10/20/04 — Endorsement: The presidency

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Endorsement: The presidency

Sen. John Kerry has failed to make a convincing case that America would be better off if he supplanted George W. Bush as president. As the campaign winds down, it is clear that Bush’s positions are superior on most of the important issues, including:

•The war in Iraq. Both candidates favored invading Iraq, though Kerry now says the war was poorly executed. Kerry would also have us believe that Bush rushed to war by claiming that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction, but that is a specious charge. Every country believed Iraq had the weapons, and so did Kerry. In any case, the United States must stay the course until a free Iraqi government can take charge. That is Bush’s plan. Kerry has not specified how he would get us out of Iraq. Tragically, his rhetoric has undoubtedly encouraged insurgents in Iraq to continue their attacks against U.S. forces and innocent Iraqis.

•Taxes. Bush’s history has been one of seeking to lower taxes. Kerry is more likely to raise them. Americans pay too much in taxes.

•Social Security. Bush actually has the beginnings of a plan to keep Social Security solvent for many years to come. Kerry has none.

•Abortion. Kerry has voted against outlawing the brutal late-term abortions called “partial-birth abortions.” Bush opposes them and has signed a bill to make them illegal. The matter is now being bandied between the Congress and the courts.

•Judicial appointments. Although Bush professes that he has no litmus test for the appointment of justices, he is unlikely to appoint those who write new law as opposed to interpreting the Constitution. Kerry’s fellow Democrats in the Senate are applying a litmus test — the appointees’ view on abortion — to all of Bush’s nominees. This is an important constitutional issue.

•Foreign relations. Kerry is more likely than Bush to kowtow to other countries and to the United Nations. Bush is more likely to stand fast for U.S. interests. The United States must stand for itself, and it should expect every other country to do so.

•Education. On this issue, Bush’s superiority over Kerry is minimal. His No Child Left Behind Act was well intended, perhaps, but in practice it is flawed. Education is not legitimately a concern of the federal government, a fact that has been ignored for some years now as candidates from both parties have sought to picture themselves as favoring education.

•Gun control. Kerry claims to be a gun owner but Bush’s record on Second Amendment issues is better.

Finally, there is intuition. Bush just seems to be the better man.

He is unashamedly devout, quite willing to share his beliefs with those who ask about them. When he discusses them his discourse flows freely and naturally. He is a fine witness for Christianity. Kerry, a Roman Catholic, may be presumed to be equally pious, but his voting record does not follow the convictions of his church.

The News-Argus endorses Bush for re-election.

Published in Editorials on October 20, 2004 11:52 AM