Abstract Musings

Documenting the random thoughts of a cluttered mind

Comparing Bush and Kerry

Pete Du Pont on why Bush will win:

President Bush is not going to win because of Mr. Kerry’s style or Boston blue blood, as out of sync with most Americans as they may be. He is going to win because he believes in things, while Mr. Kerry is a candidate of concern, consensus and compromise.

Mr. Bush believes in the “transformational power of liberty”; that “freedom is on the march”; that the spirit of liberty that created America in 1776 has brought freedom and opportunity to Afghanistan and will bring it to Iraq and every other nation that grasps its principles. It is a powerful message that Americans understand. Mr. Kerry believes we are imposing democracy on people, instead of which we must bring everyone together in international forums where America’s decisions must pass a “global test.” As the New York Times noted, Mr. Kerry “sees himself as an ambassador president,” intending his first act in office to be a speech to the United Nations to recast American foreign policy.

Mr. Bush believes free nations should have the right to make their own decisions about trading with America; he has negotiated trade agreements with 12 countries and is working on 10 more. Mr. Kerry is against free trade because he believes America must “establish core labor rights around the world.” He would repeal Nafta and other trade agreements until he decides what the wages and working conditions of the citizens of Chile, Mozambique and other nations must be.

Mr. Bush believes in an ownership society in which individuals have the resources to improve their lives, owning their own health-care and retirement accounts. Mr. Kerry is against such individual ownership, believing a wise and benevolent government should have the tax revenues to make the decisions it believes are best for you.


The presidential analogies would be Harry Truman and Woodrow Wilson. Truman dropped the atomic bomb to end World War II, gave aid to Greece and Turkey to stop the expansion of communism, established the Marshall plan to rebuild Europe, launched an enormous airlift to keep Berlin free, and had a sign on his desk saying “The Buck Stops Here.” Truman was a strong man; like Bush, he believed in things.

Mr. Kerry, on the other hand, thought “communism was not a threat to our country,” probably would not have used the atomic bomb without international approval, and would likely have thought the Berlin airlift too threatening to the Soviet Union. He is more like Woodrow Wilson, who after the Germans sank the Lusitania, killing 128 Americans, did not respond, saying he was “too proud to fight.” He committed U.S. troops to World War I, but through his 14 Point Plan and League of Nations proposal sought “peace without victory.” And of course Wilson imposed America’s first income tax after the ratification of the 16th Amendment. The Kerry analogies abound.

Read the whole thing.