not insult, however, and I won't pledge not to say things like "Such-and-such a policy is a serious mistake and I believe it will get people killed." But I hope I'm above idiotic insults. Or any insults, come to think of it.)
This may be easier for me than for some, because I'm not anti-Kerry per se. I think the election of Kerry would be a disaster for this country. I think it will result eventually in many thousands, possibly millions of deaths. I think that this is true even if Kerry follows Bush's policies or even improves on them, because a Bush defeat will be seen by the world as a renunciation of the policy of fighting back, as an apology for dissenting from Chirac's foreign-policy dictats, and as a general loss of will. It will give new heart to our enemies, dismay our friends, and cause our allies to feel the sensation of a limb being sawed off behind them.
But I don't hate the man. I'm bothered by some aspects of his background - his post-Vietnam conduct in particular - but I don't dislike him. Under other circumstances he might make a perfectly decent president. It's not nearly as hard for me to forswear this sort of thing as for someone who has a visceral dislike of him. And I know that tit-for-tat is a powerful human motivation and that the last four years have seen anti-Bush hatred - raw hatred - the likes of which I'm not sure this country has ever seen.
However. "Nyah, they did it first!!!" is no justification for the sort of pernicious nonsense that's been coming from Bush-haters, nor will it justify anything similar aimed at Kerry. This is not a child's game of tit-for-tat. This kind of personal attack on the president - any president - DAMAGES THE COUNTRY. It encourages the enemy. It diminishes, in the eyes of neutrals and friends, the man who speaks for the country. It gives America-haters in other countries plentiful raw material - "see, even the Americans themselves..."
I'll be blunt: if DAMAGING THE COUNTRY seems like a small price to pay in order to vent your spleen about the Democrats, you're no better than the average DU troll and I'm ashamed to call you "countryman".
May whichever candidate wins the election become the greatest president in the history of the United States of America.