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Kerry, because I want to be proud of the way I'm represented, within the country and to the world.
I actually voted for Nader in 2000, because I live in New York state, and it was clear that Gore was going to take the state, which freed me up to vote my conscience. My conscience, at the time, dictated that American party politics were inherently corrupt, because of, e.g., our inability to pass meaningful campaign-finance reform. In 2000, it seemed to me, the Democratic Party was only marginally less corrupt than the Republican Party. It also seemed to me that Gore completely abandoned his core Democratic base in the general election. I liked Gore on some of the issues, but I thought he ran a shoddy, misguided campaign.
However, everything changed over the next four years. It became self-evident, I think, that the Bush presidency is the most corrupt in modern history. Under the cynical disguise of evangelical Christian moralizing (and don't even get me started on Bush's moronic theology), Bush conducted (and continues to conduct) a fire sale, in which he auctioned off the entire nation to the highest corporate bidder, piece by piece. Well, that's not entirely true. Sometimes he didn't even bother to take bids. And this is not to mention a war based on outright mendacity, in which tens of thousands of innocent civilians have been killed.
Since it's now abundantly clear that Nader's reform message has been deracinated by his narcissistic Republican-financed campaign, I'm voting for the one guy who seems to be able to send Bush back to his pest-control cronies in the state of Texas. Hopefully, George can keep himself busy for a few decades clearing brush.
Like virtually everyone I know, I'm voting for Kerry. And probably for exactly the same reasons. To enumerate these reasons, to repeat yet another time the fundamental litany of liberal principles that need to be reclaimed and revitalized, seems to be redundant and unnecessary. Our culture has become politicized to a degree that verges upon hysteria. And since I live in New Jersey, a state in which an "honest politician" is someone who hasn't yet been arrested, I have come to have modest, that's to say realistic expectations about public life.
I'm a Democrat voting for Bush, even though on economic issues, from taxes to government regulation, I'm not happy with the Republican positions. But we're at war, and electing a president who is committed to losing it seems to be the most foolish thing we could do. Personal honesty is also important to me, and Kerry is obviously not in the running on that point, given that he can't keep track of the facts in his own autobiography.
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