07/19/04 — OPINION -- Confused?

View Archive

OPINION -- Confused?

By Gene Price
Published in News on July 19, 2004 1:56 PM

There was a suggestion recently that the national elections in November might be postponed in event of a terrorist attack in the United States.

The idea surfaced after intelligence reports of "chatter" that might indicate something big was in the making.

Such intelligence reports cannot be dismissed, of course. And every precaution must be taken to guard against possible attacks.

But postpone the national elections -- or even suddenly call them off -- in the midst of some homeland terrorist attack?

That would be the crowning success of a terrorist act. And certainly the idea must be tempting to the fanatics.

But the notion of suddenly postponing the national elections would be about like calling off the North Carolina elections in response to a fire in a big city precinct polling place somewhere.

It seems to me we would simply continue the voting process as scheduled and let the folks in that precinct cast their ballots after the smoke clears.


However, discussion of the possibility of postponing an election because of a terrorist attack certainly raises the question of whether we feel "safer" today now that Saddam Hussein is in the jug.

I'm not aware of what the latest national polls show, but my impression is that events of the past couple of years certainly have made us more aware of the existence, determination, viciousness and resourcefulness of some fanatics. Is the threat greater or are we just better informed?

The real question, of course, is whether we would feel safer with John Kerry and John Edwards at the helm than with George W. Bush and Dick Cheney there.

My gut feeling is that neither team radiates any great comfort factor.

George Bush obviously is determined to "stay the course." We know what the course is, but we have no idea of when we might get to wherever we're heading. Just that it's a long journey.

Uncertainties also surround the possibilities under John Kerry. He does offer the advantage of confounding our enemies. He's a bit like a flea. No one knows which way he's going to jump. As in, "I voted for that bill before I voted against it."