Friday, October 01, 2004

Crossing Over

I'm asked sometimes (usually when someone learns that I'm voting for Kerry) if it wise to change horses in the middle of a fast-moving stream. I assume that we are the riders in their metaphor, but I think it is probably more accurate to say that we are the horse and our president is the rider. The question should be does our president know enough to decide whether we should continue crossing the stream to the point we are headed, find another place to cross, or turn around all together. If the wrong decision is made, I can assure you that it will be us that drowns first.

I prefer a president who has the ability to take in a lot of different kinds of information at once and interpret them correctly. I also need a president who considers not just his own survival, but that of his "horse." Bush may make quicker decisions, but in my opinion Kerry makes better ones based on more information from a greater number of sources. And frankly, I'm not convinced Bush really has the ability to be that concerned about his horse. He has jumped from organization to organization, failed business to failed business, willing to leave chaos in his wake without ever having to suffer as a result. In Vietnam, Kerry volunteered to suffer beside those under his command, and then he came back to the U.S. to be their advocate and has done the same for his constituents in MA.

Kerry also understands the stream better. He realizes that it is not just the challenging stream of the U.S. and its war on terrorism, but a fjord of sensitive situations (Iraq, Iran, the Sudan, North Korea, China, Terrorism, Russia) each steered by a different set of politcal particulars that require finesse, precision, and more consistent attention than one can give from a ranch in Texas. And unlike Bush, Kerry is willing to make reasoned, even if risky changes rather than stubbornly making a run for the spot on the shore using the one path he is "pretty sure" is going to provide safety despite mounting evidence that it won't. It is easy, but very dangerous to mistake prideful pig-headedness for resolve.


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