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8.19.2004

Why Bush Will Lose in November-

I have been thinking about this a lot lately. What has changed since the last election. How will the majority of people vote and why? I have come to the conclusion that Bush will lose in November and here is why: The 2000 elections were not the most exciting in recent memory; no incumbent, two unexciting candidates, a bored electorate, good economy, a generally peaceful world. The people of this country were lulled into apathy. The end result- 48% to Gore, 48% to Bush and 4% to all other candidates.

The bases did what bases do and each diligently supported their respective candidates. The swing voters swayed to and fro and finally split about equally between Bush and Gore. 100 million people didn't even bother to show up at the polls. Minority voters were wooed and soccer moms were courted but no one really inspired the fire or political adrenalin of past elections.

What has changed since then? We are caught in an unending war on terror, deficit spending has exploded, we have an incumbent who has split the country apart politically, racially, sexually, religiously and culturally. 850+ U.S. troops have been killed and over 5000 wounded in a conflict that has been proven time and time again to have been waged on false pretenses. America's standing in the world community has never been lower. The economy does appear to be on the upswing but it is not reflected in job growth and a net loss of jobs appears to be likely for the first time in any administration since the great depression. Gas prices, drug prices, college tuitions, health care costs, and insurance are all rapidly out pacing inflation washing away the small refund the majority of Americans received.

The Democratic base is as motivated and fired up as I have ever seen. John Kerry is raking in never before seen sums of campaign contributions (most from first time individual donors). Bush's base is still strong and he is, likewise, raking in the dough. Money is about a wash in this contest. Hundreds of millions will be spent making this the costliest election in the history of mankind.

For the first time, Liberals (or Progressives if you prefer) are receiving a small amount of representation on the radio, in books and (thank you Michael Moore) on the big screen. The incredible success of most of these ventures proves there is an engaged audience eager for the message. Yes, they are preaching to the choir but what a big loud enthusiastic choir it has turned out to be.

The third party as represented by Ralph Nader (Independent Candidate) and to a smaller extent Michael Badnarik (Libertarian Candidate) is polling horribly and is having trouble raising anywhere near the money the two big parties are raking in. Most of the supporters of third parties saw in the 2000 election the results of supporting an unelectable candidate. Vote your conscience and you may get the greater of two evils, making the lesser seem much preferable. Most main third party voters more closely relate to the Democratic Party platforms than the Republican (especially this one). The two main third party candidates have expressed their support for Kerry over Bush. This election will result in the smallest support for third party candidates in the last 5 elections and I wouldn't be surprised if some third party candidates chucked their support to Kerry at the last minute. Kerry gains disenfranchised third party voters, Bush does not.

Bush has lost the confidence of a few within his own party. The rising deficits, his immigration proposal, unchecked government spending, the Patriot act and other real or perceived sleights have done irreparable damage to the true conservatives in the Republican party. I have heard anecdotal stories and testimonials from many who, although they would never vote for a liberal Democrat, can not bring themselves to vote for a Republican who has betrayed their core beliefs. They would rather stay home or leave that part of the ballot blank. There is no counter equivalent loss in support for Kerry.

The homophobic red herring of the anti-gay amendment to the Constitution has sheared away the support of Bush within the gay community. Reportedly Bush had a million gay supporters in the last election. Kerry will undoubtedly pick up most of that segment of the voting public and probably many more new voters with whom this is a core issue. Bush keeps his religious base but loses much more.

Scandal upon scandal are reaching their conclusions or seeing the first light of day after this administration has stonewalled and thwarted the investigative process. The Plame outing, secret energy meetings, inter-administration memos, Halliburton overcharges, Medigate, violation of civil rights, torture. The American public and, more importantly, the American media are finally holding this administration to account (not to the level of extramarital sex but hey it's a start). Many more damaging and possibly devastating revelations will come out between now and November in spite of best efforts of the Republican controlled Congress. To even some of the most stubborn Bush supporters this much smoke indicates a fire. Bush loses support. Kerry either gains or stays even.

From the stories of disenfranchised African-American voters in Florida to Bush's no-show and outright snub of the NAACP, African-American support for this President, though never high, has eroded to an almost non-existent level. There is also active voter registration and recruitment by Democratically supported organizations to motivate and activate this under-represented segment of America. Bush loses whatever small amount of support he had within this community and Kerry keeps the traditional support and possibly gains new voters.

The military has been pushed to the breaking point by a poorly planned and unnecessary Iraq war. The families and the soldiers who have served have been lied to repeatedly by the defense department about the amount of time they would spend on combat deployments. The morale of the military is sinking rapidly. Stop loss orders and activation of the Individual Ready Reserve have further eroded the confidence and support of the military for Bush. The Non-Commissioned Officer Corps is in danger of being destroyed by those career NCO's who are choosing to retire or just leave the military rather than be overused and abused. While he will still have support withing the military community (which has traditionally been more conservative)there will be a backlash from tens of thousands of service men and women and their family members who have been seriously hurt by the direct actions of President Bush and his Neo-Con administration. Bush loses a significant amount of support from the military. Kerry receives the protest vote or stays even.

In conclusion, Bush has acted like he has a mandate from the people when over 50% did not support him to begin with. He has completely alienated Democrats, Moderates, members of his own party and base, homosexuals, African-Americans, the military, third party voters and the all important swing voters. Kerry gains the support of most of the above groups and at the very worst does not get the votes that Bush loses.

Bush is going to lose this election, not because of anything Kerry has done or will do, but because of all of the damage and conflict, pain and betrayal Bush has caused during his term. When it comes right down to it the election is not Kerry versus Bush, it is Bush versus himself and in that contest Bush loses either way.

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